Today at 2pm we will present our thoughts, work and investigations of site and program in the form of a collaborative discussion/debate.  The discussion will be led by you and should be collaborative, generative and critical.  You should treat this as an opportunity to bolster your own positions and understanding of the program and site to ensure you are ready to beginning planning the facility.

The schedule for today is as follows:

1:00pm-2:00pm – Pin up the work of your group in Crown Hall Center Core by region.  All work must be up by 2:00pm.  Please hang your work as tightly as possible, and keep to one panel per group.  Locations are as follows:

  1. Chocolate Chip – WEST WALL
  2. Oatmeal Raisin – NORTH WALL (WEST)
  3. Peanut Butter – NORTH WALL (EAST)
  4. Double Chocolate Chip – EAST WALL

2:00 – 3:00pm – Individually, please review all of the work, especially the work of your classmates in your region.  Please answer the following questions for each of the investigations in your region:

  1. What are the agendas being presented?  Are they clear?
  2. How could these agendas guide your next steps?
  3. Is this a viable or less viable agenda?  Why?
  4. Is this a viable or less viable site for the boathouse?  Why?

3:00pm – Per region, organize and conduct a group discussion to discuss each of the Agendas developed by your group.  Starting with one group, please spend a few minutes presenting your work followed by a group critique/discussion to evaluate and further develop and understand your positions.  You should collectively spend +/- 10 minutes discussing the Agendas of each group.


ASSIGNMENT 3A: IDEAhaus (program/site/concept)

3A_IDEAhaus (program/site/concept)

Download assignment here: S15 ARCH 306_ASSIGNMENT 3A_IDEAhaus


IDEAhaus is a new Chicago Institution. Owned and operated by the City of Chicago, IDEAhaus is a network of buildings spread out across Chicago intended to establish a framework for community involvement and engagement. Individually, each building is defined by the specific needs of its site and context providing places for the community to MEET, MAKE and PERFORM, fostering public programs and potentials that are as diverse as the network of neighborhoods that make up Chicago.

You are now asked to specify the use program for the IDEAhaus, define a specific site for the building within your AREA OF INTEREST, and to develop and refine the primary motivations for the design of the facility.


– Develop a specific use program for the IDEAhaus

– Complete the necessary research to fully vet the site selection and use program

– Familiarize yourself with Quantum GIS software

– Learn how to create shape files with specific criteria in QGIS

– Select a site for the IDEAhaus within your area of interest and substantiate that location through GIS mapping and analysis.

– Practice quickly exploring concepts through modeling

– Develop and test concepts for the IDEAhaus

– Present a compelling argument for your IDEAhaus at Midterm review.



Develop a specific use program for the IDEAhaus specific to your research and area of interest.  Mine your AREA OF INTEREST for it’s INFRA and develop a use program that improves, exploits, contradicts, etc, that framework.

Though simple, the programs can have a range of implications depending on where in the city they exist. What does meeting, making and performing mean across the city?


Identify potential sites and analyse their suitability. Select a site within your AREA OF INTEREST for the IDEAhaus.  The site should be no larger than 30,000sf.  The site can be any open, vacant or empty lot or any portion of open lot or parking lot. Proof of specific ownership is not essential.  You will be asked to substantiate your chosen site through the use of GIS mapping.

Using the Quantum GIS software, you will be asked to overlay existing and newly created datasets to substantiate a specific site selection.  Site selection will be contingent on the IDEAhaus’ specific use program and the agendas and criterias you have developed for the design of the facility.

NOTE:  You must generate multiple of your own shape files or data sets to map.  Existing GIS data is useful, but will not be adequate to substantiate your site selections.


With use program and site selection established, develop agendas/concepts/motivations for the design of the IDEAhaus and through an iterative process, establish the most appropriate design path/process.

Produce diagrams that explore intent, and produce massing studies that test that intent in place.  You are encouraged to continue to explore possibilities using your site model from the Assemblage investigation.

Develop your design with the necessary documentation to adequately describe the site location, site substantiation, site influences, programmatic influences, programmatic adjacencies and form or massing for the design at your Midterm Review presentation.

IDEAhaus program and site  brief:

– a new Chicago institution.  a network of buildings across the city

– +/-20,000sf

– max 10,000sf footprint

– minimum (FAR) of .75.  maximum FAR of 2(+/-).



  1. What are the potential impacts of your project’s siting and program to your Area of Interest?
  2. What are the influences of the area on your IDEAhaus?
  3. How can the  IDEAhaus interface with your area of Interest?

schedule (key dates):

W         Feb 11              Assignment Launch / Program brief

F          Feb 13              GIS intro lecture / desk crits

M         Feb 16              Program research due

F          Feb 20              GIS lecture / desk crits

M         Feb 23              Concept modeling workshop

F          Feb 27              Cincinnati Field Trip

W         March 11           Mid-term Review


Midterm Review: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015, 2-6pm, Upper Core:

  1.  Programmatic diagrams or research that describe specific uses for the IDEAhaus.
  2.  Minimum one (1) GIS map with a minimum of 3 datasets that have been customized to substantiate choices for IDEAhaus site.
  3. Parti sketch/diagrams supporting your overall concept.
  4. Concept/diagrammatic models in place on an individual site model that describes at a minimum all adjacent buildings and streets.
  5.  Diagrammatic plans and sections that described spatial conditions and sequences.
  6.  Representative drawings that demonstrate spatial experience.

