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c h i c a g o s t u d i t h e e x p e r i e n c 2 0 1 n n e k a s o b e r

o e 3 s


c h i c a g o s t u d i t h e e x p e r i e n c 2 0 1 n n e k a s o b e r

o e 3 s


table of contents preface.......................................................06 work............................................................12 CHINATOWN...........................................14 LAKEVIEW...............................................32 dialogue.....................................................64 PROCESS DIAGRAM...............................66 LECTURE..................................................68 INTERVIEW..............................................94 venture......................................................124


“the chicago studio is not about the project, it’s about making the opportunity worth while” - andrew balster

...so i took that and ran


preface As an urban planing student, the Chicago studio is an exploration of the integration of urban planning as a part of the creative process. Although i may not be an architect, planners are designers too, and the interdisciplinary nature of the studio is the ideal laboratory for me to gauge what planning is to me, and how to contribute to design.


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I am a planner and i think and see things differently. i believe planning is the foundation of problem solving, from which many variations may occur. when it comes to scale, my observations are broad and all-encompassing, but emphasize and celebrate human interactions. with a background in policy, my personal focus is based around urban design and effectively communicating data through visuals. in policy, there are three major factors that are interconnected and shape the outcome of design; people, economics, and environment. facades tell me more about overall population demographics, whuch reveals the community narrative. My planning toolbox may not currently include proficient adobe suite or autocad skills; however, my secret weapon is constantly engaged dialogue with other disciplines and project stakeholders. as a planner and urban designer, my module is not necessarily a site or building, it is the individual and my unit of measurement is the individual’s interaction with space.


where i am

data analysis compiling data community understanding planning as a separate entity from design the knowledge of a planning professional academic insight communication and collaboration with non-designers not wanting to be a traditional city planner

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where i want to be

communication through visuals planning data within the context of the design process translation of community values in design planning as a part of the design process the work experience of a planning professional planning in the realm of public and private sector communication and collaboration with other design disciplines exploration of other planning-related design careers


R a n d y g u i l l o t p r e s e n t s :


WORK AS AN URBAN PLANNER, JUSTIFYING THE DESIGN STRATEGY THROUGH AN ANALYSIS OF EXISTING CONDITIONS IS CRITICAL IN CREATING A PRODUCT THAT ITS USERS CAN RELATE TO. DATA DRIVEN COMMUNITY CENTERED DESIGN IS THE BASIS FOR SMALL SCALE INNOVATION WITH A LONG TERM IMPACT.


chinatown IN COLLABORATION WITH SOM-CHICAGO, AN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO CONSISTING OF THREE ARCHITECTS, ONE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, AND ONE URBAN PLANNING EXPLORED THE POTENTIAL VISION OF THE CHINATOWN COMMUNITY. IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND HOW CHINATOWN FUNCTIONS, SOCIAL AND GEOGRAPHIC RESEARCH ESTABLISHED THE FOUNDATION FROM WHICH THE PROJECT CAN FLOURISH.

WITHIN A RICH NETWORK OF VALUABLE ASSETS, A PROPOSAL FOR A TRANSIT HUB THAT CONNECTS THE RESIDENTS WITHIN CHICAGO TO THE OUTER SUBURBS USING THE EXISTING CTA AND METRA LINES, WILL IMMERSE CHINATOWN WITHIN THE GREATER CHICAGO NETWORK. THE POTENTIAL POPULATION INFLUX FROM THE TRANSIT HUB WILL INSPIRE GREATER INVESTMENTS TO THE CHINATOWN COMMUNITY THROUGH CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT THAT WILL EXTEND CHINATOWN BEYOND THE RIGID SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES THAT HAVE SHAPED THE COMMUNITY SINCE FOR GENERATIONS.

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land use

WENTWORTH AVE

greenspace

SITE CERMAK RD CH

ER

AR

16

E

AV


transportation

wards

2ND WARD

WENTWORTH AVE

25TH WARD

3RD WARD

2ND WARD

SITE CERMAK RD

AR

CH

ER

E

AV

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DOWNTOWN

PILSEN

A THRIVING LATIN- AMERICAN COMMUNITYWITH AN UP AND COMING ART CULTURE.

CENTRAL STATION

MODERN COMMERCIAL AND LUXURY DEVELOPMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY YOUNG FAMILIES AND RECENT RETIREES MOVING FROM THE SUBURBS.

MOTOR ROW

RECENTLY TRANFORMED MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT.

BRIDGEPORT

PRIMARILY AFFORDABLE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD THAT IS A RECENT EXTENSION OF THE CHINATOWN COMMUNITY.

CHINATOWN IS WITHIN A VIBRANT NETWORK OF UNIQUE COMMUNITIES.

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DOUGLAS

A HISTORIC CENTER OF BLACK AMERICAN CULTURE AND THE SITE OF VARIOUS HIGH RISE PUBLIC HOUSING DISTRICTS.


CHINATOWN IS CENTRALLY LOCATED AROUND POPULAR DESTINATIONS.

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CHINATOWN CASE STUDY: HOW OTHER CHINATOWN COMMUNITIES COMPARE TO CHICAGO’S CHINATOWN

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washington, dc

situated near a major metro stop, the physical presence of the gate is the strongest characteristic of dc’s chinatown. the big box stores detract from chinatown rather than engage its unique local businesses.

new york

columbus park serves as a pedestrian corridor to connect new york’s chinatown to surrounding communities. almost all of community activity was along streetfronts activated by street vendors.

san francisco

san francisco’s community activity was not only along the streetfronts, it continued vertically where there were more stores and residential spaces. the neighborhood is extremely active due to a large variety of businesses.


CENSUS DATA AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROVIDED INSIGHT ON COMMUNITIES WITHIN CHINATOWN AND THEIR SPECIFIC INPUT ON THE FUTURE OF THE COMMUNITY.

people

ANALYZING ZONING ORDINANCES AND RAIL EASEMENT CODES DICTATED THE WAY IN WHICH THE TRANSIT HUB CAN BE DESIGNED. THE MAXIMUM BUILDING ENVELOP IS A PROTOTYPE PACKING ALL BUILDING RESTRICTIONS.

RESEARCH: TRANSLATING POLICY AND DEMOGRAPHIC DATA THAT INFORMS THE PHYSICAL DESIGN

zoning

TRANSLATING COMMUNITY INPUT TO OVERALL GOALS TO IMPROVE THE CHINATOWN COMMUNITY, WHILE UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET SEGMENT YIELD SPECIFIC SITE PROGRAMS IN ADDITION TO MEASURING POTENTIAL COMMUNITY IMPACT.

program 21


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CITY BLOCKS TO THE NEAREST RI METRA STOP

87%

4,070

PEOPLE TRAVEL THROUGH THE CTA RED LINE CHINATOWN STATION DAILY

25% 39%

OF POPULATION HAS INCREASED SINCE 2000

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OF POPULATION UNDER 35 HAS EXPANDED

7,254 INDIVIDUALS LIVE IN CHINATOWN

OF RESIDENTS ARE OF CHINESE DESCENT

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IS THE AVERAGE AGE


chicago studio academia

MAST

ER PLA

TRANS

N TO M

IT ORI

AXIMIZ E COM

ENTED

FEEDBACK ON PROJECT FEASIBILITY

ANALYTIC INSIGHT

MUNIT

Y ASS

DEVEL

OPME

ETS AN

NT PLA

D CON

N

NECTIO

N TO G

REATE

R CHIC

AGO

casl

chinese american service league

UNITY

OMM SIVE C

EN MPREH

CO

STING

HARVE

ENTIT

OOD ID

BORH NEIGH

PLAN

community

N

VISIO Y AND

cmap

chicago metropolitan agency for planning government

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CHINATOWN OUR VISION FOR THE HEART OF

A NEW HUB FOR

TRANSFER ACROSS SCALES ACROSS BOUNDARIES BETWEEN TRAINS

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A

HEART FOR CHINATOWN COMMUNTIY BUILDING

LIBRARY

SINCE TRANSPORTATION HAS PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN CHINATOWN’S HISTORY; HOWEVER THE LINES OF TRANSPORTATION HAVE PHYSICALLY AND SOCIALLY ISOLATED CHINATOWN. THE TRANSIT HUB IS A CELEBRATION AND TRANSCENDENCE OF THE HISTORIC BOUNDARIES, BY CONNECTING THE TWO RAIL LINES, THE EASE OF TRAVEL WILL CONNECT CHINATOWN RESIDENTS TO THE GREATER CHICAGO AREA, WHILE INCREASED BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTIAL SPACE WILL ATTRACT THE OUTSIDE POPULATION TO THE CHINATOWN COMMUNITY. 27


EXPANDING UPON THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH’S CHINATOWN CORRIDOR STUDY, AN ANALYSIS OF THE EXISTING PATTERNS ALONG THESE CORRIDORS WAS CONDUCTED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE HOW THE TRANSIT HUB WILL EFFECT THE CORRIDORS’ SIGNIFICANCE AS WELL AS CHINATOWN’S SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS AND AMENITIES.

