01 / Urban Design / Framework Plan


The purpose of this Urban Design Framework is to create a long-term plan that responds to diverse neighborhood needs as well as the historic context. The plan provides a vision for improvements over time and serves as a tool for many constituencies to reference: i.e. from members of a community to various municipal departments within the City of Chicago. The plan outlines priorities and phasing to ensures that improvements are completed in a holistic manner as capital funding becomes available.

Part 1: Urban Observation and Analysis
Due: 18-Jan 2017, 2:00pm

A. Inhabit the Line (An Anatomy of the 606 or River)

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Zoomed out, the lines are figures in space.  Walking within, they are complex assemblages of parts.

    1. Analyze (decompose) and catalog the sub-components, regions and elements that make up the line as a system.
      1. Segments
      2. Entrances and exits
      3. Activities
      4. Transition Spaces
      5. Connections to elements outside the system
    2. Analyze (decompose) and catalog the formal characteristics of the line
      1. Document sites as examples of where it operates as an edge, a path, a landmark, a wall, etc…
    3. Analyze (decompose) and catalog  the changing behaviors and states of the line
      1. Where and how does it support activity and when?
      2. Where and how does it change in response to seasons, or urbanistic conditions?

B. Inhabit the Field (Surrounding metropolitan territory)

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Teams must establish a systematic strategy or procedure to be effective when documenting in the field.  For example, groups could subdivide the field using a reference map, divide in pairs, and delegate boundary areas.  For independent work to coordinate, teams would need to establish clear breaklines or overlaps between map regions and establish a common scaleand set of notation / drawing conventions.  

Alternatively, students could develop a system of “transects.”   A line “transect” is a technique carried out by establishing a baseline through, or next to, a territory of interest. The conditions observable along the line may be recorded along the whole length of the line (continuous sampling). Alternatively, the presence, or absence of a particular condition at a series of marked points can also be recorded (systematic sampling).  In some ways, the River and the 606 are already transects in themselves, but they can also become a reference spine for perpendicular cuts.

      1. Catalog elements in the field – – See Kevin Lynch.:
        • landmarks
        • nodes
        • paths
        • edges
      2. Catalog networks in the field – see Keller Easterling, see Louis Kahn
      3. Catalog subtractions – see Keller Easterling
      4. Catalog aberrations in the grid – See Albert Pope
        • implosions
        • dead zones
        • Leap-frogs
      5. Catalog patterns of multiple and distributed activity in the field
        • Parks and other open spaces
        • Recreational, cultural, social, civic, educational and other institutions
      6. Catalog compressions and rarefactions – see Sarah Whiting
      7. Catalog spaces of change in the character of the field, some may be abrupt moments or gradient transitions.  Some transitions may be smooth, others striated.

Students to Present Analysis in the form of:

    1. Large format drawings or paintings
    2. Large format assemblage models

Part 2: Urban Design Proposal
Due: 30-Jan 2017, 2:00pm

Students to present proposal in the form of:

    1. Large format analysis drawings from Investigation 1
    2. Large format analysis models from Investigation 1
    3. Images Plates which communicate how the 606 or Chicago River might evolve.  The “future” image offers a utopian vision.

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  1. Maps showing at least Five Sites (adjacent or contiguous with the River or 606 or connected in some other relevant way) and an argument for why these sites have the greatest potential for the proposal.  Some sites offer many layers and scales of opportunity for weaving relationships into the urban fabric.  Practically, sites must support a 5000sf (max) building footprint and 5000sf (min) landscape.  For example, Grant Alford.
  2. A Program Proposal for each site (referring to the program matrix provided).  Program Proposal must address (a) all types of activity and (b) all scales of occupation (XS,S,M,L,XL) but are limited to 10,000sf of space.  The project program should relate to arguments made in the Urban Proposal, acknowledging the multiplicity of interpretations, and cooperation, indifference, and conflict in the community’s assessment of demands.





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