REVIEW: ANATOMY site models

We will have our Anatomy site model reviews tomorrow in Crown Hall Upper Core starting at 2pm.  Please have your models over to Crown Hall prior to that time so that we can begin promptly.

We will be reviewing in five (5) groups by AREAS OF INTEREST.   The layout is simple so no map is necessary.  AREA 1, Hyde Park/Washington Park, will review on the west side of Upper Core.  AREA 2, Bridgeport/McKinley Park, will review in the NW corner of Upper Core.  AREA 3, Pilsen/Chinatown, will review due north.  AREA 4, Humboldt Park/Logan Square, will review to the NE and AREA 5, Uptown, will review to the east.

Reviews will be conducted ‘in the round’, as group discussions, and they will be moderated by professors.  No one will be guaranteed a dedicated presentation time, so come prepared to discuss the strategies you utilized to investigate the sites and the information, observations and questions you’ve gathered.

We are looking forward to seeing all the various explorations.

ASSIGNMENT 2B: ANATOMY (Influences of Chicago)

S15 A306

ASSIGNMENT 2B_ANATOMY (Influences of Chicago)

download PDF here – S15 ARCH 306_ASSIGNMENT 2B_ANATOMY


Using the terms and criteria that we have begun to define and develop in the ‘Memory’ and ‘Bodies’ exercises, examine one of the prescribed territories in Chicago and model it.  Build an open system or framework model that will become your tool for investigating and exploring your specific territory.   This is the territory you will be designing the IDEAhaus in.


– Fieldwork

– Explore the city with intent

– Develop new understandings of place based on observation and modeling

– Use observations to develop ‘thick’ questions about site, place and time.

– Learn to build models and tools and armatures for exploration



In studio, select one of the six (6) ‘points of departure’ from where you will begin your research.  The points of departure are described as cartesian block coordinates (addresses) within the city :

  1. 800 EAST / 5100 SOUTH
  1. 1600 WEST / 3500 SOUTH
  1. 800 WEST / 2200 SOUTH
  1. 3000 WEST / 2000 NORTH
  2. 1200 WEST / 4800 NORTH


The ‘point of departure’ is a point (center) within an ‘AREA OF INTEREST’ that is to be explored.  The ‘AREA OF INTEREST’ is the territory defined by a 20 minute walk in every direction from the point of departure.  Very roughly, this territory extends a mile in the cardinal directions radiating from the point of departure.

In your small teams, visit the site.  Systematically observe the entire area of interest by any and all means available to you.  Observe.  Record.  Collect.  Transact.  Socialize. Repeat.


Build a model that is a framework or a tool for study and investigation.  Choose materials that are simple and easy to work with, abstract in their representational nature (green does not equal grass) and create a model that you can add to, subtract from over the next several weeks. This model will become the primary tool for substantiating your effort and progress.  It is critical to explore how to build models as design tools and not representational objects.

Begin by constructing a model of the place you have visited.  Be specific and actually model the site. There is no rush to be artisitc or intuitive or emotive.  Use high levels of craft, but use modeling processes that can be easily altered.  Models can be as large as you would like, but can be no smaller than 30” x 30”.


Consider the elements that you have observed and recorded and compare them to the vocabulary we have developed thus far in the semester.  Begin to alter your site model to reflect the influences on the site and develop a strategy for modeling them as such. Alter and/or augment your model to reflect these influences.

Influences that define places may include but are not limited to:

demographics culture history infrastructure transit
water parkland politics commerce landmarks
housing food services neighborhoods thresholds
zoning education geology industry density
entertainment movement topography economics tourism
institutions grid energy view sound



  1. Be specific.  Do not be hurried, but as soon as you are able, become as specific as possible about WHY and WHAT you are modeling.  Your model ultimately cannot be investigating too many influences. Again, the model is not intended to be purely representational.  It is intended to be your workspace for investigation.
  2. Use abstraction not to blur but to establish focus for yourself.  Be conscious of how you abstract elements and influences on the site and then be consistent with those rules.  Use abstraction only after you have specifically identified your intent.
  3.   Catalog/Index influences and potentials.  One you are specific about your intent, thoroughly explore that intent.  Pursue every instance of your focus across your area of interest, not just the first instances you observed.



  1.        What phenomena characterize the regions you’ve outlined?  What aspects inform your perception that it has an identity that’s different from its surroundings?  Can you provide evidence to support your observations – via your own empirical observation or collected data?
  2.        How would you characterize the texture of the region?  Is it continuous, a gradient, a distributed field, or another form?
  3.        Are the limits of the region abrupt, or are they fuzzy?  Is the character of these limits similar on all sides?



F 23 Jan                              Assignment launch / Site Visit / Fieldwork

S/S 24-25 Jan Site visits/Field Work

M 26 Jan site observations due in class / class discussion

W/F 28 Jan study models/desk crits

F 30 Jan Modeling as Framework Lecture, study models/desk crits

M/W 2/4 Feb desk crits

F 6 Feb draft final model due




For the review:

  1.  A single site model no smaller than 30”x30”” that represents the Anatomy of your area of interest.
  2.  Any relevant study models.


Note: Photographs of the site will not be permitted as deliverables for the review.


additional resources:

  1. Mark Bradford – http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/mark_bradford.htm (i like this one too for Bradford . . . http://www.pinocchioisonfire.org/)

2. Petra Blaisse, A Personal Impression, Yves Brunier Paysagiste, Birkhauser, 1996, p.19-24.