ER

CERMAK

WENTWORTH

CH AR

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lakeview

Urban Mapping is a research and action study that provides an opportunity to investigate, analyze, and explore why crime occurs in the Lakeview community. By breaking down local crime patterns through connecting seemingly disparate geographic data, the patterns revealed through the simultaneous overlay of data became the foundation to crime disruption through community scale design interventions. Inspired by the dialogue among decision makers, residents, and business owners within the Lakeview community, the collaboration of Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning department and Chicago Studio innovated small scale actions to disrupt long-term crime. Urban Mapping transcends the function of a tool and becomes a universal language that reshapes general understandings of community crime in order to reimagine greater possibilities within the Lakeview community.

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LOCATION OF CRIME

PEDESTRIAN CONCENTRATION 1 PERSON DIVVY BIKE ROUTE BIKE SHOP

IRVING PARK

NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST MULTI-LANE

BR AY

DW OA

BELMONT

SHEFIELD

EVERY CRIME REPORTED BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 9 TO OCTOBER 9 IN 2013

VIOLENT PROPERTY QUALITY OF LIFE

PEDESTRIAN + BIKE

STREET TYPE

1 PERSON AREAS OF CONCENTRATION

WEEKLY CONCENTRATION

LAKEVIEW LAKEVIEW STUDYSTUDY ON CRIME ON CRIME 17

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LAKEVIEWLAKEVIEW STUDY ON STUDY CRIMEON CRIME 19

LAKEVIEW LAKEVIEW STUDY STUDY ON CRIME ON CRIME 21

LAKEVIEW STUDY ON CRIME

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PEDESTRIAN CONCENTRATION

TRANSPORTATION

NIGHT ATTRACTIONS

LAKEVIEW CHICAGO

CRIME TYPE

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WHY DOES LOCAL CRIME OCCUR?

PHYSICAL FACTORS OF LOCAL CRIME

GEOGRAPHIC RESEARCH AMENITIES COMMUNITY TRANSPORTATION IMPROVING ENVIRONMENT

ALDERMAN’S OFFICE

STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY

POLICE RESIDENTS COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS SOCIAL SERVICES BUSINESS OWNERS DIALOGUE SOCIAL FACTORS OF LOCAL CRIME OBJECTIVE

METHOD

TOOLS

GOAL


DESIGN INTERVENTIONS THAT ENGAGE

STREETS, PEOPLE, AND INFORMATION RESOURCES

HOW CAN CRIME BE DISRUPTED?

DISRUPTING CRIME THROUGH


S IPLE C IN PR INFORMATION

ACCESSIBILITY

OBJ ECT IVE S

COMMUNITY

ECONOMY

A. IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF PUBLIC SPACES AND STREETSCAPES

SUSTAINABILITY

B. CREATING A MORE COHESIVE, WELCOMING NEIGHBORHOOD

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C. IMPLEMENTING UNIVERSALIZING SHORT-TERM MEANS OF ACTION FOR LONG-TERM ACCESSING RELIABLE CHANGE INFORMATION

PLEASURE


DESIGN NS TIO N E V R INTE SION

L INCLU

CIA FOR SO

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PRESENT CONDITION:

Due to its unique local shops, active street fronts are heavily traffic by pedestrians. However, the high volume of pedestrian activity during day and night activities facilitate the risk of theft of sidewalks. Since crime occurs when there is a lack of activity or visibility, such activity occurs around the sides of underutilized buildings. 44


DESIGN STRATEGY:

The facades of buildings, where crime occurs more frequently, can be transformed into an interactive canvas. A projector can be installed to display live recordings of street activity on walls of adjacent buildings. Not only will individuals be entertained by being apart of the live broadcast, the virtual canvas becomes a statement of public awareness and misconduct prevention. 45


PRESENT CONDITION:

Chicago’s most popular bus and train routes are woven throughout Lakeview. Due to the popularity of the CTA, especially within Lakeview, the location of the CTA stops have become a harbor of activity. Since CTA stops are the primary pivots to how individuals arrive and depart from Lakeview, these locations are critical harbors for information and crime prevention. 46


DESIGN STRATEGY:

This text message service is a platform that is able to answer local questions using a specific bus stop ID. By texting a brief question to ‘311’, Smart Stop is able to give information on when the next bus/train arrives, location of parks, and local businesses, as well as share community news. All Smart Stops can provide information on TXT2TIP in order to encourage individuals to report suspicious activity. 47


PRESENT CONDITION:

Since most crime occurs at night on busy streets, the use of light is able to draw more attention to crime prone areas. The current Lakeview LIGHT THE NIGHT pilot program encourages residents to keep outdoor lights on; however the current initiative is not widespread and increases the negative implications of localized light pollution. 48


DESIGN STRATEGY:

Projecting local art onto high crime areas creates a more pleasant illuminated atmosphere. Since the LED lighting projections will be showcased on underutilized and vacant buildings, the lighting installation will not distract neighboring residences while minimizing the light pollution risk. The installation becomes an active installation that celebrates and supports local artist. Information on the installation and featured artists can be accessed through the 44thward.org and App. 49


PRESENT CONDITION:

Currently, there is a lack of communal space; places where all communities have equal ownership. The impact of equal ownership has a significant influence on creating a positive community perception. The interactions and exchange of dialogue among various individuals enables a person to learn the diversity of other residents and communities. 50


DESIGN STRATEGY:

The designated mural is a space to share the stories of Lakeview. As an outlet for an inclusive neighborhood conversation, the mural becomes and interactive immersion for community news and input. By providing this public platform, the mural can become a collaborative space for Alderman’s office to harvest community ideas, support, and action. 51


PRESENT CONDITION:

Since most of Lakeview’s parks are allocated to the lake front, there is a need for distributed pockets of greenspace within the neighborhood. In addition to the lack of greenspace, the Alderman’s office and the Lakeview Master Plan would like to encourage more volunteer based initiatives.

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DESIGN STRATEGY:

Unique from current volunteer opportunities, this urban orchard is an educational network among communities that would currently do not interact. Organized by transient residents, the garden is an opportunity for exchange and ownership accessible to all community members. Since the garden is not in a traditional ground bed, the plants will be unaffected by tainted urban soil and runoff. 53


PRESENT CONDITION:

Although there is a wide variety of community organizations that have designated meeting spaces throughout Lakeview, a centralized community space does not exist. The vacant properties within Lakeview disrupt the continuation of an active street front, which attract crime activity.

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DESIGN STRATEGY:

As a “Residence for Everyone”, this flexible space can accommodate a variety of functions. From meetings, workshops, to markets, this multifaceted space is a community center that facilitates a convergence point of all community interaction. Reserved through the Alderman’s office, the space is operated and maintained by volunteer transient residents as a way to increase social inclusion. 55


PRESENT CONDITION:

From Chicago Pride to Rock Around The Block, Lakeview is a festive community with a dynamic population. The current festival and events are just as diverse as the as the residents and organizations that host them. However, there is a lack of an initiative to celebrate the unity of all communities within Lakeview.

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DESIGN STRATEGY:

In addition to celebrating individuals communities within Lakeview, this event celebrates all variety of individuals and communities of Lakeview. As an extension of the ‘Good Neighbor Contract’, this festival showcases all community initiatives. In order to be truly inclusive, participation from the Alderman’s Office, Social Services, Police, Business Owners, Neighborhood Committees, Block Clubs, and Residents must be collaborative. 57


USER’S GUIDE

PRESENT CONDITION:

Although the Alderman’s office releases a weekly virtual newsletter, the newsletter only gets distributed to individuals who have had the opportunity to access the listserv sign-up. Those who are new to the neighborhood or have not had the opportunity to participate in community initiatives usually do not obtain an active knowledge of community news and updates. 58


DESIGN STRATEGY:

As a unique initiative to welcome new residents to the community, this insider’s guide features information on local history, culture, amenities, community vision plan, and the ‘Good Neighbor Agreement’. Not only will the guide distributed to new homeowners, it will be distributed to Social Services for transient residents and current residents. 59


PRESENT CONDITION:

In order to receive more information on crime, residents use official crime websites and various neighborhood blogs. Spotcrime.com is reliable, but difficult to navigate for additional information on crime reports; while other blogs, written by local residents, are frequently accessed, but not contain bias. In order to create a safer neighborhood, the perception of the crime activity must rely on a consistent and accessible source. 60


www.lakeviewcrime.com

LAKEVIEW CRIME STATS CRIME 1 CRIME 2 CRIME 3

TIPS 2 PREVENT CRIME Don’t talk to strangers

Be aware

Report suspicious activity

DESIGN STRATEGY:

As a way to distribute accurate information without overwhelming residents, this website features basic infographics based on live crime data. Linked to spotcrime.com, this website compiles concise data into a user friendly interface. The website can be linked to the 44thward.org and App in order to reinforce the Alderman’s office website as the reliable and consistent information source. 61


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DIALOUGe AS AN ASPIRING DESIGNER, CONVERSATION HAS BEEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL OF INSPIRATION. BY ENGAGING LEADERS, BOTH DESIGNERS AND NON-DESIGNERS, I CAPTURE MOTIVATION THROUGH LEARNING FROM THE LESSONS OF OTHERS. through wisdom, i have possessed captivating stories that can guide me through my path of self understanding.


RES

K

66

BAC

ION

CLIENT STAKEHOLDER PLANNER

STRA D FEE

SAT

VER CON

EAR CH

GOAL SET

ARCHITECT ENGINEER


TOT PRO

PLA

N

TIO

LUA

EVA

YPE

FEASIBILITY

N

ATEGY

like an assembly line, the design process is a progression that showcases specialized knowledge in parts in order to create the whole.

DESIGNER PLANNER

CONTRACTOR CLIENT PLANNER 67


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Dialogue through lecture

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R a n d y g u i l l o t p r e s e n t s :

CANNON DESIGN Principal

Maybe not being the best at school was not Randy’s most encouraging moment, but that did not deter his passions for design. Although academics are important in establishing a young designer in the field, randy delved in the practice and found that he was better at grasping the profession through experience as oppose to academia. Given his vast experience in the field, randy has had countless encounters, both positive and negative, that have shaped his approach to the design profession. Inspired by his journey from an unsure young professional to the design principal for cannon design, randy wishes to share his design principles based on his personal experiences. 70

Randy’s top 10 rules of being successful in the design world

1. Build meaningful relationships Through hard work

6. Listen to me and Ignore me; fight For your ideas

2. Communication is everything

7. Don’t Expect the outcome, set your Self up for discovery; let Discovery lead you places

3. Have broad influences and Mentors; you always earn through Engagement 4. Accept that we suck at time Management; understand perceived Importance so you know the Direction of your focus 5. Your client is your partner

8. Promote your strengths 9. Don’t be an asshole; be kind and do Things for others 10. There is always more than one Right answer; don’t feel Absolutely sure about everything


“Don’t pursue the opportunity, wait for the opportunity to present itself” Randy guillot’s uncertainty about entering the work force was contributed being unsure and confused and often discouraged by his undergraduate experience. Randy may not have had the highest grades, and his introverted nature made him often retract from engaging in extracurricular activities. By not being immersed in design through extracurricular experience, randy was only limited to academics as a measure of his suitability in the design profession. Although grades were what randy mostly relied on, his academic performance made him feel unequipped to become an architect. It was not until he entered the work force that randy realized that grades were not a measure of character and passion. His studies only measured a narrow scope of his strengths, but real-world experience is what suited randy best to unveil his ultimate potential. The tips that resonated most are: 2. communication is everything AS A DESIGNER, “WE DO NOT BUILD THINGS, REPRESENT THING”, BUT IN ORDER TO DO SO WE HAVE TO IMMERSE OURSELVES IN A MUTUAL DIALOGUE AS A WAY TO HELP US RELATE TO OTHERS AND CONNECT WITH OUR PROJECT. 3. HAVE BROAD INFLUENCES AND MENTORS IN ADDITION TO ENGAGING THROUGH DIALOGUE, DESIGNERS SHOULD NOT ONLY ASSOCIATE WITH OTHER DESIGNERS. OUR PASSIONS SHOULD BE FUELED BY EVERYDAY INDIVIDUALS WITH POWERFUL STORIES AND DREAMS. AS I DESIGNER, IT IS MY SOCIAL OBLIGATION TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE ORDINARY PERSON, AND THEIR NEEDS AND STORIES ARE THE WHAT TRULY INSPIRE MY WORK. 7. DON’T EXPECT THE OUTCOME; SET YOURSELF UP FOR DISCOVERY SOMETIMES HAVING A RIGID PLAN LIMITS THE SPONTANEOUS POSSIBILITIES THAT MAY PRESENT THEMSELVES. BY ELIMINATING THE FIND DETAILS AND EXTRACTING OVERALL GOALS, ONE WOULD BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE WITH FLEXIBILITY. 71


Drew ranieri presents:

SCB ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL

Founded on a structure of liability that mitigates and minimizes errors, Contracts are mutual Agreements, in order to enhance work product. Contracts establish the perimeters of the relationship between the owner, architect, and contractor on a specified project.

Components of a contract include: Fee time materials schedule scope risk/responsibility work product

Owner

concept design schematic design Architect

Contractor

Contracts are fundamentally important because they reduce risk as well as clarify responsibilities and what is to be provided. Overall, contracts are a legal method to ensuring that both vested parties benefit from the project. 72

design development construction documents bidding construction administration

year 1

year 2 year 3

process from architecture to construction


“THE [DESIGN] PROCESS IS PERSONAL, BUT THE PRODUCT IS FOR THE CLIENT� Since contracts establish a system of responsibility in order to mitigate the risk of inadequate service, architecture firms as well as governments utilize contracts to ensure a quality product. Government planning contracts are similar in nature to the components that Drew identified; however, very depending on the project. Governments tend to contract outside urban planning agencies to create comprehensive plans. Outside planning agencies serve as a specialized, nonpolitical entity that can guide the community vision with an agenda. Planning agencies assists governments with project management, policy regulations, and research as mechanisms to package into a comprehensive plan. In comprehensive planning, which is a local guide identifying potential in physical, social, and economic opportunities, the planning procedure takes approximately one to two years to complete. A general contract would require the following services: scoping, baseline data, public outreach analytical methods, conceptual alternatives, feasibility study, impact study, mitigation measures, public review, final plan, and evaluation plan. In order to produce the deliverables, access to restricted government information, therefore, contract waive the right to access such documents to the planning agency. the adjacent figure is an example of a comprehensive plan timeline, which is has been published by chicago metropolitan agency for planning (CMAP). regarding the relationship of a contract, the client within the a government planning contract serves a dual identity. although the contract is administered by the government, the government represents its constituents, therefore, the contract must adhere to the conditions established by the government, but represent the interests of the public. that is why public forum is a unique process within the planning profession. 73


mitesh dixit presents:

tu delft Professor

Completing undergraduate and graduate work in politics and philosophy, Mitesh Dixit has a strong conceptual grasp of design. Being that design is ocularcentric, Mitesh notes that design is a privileged sense and should enrich all senses.

In addition to generational values, design should not be based around the ‘-ism’. Since ‘-isms’ are distinctive ideologies are movements whose validity or expression change throughout time, they are prone to corrupting what design could be.

In order to enrich the senses, there are particular philosophies that serve as the foundation to the inspiration of the design practice. Since consciousness and societal mentalities change throughout generations, timeless design should not strictly tailor to such ephemeral principles; the truest principles should be founded in the ocularcentric, because the engagement of the senses are consistent.

When defining what a city is, Mitesh views the city to be a continuous urban fabric that is woven of unique fibers. Since the urban system is so complex, Mitesh suggests that problem identifying as oppose to problem solving is the most proactive approach. The only tool to do so is through architecture, because “architecture is everything”.

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the city composition

conglomerate: pieces and factions of individual interests and motives

city: continuity of urban fabric


“design is not the ends, but the means; a tool to relieving the issue” Architecture is not everything, design is everything. Design is to create, but architecture is not the only means to execute. Like other related disciplines, architecture is a mere element of a network greater than itself. It is interesting, that whenever i talk to architects they seem to claim that it is through architecture that progressive innovation can be made, but when i speak to planners, the consensus is that planning is what really matters. Understanding both sides of the spectrum, I believe that such conversations are irrelevant. Based on mitesh’s stance that ‘-isms’ corrupt what design could be, i would argue that architecture and planning are too ‘-isms’ that prevent effective design if they are treated as factions. Architecture, planning, landscape, interior, industrial, engineering are all disciplines that are indeed specialized, but not disparate. One may prefer working within a particular field as oppose to the other, but the only progressive conversation that should take place among the fields is how holistic design is able to shapes the way society functions; the various design fields are mere tools that have a specific role in the design process, but are equal in significance. All disciplines must acknowledge their place within the realm of design and not compete over which discipline is more prominent. It is true that the work of some disciplines is more visible than others at surface level; however all disciplines are equally significant and inherently interconnected. When identifying and solving complex problems, the specialized knowledge of one particular field is not enough to address all aspects of the problem. The complexity of the design problems should induce interdisciplinary collaboration. In order to proactively participate in a greater design discussion, it is still important for fields to be united within in order to interconnect with other fields. In order for holistic design to work, it must be uniformly united and all disciplines must aspire to achieve a greater good that transcends the narrow scope of the profession. Like a city, design is made up of a wide array of materials that undergo individual process; however, a city would not be strong and design would be ineffective if the materials are not woven together harmoniously.

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Natasha krol mauskapf presents:

mckinsey & co engagement manager

Design thinking is an extremely unique for its creative approach to solving complex or wicked problems; however, design thinking is not only limited to the design profession. Referring to her position at Mckinsey Consultants as a “Doctor for businesses�, Natasha’s career is based on defining problems and establishing perimeters in which her design solutions can make the most positive impact. In order to define a problem, recognize existing patterns that inform the constraints of the design solution. After defining the problem, synthesize multiple perspectives by asking the right questions and scaling the impact. By utilizing a vast scope of mediums, you are able to become more cognitive of your approach that is based on engagement, not content. 76


“no field is relevant if it’s simply isolated” Natasha has always been passionate about her design education, but majoring in architecture did not limit her to being an architect. At being one of two professionals with a design education at a 2,000 employee firm, Natasha has a unique approach to a traditional practice. Being a strategist requires a level of rational thinking that is unique to design thinkers. With an emphasis on empathy and creativity, design thinking is the continuous buildup of ideas. The crescendo of ideation is what inspires out-of-the-box innovation that disrupts the design problem. In design thinking, the content is irrelevant in comparison to the method of engagement. Conducting research and case interviews inform the perspective of how to address the problem, while the overall method of engagement is then manner in which you learn, which is by empathetic immersion. Exploring the e invisible, and identifying the problem is a critical step that is the basis of the design method. In order to do so, Natasha starts off by working with the clients. The clients are the experts and by knowing how to ask the right questions can get to the root of the problem. Learning how to ask the right questions is grounded in understanding why things are the way they are. For example, Natasha’s most recent project was to identify why polio is still prevalent in Nigeria. going into the project, she started off understanding statistics and geographic correlations to where polio exists, but after having a meeting with Nigeria’s health professionals, Natasha soon realized that the problem she wishes to identify is not about where polio exists, it was about increasing government and health accountability to make sure that the proper treatment is being administered to the appropriate demographic. The rich network of effectiveness, efficiency, and influence that design thinking promotes is supported by the use of difference mediums that you are not necessarily familiar with to improve your cognitive approach. Such mediums includes material, methods, and even people. Innovation should not be the start of the design process. Construct your own perimeters that are founded in the values of the of those who will be affected by the project, and administer the design thinking process through an active method of engagement.

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G e o f f

W a l t e r s

p r e s e n t s :

CANNON DESIGN Director of quality

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Understanding the role of feedback is critical element that is highly emphasized in the integrative process. Feedback should include input from all stakeholders within the process, this include colleagues and clients. Understanding the objectives and critique from other disciplines will inform design thinking within a realm apart from the discipline that you are comfortable working within.

business/management

referring to the ‘three legged stool’, projects and departments can be organized based on specialization of perspective, yet all departments, or ‘legs’, play in equal role in developing the project. The equal integration of related spheres of expertise that inform the product design is the style of collaboration that Geoff promotes are cannon design. Collaboration is mostly

effective when the integration of practical considerations is optimized through design thinking. Apart from collaborating, seeking is another critical tool to defining and solving a problem; however seeking is a simultaneous process that is advanced through collaborative dialogue.

Technical design

Being the director of quality at cannon design for over 36 years, Geoff is responsible for developing and evaluating levels of consistency for cannon’s projects. In order to establish standards that can be applicable to all aspects of a project, the standards must mirror the objectives and organization of the relevant departments.


“if you don’t screw it up, you lose an opportunity to learn something” Collaboration in an interdisciplinary field is critical to achieving a holistic design solution. Identified by Geoff’s three-legged stool, there are primary professions that are specialized but not separate. The specialized knowledge within a profession important when understanding small-scale details of a project. Since it is impossible to be an expert at everything, understanding other realms will allow you to better incorporate a background understanding and consideration for a more effective design. Since the nature of the design field cannot be compiled into one profession, you must have a greater understanding of everything in order to have enough knowledge to simultaneously inform design thinking. Geoff’s close account of the interdisciplinary collaboration at cannon design has revived his passion for his career. He claims that the greatest aspect of his job is mentoring his colleagues. Mentoring is a productive ethical relationship that is fundamental in guiding the colleagues learning experience without the traditional hierarchical structure. Within a creative and flexible profession, the design process may not adhere to linear progress; therefore, improvisation occurs throughout the process. Mentoring is a learning tool that supports experience-based comprehension as oppose to memorization. But comprehending through positive and negative experiences, the mentee will be more prepared to succeed spontaneous obstacles throughout the course of a project. For countless reasons, no one wants to fail; however, making mistakes is natural and creates an opportunity to learn something new. Although making mistakes is embarrassing and sometimes costly, do not lose sight on how learning from mistakes is an opportunity to grow as a professional and individual, because that is the ultimate reward. An atmosphere of growth should be promoted in the workplace and mentorship. Assessing and overcoming your weaknesses and mistakes is a wise action that will ultimately improve your work and respect in the workplace.

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c h i p

v o n

w e i s e

p r e s e n t s :

vwa PRINCIPAL

Managing your own firm is not a simple task. Although Von Weise associates (vwa) staffs nine professionals, being the principal is not about telling others what to do. Chip’s leadership role transcends the rigid hierarchical structure and embraces an inclusive dialogue among all disciplines and roles within a Von Weise Associates project. Before a project is fully executed. The initiative process is critical in order to establish a consistent platform with fundamental information’s that established the parameters in which the project can be developed. Understanding the distribution of labor and knowledge within the firm should be taken advantage by knowing how to 80

arrange the labor and knowledge in a holistic way that is diverse in experience and specialization; therefore there will be no gaps in the procedure. apart from encouraging the diversification of expertise within the workplace, chip also diversifies his role of being the principal of vwa. chip’s responsibilities include designing, marketing projects, and managing interior and exterior affairs. the multi-facets of von weise associates project scope reflects chip’s ideals of what makes good architecture; designing for the client.

chip’s project initiation checklist: - Client proposal - job identification number - project date and time line - digital file entry - project goal board (include client objectives and goals/program) - project checklist by phase


“bad architecture is when form is more important than the clients’ objectives” To expand upon chip’s concept of what “good” and “bad” architect, I support the notion that architecture is fundamentally bad when form is more important than the client’s objectives; however, i do not believe that the individual who is signing the check is the only entity that matters in the design product. Architecture is a perfection based around the exploration of small-scale details. On the opposite side of the spectrum, urban planning relates to a significantly larger scale than a building. Not suggesting that architects readjust their scale, I believe that the context they use to inform their small-scale details should be based around a larger scope. In addition to the client being the expert, the users of the space and its neighborhood context need to have a voice in influencing the objectives for the design product. It is the designers’ responsibility to utilize technical knowledge and creative thinking to promote human-centered design. Human-centered design is practice that emphasizes the connection of people to the design process so that the final product can better serve its constituents. I understand and appreciate the value of aesthetics, but what is the purpose of a structure that is provocative in form but lacks an appropriate function? Instead of criticizing architects for falling in the trap of putting form before function, investors and contractors need to join the conversation on human-centered design. Design is not only limited to the artist, but investors and contractors must understand the boundaries of profit-making and social harm and be held accountable for social and environmental sustainability of a project. Governments, designers, and corporations have an extreme amount of influence on societal behaviors. In order to redefine what criteria makes a community safe or resilient, the collaboration among those entities will yield powerful revolutions. Architects no longer have to stand for only caring about form and designers no longer have to work within the limits within archaic order, because creativity has no boundaries. Once designers and other fields collectively view themselves as well as visionaries, the shift from form will inspire a significant influence on impact.

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i k e r

g i l

p r e s e n t s :

mas studio Director

Seeing a need and having a passion for understanding and celebrating the greater context that extends beyond architecture, Iker Gil created MAS CONTEXT, a publication that serves as an exploration of a particular topic through multiple viewpoints. Inspired by the submissions to MAS CONTEXT, and longing to work on more projects, Iker Gil founded MAS STUDIO which is a physical design extension of MAS Context’s academic scope. MAS STUDIO only “works on projects [they] find important”, which is exploring and executing designs that reflect the people the project is intended for. In order to design for the user, MAS STUDIO conducts comprehensive research that informs the designer of the needs 82

and potential for the existing condition. Using data, images, and essays that span across various perspectives, the collective nature of MAS Studio’s research reflects the studio’s interdisciplinary approach to designing social impact projects within the urban realm.

space and increases economic value while creating a public center.

from understanding Wisconsin’s history

Not only does designing for positive social impacts entail a strong research platform, the data conducted in the research should be represented to portray a narrative that captures the spirit of the existing condition of the site and its surrounding context. By understanding the surrounding context, the designer can identify underutilized assets then redesign them in a way that activates the

to relating the culture into a vernacular design


“good design reflects its users” Iker gil is a one-man show at mas studio. Although trained in architecture, the studio’s projects feature a rich scope of existing conditions that showcases the community narrative. Storytelling is a fundamental tool of reciprocal communication between the community and the client, which is mediated by urban planners. Storytelling is often overlooked in the planning process. Most planners harvest the community voice, but having a mutual understanding of community issues is just as important as the community relating to planning policies and topics. Using policy is seen as a conceptual that is unrelatable to the human experience. However, policy is an interactive mechanism that shapes the attitude and perimeters of in which a society can function. Finding, creating, analyzing, and sharing the story is an art that helps designers, clients, and community members understand a place, policy, and person within a social context that is not easily revealed in geographic data and plans. The way planners tell the community story is through designing a project that is influenced by community values and shaped around community assets. By activating the gems within the community and designing for those underutilized spaces, the project is tailored in a way that makes a social impact on the community. Since the process of storytelling and asset evaluation is extensive, Iker utilizes a rich network of other professionals that are able to contribute to the project. Although Iker is the director of an interdisciplinary studio, he is not the expert in every field. Instead, he shares his goals from the perspective of an architect and compromises based on the perspective of the other discipline. Iker Gil on marina city: “I needed to find a way to tell the story of the tenants of marina city, so I hired a photographer. As an architect I told the photographer which spaces of the apartments should be photographed, but as a photographer, the photographer was the expert in knowing at what angle and lighting would be sufficient to make the photograph effective”.

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peter ellis presents:

CANNON DESIGN PRINCIPAL

Being in the design profession since the 1960s and working and leading practices that are both large and small, Peter Ellis has seen and experienced it all. With a vibrant plethora of projects that he has designed, Peter has had a first-hand account on how social, political, and economic conditions relating to his project site have affected the outcome of his work. Although these outside conditions are not conventionally considered to be part of the design process, they inform how the design is shaped; therefore, Peter considers them to be an essential component within design. Whether it be architecture or urban planning, they are both simultaneous and have no distinction. 84

Using his current project with the University of Texas Brownsville as an example, Peter has orchestrated an interdisciplinary team to design physical and virtual environments and measure the design’s impact on the region. In order to tailor the project to a form unique to users, the team identified and showcased existing assets, used design technique that were indigenous to the region, and integrated the campus with the town. Peter stresses designing a master plan is not about planning building, it’s about building the chessboard. Organizing the building system based on zoning, ecology, amenities, and circulation are some of the outside factors that should be a platform to shape an effective design.

no distinction architecture

planning architecture planning

architecture

planning architecture planning


“I may not know the answer, but I have enough knowledge to figure it out� Although peter Ellis uses architecture and urban design interchangeably, i have always treated them as two different fields. I view architecture to be a median between urban design and construction, while urban design in a median between policy and urban planning. I do agree that there should not be a distinction between their level of significance and reciprocity to other fields, but i do believe that their area of specialization is fundamentally different. Passionate about the scope of data driven urban planning and how it translates into a physical design, i am curious to understand the principles of urban design and how the field is structured. Peter’s insight on his latest project in Brownsville, Texas was a vibrant portrait of how urban planning translated into urban design which established the architectural perimeters and was refined through architecture. Since urban design is the medium in which urban planning and architecture collide, the scope of urban design is influenced by two different scales. On an urban planning scale, urban design translates the social context of history, demographics, and data into cultural standards that are articulated by the architecture standards. Since urban design converges foundational knowledge and structural expertise, urban designers also play a role in the visioning. Throughout all stages of the process, urban design organizes spaces around the objective of designing and managing public space. Evaluating the utilization and maximizing the social of economic value of transportation, parks, building typology, is the primary role of an urban designer. The greatest challenge for an urban designer is knowing what to vary and what to hold constant. A wealth of knowledge in understanding the social, environmental, and economic system of each sector of urban design is as fundamental as overlay each system and understanding their connection in order to project potential interactions. An immerging movement within urban design is passive design strategies. These strategies capitalize on existing human ecologies in order to function, as oppose to creating an unsustainable system that does not collaborate with the current order. Most passive design strategies are technical devices based around energy use, but I believe that passive design can be extended to a greater scope that encourages the retrofitting of social and physical organization in order to initiate innovation.

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d a v i d

vdta PRINCIPAL

Since every client is unique, every project will be unique. most of the time, clients do not know the right questions to ask regarding the project, it is important to understand the perimeters and objectives of the client. in order to tailor the clients needs, research is used to understand the smaller scale metrics of the design. throughout the design process, vdta connects with experts in different fields as an exercise of immersion in order to understand other viewpoints from relevant stakeholders. overall, vdta’s research process starts with asking the right questions and ends with measuring success in order to ensure the design is sound and the client is satisfied. 86

r a s c h e

p r e s e n t s :


“transcending and immersing data sets is the basis of good design” As designers, our inspiration is that motives an artistic expression which is captured in the design product. However; such inspiration is not only limited other sources of art, it should also be inspired by data. As an urban planner, the premise of our work is founded in data research. Analyzing land use, demographics, market segments, and environmental performance is a critical method in understanding the existing conditions; however, such data must be extracted into a form that cultivates innovation. Valerio Dewalt Train associates believe that design is the answer to the question and before the answer can be provided, one has to conduct research to ensure that the question is understood. Vdta’s mission statement: “As designers, we take a research-based approach to the design process; it is immersive and specific. This process allows us to explore the client’s dna, user profile, and best practices… by integrating sustainable approaches and technology from the project conception, the ideas become intertwined with the design”. To vdta, research does not have an independent identity, it is the primary step in the design process. Vdta’s methodology is successful because it is organized in a manner that supports research as a procedure to influence the method in which the design product will be administered. The methodology is also flexible and interactive with its stakeholders who are also driving forces that shape the design process and product. by incorporating research in the design process, the designer is able to execute a product that is tailored specifically to the needs of the client and other stakeholders. as an immersion exercise, an interactive research-based process fosters a connection with other disciplines and stakeholders by encouraging role playing. vdta’s method is so successful, 85% of their client return to continue other projects. 87


adam whipple presents:

newcastle ltd project manager

Adam Whipple did not always know what he was going to do with his architecture degree. Throughout his undergraduate career, Adam believed that once he received his architecture degree and certification, it would be a given that he would become an architect; however, there were elements of being an architect that he did not wish to pursue. After joining the military and enrolling in GSD, Adam put his interest and hobbies to the forefront and not let his degrees dictate his career path. at newcastle, adam breaks down complex problems and budgets resources. with a creative education, he uses his design sense to extract value. 88


“If you don’t like what’s being said, then change the conversation” For the past five years, architecture has been consistently ranked as one of the undesirable academic studies since the post graduate unemployment rates are so high. The economic anxiety of many firms and developers have decreased the number of projects and the funding to develop underutilized properties. Such circumstances have dispersed the traditional responsibilities of an architect among more specialized professions, making it more difficult for an architect to find a suitable available career. For the careers that are available, most require extensive experience, which may be difficult to attain for a recent graduate. Not only do architects experience such difficulties when entering the workforce, design disciplines have shifted from traditional practices and have evolved to become more exclusive and specialized. The structure of academia may be flexible regarding style of learning, but its isolation of from real world opportunities does not equip its students with the proper tools to navigate themselves through an ambiguous job market. Although the state of the economy or the structure of academia may not prepare a young designer for a steady career; however, it is the responsibility of the individual to let curiosity uncover one’s passion. The gesture of self-discovery is independent of economic and academic variables. Starting with three honest questions, “what am i good at”, “what do i like”, “who do i want to be around”, is the start to critical to starting to understand what career is most appropriate. Although I study urban planning, does not mean that becoming a planner is my best career option. I am extremely creative and unconventional, I like to work on smaller scale fast paced projects, and I want to be in a quirky energetic work place. Therefore, a traditional planning profession is not what I would be happy with, and since I have extracted qualities within myself and my academic career that I am most passionate about, I have a greater sense of career choice that works best for me. I am not less of a design professional, but I will not let the economy or my degree compromise my full potential.

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L a u r a

f i s h e r

p r e s e n t s :

ipm consulting ltd Managing director

Being a certified architect and managing director while being one of few woman in the office, laura fisher is a powerhouse within the corporate and design realm. although having studied architecture in undergrad, laura had a difficult time finding her fit within the architecture profession. having worked at a bank on a whim, laura discovered her passion for business and finance. although she attained her mba, laura is not less of an architect within the real estate corporation in which she works. even though her everyday duties do not require the technical components of architecture, laura’s design background serves as a create catalyst to inspire and innovate the functions within her profession. 90

laura’s advice on starting your career

1. keep in touch/ be remembered 2. eliminate tunnel vision, be open to any opportunities

7. note the culture of the places you are applying to and make sure you are suited and comfortable with the environment

3. network within a professional organization

8. have a virtual portfolio, and monitor your digital persona

4. volunteer in what you are passionate about

9. keep a career folder that has a list of all of your projects and Champion your efforts

5. keep learning, and get certified 10. be confident and stay inspired 6. If you need help, just ask


“you can still be an architect even if you don’t design buildings” Metamorphosing from an architect and rebranding herself as a corporate architect, Laura fisher’s journey reflects how architecture students are not only limited to be architects. While changing careers, Laura did not lose sight of her original architecture inspirations. In fact, her transition to business and real estate reflects fundamental elements in architecture. Form At the beginning of the process, it is important to not have a rigid idea of an ideal career. Have a general understand that are founded by personal interests, but not accommodating for flexibility is detrimental to the growth process. Plan/section Although a detailed plan of the desired career path may not be initially apparent or attainable. Starting a section allows for small scale steps in order to gain greater insight on a long term trajectory. The incremental nature of a detailed section leaves room for flexibility in tailoring a career. Color When exploring opportunities, it is important to be immersed in a vibrant network of endless opportunities. Since the career exploration is to discover a career choice that extends beyond traditional architecture practice, being open to all opportunities will give insight and what careers are more suitable. Material BEING Equipped WITH THE PROPER TOOLS IS WHAT PREPARES AN INDIVIDUAL TO ENGAGE IN ALL STEPS OF CAREER Exploration. A primary material discovery which career is best is conversation. Networking with professionals that are in different fields. Keep a broad a circle of influence that features a variety of perspectives. Line A CONTINUOUS PROGRESSION OF achievement throughout the process is essential in order measure success and failures in achieving goals. Lines are influenced by the materials used, therefore, the effectiveness of the materials will influence the feasibility of the career trajectory. 91


j o h n

s y v e r s t e n

p r e s e n t s :

CANNON DESIGN Senior Principal

Given that space is a reinforcer of human interaction, john syversten’s later career places a greater emphasis on public interest and social impact. like team 10’s focus on human values a method to humanize modernism, john has embraced the shift from narcissism to the broadening of realm of architecture that has occurred in the past 15 years. not inspired by a single person, but a collection of individuals, john surrounds himself with heartfelt text and passionate dream seekers, because inspiration is not static. inspiration requires an constant engagement since it sustains the idealistic individual through constant breaths, not inconsistent thought. 92

what makes a good leader to john and team 10 Admiration for people not defensive

not speaking to you, but being with you

not conscious of hierarchical role, but conscious of role in sincerity no limits, full of passion


“know that what you are doing really matters and makes a difference” AS A DESIGNER, I HAVE A SOCIAL OBLIGATION TO MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES. AMBITIOUS BY NATURE, THE INNOVATIONS MADE THROUGH DESIGN HAVE INSPIRED A GREAT INFLUENCE ON DISRUPTING THE PERILS OF A COMMUNITY. ALTHOUGH THE IDEAS OF HUMAN CENTERED DESIGN HAVE BEEN POPULAR BUZZ TERMS IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, THE LEGACY OF TEAM 10 IS A CLASSIC PARABLE THAT HAS INSPIRED BOTH JOHN SYVERSTEN AND I TO NEVER TAKE OUR ABILITY TO MAKE CHANGE FOR GRANTED. BEING AN ACTIVIST IS BEING A LEADER WITHIN ITS MOST SINCERE FORM. TO BE PASSIONATE ENOUGH TO EDUCATE ONESELF, AS WELL AS OTHERS, ON AN TOPIC THAT ONE FINDS SIGNIFICANT WITHOUT ENCOURAGING ANY UNNECESSARY PRAISE IS EXTREMELY HONORABLE. TO BE BOLD ENOUGH TO IMMERSE ONESELF WITHIN AN INTENSELY RICH EXPERIENCE FOUNDED ON A BELIEF OF WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG IS TYPE OF LEADER THAT THE DESIGN FIELD NEEDS. SOMETIMES THE DETERMINATION IS PRESENT, BUT THE MOTIVATIONS ARE SHALLOW, OR THE DEDICATION HAS BEEN WARN THIN, BUT WHO IS TO SAY THAT A LEADER CAN ONLY BE ONE PERSON AT A TIME? BEING A LEADER IS NOT ABOUT THE PERSON, IT IS ABOUT TYPE OF CHARACTER THE PERSON EXUDES. AN HONEST LEADER WOULD KNOW HIS OR HER BOUNDARIES AND SEE THE POSITIVE IN ALL TEAM MEMBERS, THEREFORE, LEADERSHIP SHOULD BE SHIFTED TO SHOWCASE TEAM MEMBER’S STRENGTHS. A TEAM OF LEADERS IS HOW I INSPIRE TO PARTICIPATE WITHIN THE DESIGN COMMUNITY. WORKING WITHIN A TEAM OF DESIGNER WHO ARE ACTIVIST FOR THEIR DISCIPLINE AND FOR THE COMMON MISSION OF DESIGN AS A METHOD OF DISRUPTING SOCIETAL PERILS, IS WHAT SHOULD MOTIVATE DESIGNERS. BY WORKING IN A TEAM, THE ELIMINATION OF A HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE WILL FACILITATE THE FOCUS OF AN INDIVIDUALS ROLE IN ADMIRATION AND RESPECT FOR THE TEAM AS OPPOSE TO DOMINATION OF TEAMMATES. BY ENCOURAGING TEAM COLLABORATION IN THE DESIGN PROCESS, THE SHIFT OF DESIGN NARCISSISM WILL NO LONGER PLAY A PREVALENT ROLE RETROSPECTIVE DETRIMENT OF A COMMUNITY. IF A TEAM IS ABLE TO MAINTAIN HEALTHY COMMUNICATION, THEN THE OVERALL HAPPINESS OF THE GROUP WILL BE REFLECTED IN THE WELL-EXECUTED DESIGN PRODUCT. AS WE ENTER THE CAREER WORLD, REGARDLESS OF PROFESSION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF POSITIVE IMPACT, AND THAT IS A PLATFORM WORTH SUPPORTING; THEREFORE, NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THE ACTIVIST WITHIN ONESELF AND OTHERS.

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Dialogue through interview

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l u i s

m o n t e r r u b i o

p r e s e n t s :

city of chicago coordinating planner being my chicago studio mentor, i was naturally inclined to learn my about luis’ insight on planning. given his experience with both architecture and planning, luis has evolved the balance between disciplines and scale through practice.

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How did you become a planner? Studying in Mexico, I started as an architect and my thesis was for a Mexican-American housing project in Southside Chicago. My thesis was an intensive integral process where I had to apply everything that I have learned into one project. Initially having a narrow focus on the architectural components, quickly did I realize that the scope of my project extended beyond the analytical boundaries that I established. through connections, i was offered a job in chicago to continue my project. When I entered the work force, I found a strong correlation between architecture and planning, so I got my masters in planning to understand how to integrate the relationship of the two disciplines through my work.

What are your general responsibilities as a planner? Under DHED, the Department of Housing and Economic Development, we are starting a new initiative that creates a management strategy that manages everything we apply in the city by analyzing the most strategic way to invest. We have geographically divided the city into very small districts, then we analyze all public and private initiatives within the district, then determine what are the next steps in developing appropriate projects for the districts. Through creating plans, I realized that everything is designed, but not everything has to built. When redesigning, you may create a process, but the design does not have to be a physical intervention.


What is the method of engagement for planners? The planning process is initiated by understanding existing conditions. What is the history of the community and how is the community socially and physically structured? What are the assets, and how can they be maximized? After the initial study, which is fueled by specific demographic data, the data and proposals are brought through the stakeholder as a method of feedback on the design plans. After finding an appropriate balance between community need and design vision, the project is approved and ready to be implemented. thE final planning process,, is evaluation. once a project, is important to monitor and evaluate the strengths and weakness of the project. 97

What are effective tools for the modern planner? Communication between other departments and community stakeholders is primary tool for a planner. In order to understand how to appropriately communicate with vested parties, conducting research and analyzing data will influence the jargon of the planning process. Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) is becoming a more important tool to conduct effective research, since it gives you an unlimited sense of scale in understanding data. What are the motivations of a planner? As architects, there is an emphasis on the building, but as planners, we care about the block, community, and the interconnections that come

from everything that surrounds the project. The extent of scale is fundamental to each design discipline, but as a planner, I care about making a community owned project, not a precious form that does not relate to the community context. what is a current topic in planning that you find most interesting? the resurgence in the popularity of mixed use developments in blighted neighborhoods, has attracted a more affluent creative demographic. this form of gentrification has sparked my interest in community integration in order to eliminate the separation between the existing residents and the newer population. how to create a neighborhood that both residents can invest in equally. 97


“design is about making projects human�

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Unlike most planners, Luis has an interesting perspective to the design field since he was both the knowledge and experience has a traditional architect and a traditional planner. Although Luis’s current ideology tends to be more influence my planning principles, Luis understands that the distinction of scale is what makes the disciplines unique, yet interrelated. Regardless of discipline, it is fundamental for designers to understand that not everything has to be a physical expression of innovation. As Kanye West would put it, “Everything needs to be ‘architected’,” however, a structure is not the only expression of innovation. Whenever I interact with students from other design disciplines, I have observed a general yearning to work on projects that involves a form as oppose to an expression. Although it may be detrimental at times, Planners are responsible for shaping societal attitudes. Through policy and plans is how planners design. It would be beneficial for other design disciplines to put more of an emphasis on extracting the purpose of what a physical form intends to do and translate the form’s objectives into a conceptual plan that is administered through text and enforced by law. If a building is intended to attract a particular demographic, what are policies that can be enforced that would encourage the same relationship by influencing human interactions, not through physical interventions. Challenging this relationship further proves how design disciplines are as effective when they are independent entities. When being simultaneously interconnected is when design is at its maximum potential of contributing the most societal good. In addition to working at a greater difference of scale, planning is also unique for its technical method of engagement. Instead of using technical drawing and prototyping software, Planners are trained in a way that maximizes our data and communication skills. As a planner, there is more of an emphasis on being equipped with Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and ArcGIS. Already being highly proficient in the required software, I have found it to be extremely beneficial to learn how to use the software other designers use. By learning the adobe creative suites, I can better articulate my ideas through a mutual platform that non-planners can relate to.

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louise yeung presents:

cmap lta specialist within the past six months, louise has attained her master’s degree in planning, started working the chicago metropolitan agency for planning (CMAP), and has worked on over five planning projects. full of passion for the field, louise’s enthusiasm and dedication for planning is inspiring for a aspiring planner.

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What is CMAP and your role within the organization? The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is a regional planning authority, dedicated to ensuring the success of Chicago’s neighborhood in order to drive Chicago’s future. Since most funding for planning agencies come from transportation revenue, government planning agencies tend to focus their project initiatives around transportation in order to secure funding. Dedicated to designing holistic community plans, CMAP’s specializes in transportation, land use, environmental management, and community development. As a Local Technical Assistant (LTA), I am an active local arm that is responsible for reviewing calls for application from communities and

working with the community and translating their community vision into an appropriate program that is accessible to all residents. What is the greatest challenge working within the public sector? Funding. What is the most interesting aspect of your job? As a planner, we are always prepared to work with diverse individuals and communities; however, outreach to community members is the most challenging aspect of the planning process. In order to transcend communication barriers, I’ve constantly innovate creative ways to reach out to individuals who normally would not be included in the planning process.


From providing translation services to hosting interactive workshops during after business hours, I’ve tried new ways of making the planning process more engaging to the community by making the process convenient, fun, and productive. As a recent graduate, how is the transition from academia to the real world? The transition from academia to the real world has been rough. Having finished my Master’s degree, I have had some real world exposure before I entered the work force; however communication has been the biggest challenge. The CMAP office is staffed with passionate, well-trained individuals; however when I communicate with outside planners, most of them have been 101

out of planning school for more than thirty years and are unaware of how to approach current urban problems. Also most room for innovation has been limited by outdated government politics. Since the planning profession is known to have a significant majority of older white males, what is it like to be a young minority female in the field? My experience as a young minority female has been beneficial when working with diverse communities. Being a first generation American from a Chinese family, the ties to my culture and language have made my contributions to CMAP’s Chinatown vision plan extremely successful. Although the Chinatown community has always been encouraging of

CMAP’s initiatives, understanding the Chinatown community through a cultural connection has enhanced the relationship between CMAP’s vision plan and the community. Also, being a minority female helps with academia. Being a student member of the American Planning Association (APA) gives you access to scholarships and other unique opportunities. in between graduation and applying to grad school, what advice do you have? stay connected and curious. since most graduate planning programs seek experience, it is important to always immerse yourself in new opportunities and meet people along the journey. explore who are you in context to yourself and design. 101


“the key to planning is finding creative ways to engage people�

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Since my undergraduate planning education places a high emphasis on policy and government planning, I have not been particularly interested in working for a government planning authority. Not that I do not find government planning to be uninteresting, my perception of government planning is to be slowly paced and extremely political, which does not motivate me as a young planner. Unlike most government planning agencies, the significance of CMAP working in a wider scope of planning topics is extremely rare in the public sector. As Louise mentioned, most of the government planning agencies is through transportation funds; however, CMAP has diversified its variety of engagement. From traditional master plans to environmental analysis and community develop, CMAP conducts a large variety of initiatives similar to the work of private planning practices. As a first generation American, and a young minority female in the planning field, my experience with the planning profession is different from the ‘typical’ planner. Because of my Caribbean heritage, I find that I relate a lot to working with ethnic communities that are generally limited by language and resources, but have a strong sense of culture. I admire how Louise used her cultural connection to innovate creative ways to engage the Chinatown community. By having insight on how the culture is organized and understanding the language, Louise was able to increase the overall level of public participation. The more community members that are engaged in the design process, the more the design product can represent its constituents. Since I plan on attaining a Master’s in Urban Design, Louise’s advice on the transition from academia to the real world was extremely useful. Although she was referring more to the transition between graduate school and the career world, I must organize my time between undergraduate to career world to graduate school in a way that does not detract from my journey. Since I will only take two years off between my undergraduate and graduate career, it is enough time to explore my career option, but not enough time to lose my academic momentum.

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m i c h a el k a va la r p r e s e n t s:

som gis analyst from language to literature and from urbanism to geography, michael’s many interest has made michael a well-rounded planner with a rich network of influence. for michael, planning is not only limited to master plans, it is the catalyst for ideation that can be extended beyond the work force.

what is the role of gis analysis in the design process? by definition geographic information systems (GIS) is data overlaying tool through the method of mapping. much like planning within the content of the design process, gis analysis is the foundation of the planning process. by harvesting information and analyzing data trends, a planner is able to make informed inferences about the project that is influenced by the data. how has gis enhanced your career? when it comes to data collection and analysis, gis is about to compute and overlay any form of data and organizing the information on a map. understanding data through maps is not revolutionary, but interacting with data through maps

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by gis is a new language of data communication. what is the relationship between interests and passions in the realm of design? like most professions, interests and passion is what inspires you to wake up in the morning and whistle on your way to work. since the design field is a profession of ideation and creation, designers have the power to capture a emotion and convey it through a vision, then execute it as a product. personally, i find design to be at its best when it can be felt by the user. inspired designers make inspired projects that inspire people. As a Planner how do you captivate your passions through your work?


my passions and interest have always stayed consistent, but their level of influence on my work varies from the type of project or personal circumstances. when my motivations are very high, it is easier for me to be excited about my project and how my work is capable of making a difference in society; however, when there are times that i am lost or confused about the motivations of my work, i seek inspiration from outside sources as a way to disconnect myself from shortsighted frustrations. after feeling recharged i am able to maximize me level of energy and enthusiasm for my work,, inspiration is not only a personal tool, just by staying positive and motivated, i am able to spread inspiration throughout my project team. when 105

we are all inspired, we become more efficient which makes our project more effective.

communication with international clients. reading is also a great outlet for me to stay motivated.

what are your interests? foreign languages, reading, and global affairs

what are you currently reading? recently i have been reading more fiction to take a break from reading about planning. i am currently reading ‘the amazing adventures by kavalier and clay’ by michael chabon, but i would highly recommend reading: ‘cradle to cradle’ by michael braungart ‘happy city’ by charles montgomery ‘how to study public life’ by jan gehl

what interests do you feel relates more to your profession? they all do in their own way. for example, being fluent in eight different languages has allowed me to communicate with a variety of different people. since communication is the fundamental tool in planning, it is important to not be limited by language. som has create mix of people from different cultural backgrounds, so i am able to communicate with them in the work place as well as

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“ inspired designers make inspired projects that inspire people �

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pursuing many interests make a young professional more marketable in a competitive job force. with the diversification of the planning field, non-profit organizations and private firms seek versatile individuals who enhance the planning approach by contributing multiple perspectives to the design process. Fortunately, planning is a flexible profession that could be manipulated to reflect one’s personal interests. What planning means to one professional, may not be what another planner makes of his or her profession. The amount of interests an individual may have is irrelevant to how effective they are in their career. What is important is how those interest translate into the individual’s method of engagement. Michael’s enthusiasm for language has been interpreted to his ability to communicate through data. Essentially, the use of GIS for a planner is the equivalent of the role of a translator; information that is too complex to understand can be broken down and communicated in a way that the user may understand and provide a myriad of useful tools beyond cartography. not only does michael possess a rich array of interests, the variety of useful skills have made him an asset within his department. as michael grows with his skills, his research will become stronger, and the his department will benefit and also grow along the way. In addition to captivating one’s interest through their work, staying motivated is also important. Through my conversations with other planners, I find that younger professionals tend to be more idealistic than an older professional. Even though planning schools may have been different in the past, sharing the motivation and enthusiasm for the field will influence colleagues’ level of engagement. The best way to maintain high levels of motivation and satisfaction with one’s career is to always be informed and inspired. Whether it be through books, workshops/lectures, or conversation, it is important to be satisfied and hopeful with your work and the impact that one possess as a designer.

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i k e r

g i l

p r e s e n t s :

mas studio director mirroring his literary work with mas context, iker’s design projects are inspired by the principles and values of a wide range of disciplines. not only being limited to the title of an architect or urban designer, iker takes an multiperspective approach to his projects.

What is the daily routine at mas studio? There is no day to day schedule, just a lot of hours. Since I am the only person at Studio, I have to organize myself and enforce self-imposed deadlines in order to stay on task. Fortunately, my schedule is flexible, so I am able to state engaged with the city. how does mas studio relate to mas context? the subject matter in mas context relates a wide spectrum of perspectives to the scope of design. mas studio is also similar in the sense that the projects are designed from all aspects of the design realm What is your favorite type of project?

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I work on project that I find important. My designs reflect the people that I am designing for. What I like most about DIY design interventions is how the social and economic pressures dictate the demand, which yields the solution for the project. In order to have a successful pop up project, you must assess local assets and strengthen them through design. Mas studio’s projects are based around capitalizing underutilized public spaces. How do you capture the spirit of the asset through design? Storytelling is a fundamental tool in conveying the significance of existing conditions and visioning how conditions can be enhanced through design. The procedure


of storytelling is through communication, but the techniques I use to portray the narrative are photographs, drawings, and data. What makes a good story is the skill of stitching together the portrait of the user in relation to its unit while representing the perspective of the user. Have you noticed a difference in a design when a greater emphasis is placed on the user as oppose to the unit? I’ve worked with Mimi Zeiger and she writes great pieces on the relationship between function and form. From my perspective, part of design includes creating a sequence of experiences that are activated by an emotional connection. So, when designing, question what 109

experience you are creating for the user. A good design concept creates an appropriate balance between the function and the form that is influenced by the need of the user. Having an international academic experience, what are the major differences between the Spanish and American university programs? Like most of Europe, Spain places a high value on historic preservation. The community identity is linked to historic landmarks, therefore, it is more difficult to create a project that involves mass demolition. As a way to keep spaces usable, the government hosts architecture competitions as an effort to retrofit underutilized buildings. Before the economic downturn, public competitions were a common way to

start a practice. By building your portfolio using past competition submissions, you could easily pair up with a fellow designer and start a practice. When I started to study in the United States, I immediately noticed that the scale of most architecture projects were larger and did not connect to the historic context of the site. The American architecture schools also teach more about the theory of architecture as oppose to the practice of architecture. There is also a more pronounced distinction between design fields. In spain, the distinction between architecture, landscape, and planning is not significant, especially since the knowledge from all fields is needed to execute an effective design.

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“communication is a form on collaboration, not expertise�

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The distinction between design disciplines is detrimental to making an effective design product. The isolation of fields creates factions that are irrelevant and inefficient, since they choose to hold no correlation to one another. Unlike Luis Monterrubio, Iker Gil has not had an interdisciplinary design experience, Iker has had a simultaneous immersion; where architecture, planning, and landscape can be used interchangeably. Although I appreciate how a simultaneous design blend is reiterates the idea of designing without factions; the lack of distinction encourages a homogenized persona of the design field. There is a balance between fostering a separate identity and for factions to occur. Having a distinct field holds correlation to being specialized in knowledge. What is counterproductive is when the specialized knowledge is unwilling be connected to other spheres of knowledge. On the other side of the spectrum, it is also as detrimental to have mĂŠlange of knowledge with no distinction of order. The key in balancing fields is to create a connection with simultaneous dialogue, and also impose order that does not uphold to a hierarchy of significance, but maintain a distinction of applicability of specialized knowledge. Regarding the relationship between the designer, client, and community stakeholders, the designer serves as a link between private and public interest. Although the private entity, the client, pays for a specific product the designer must have a vested interested the community context of the site. Researching the surrounding context of a site is an exercise of investigating the influence of existing conditions in relation to the design. Social research reveals community need which can be translated in to program, while physical research gives insight structural incompatibles. Regardless of the research outcome, a designer is able to identify community assets and design a product that increases the assets. The planning profession is unique because it designs for existing social conditions. With the negative impact the economy had on developers, other design disciplines are now starting to design for existing physical conditions to reduce construction costs. As toyo ito has said “why always have to start with a blank sheet of paperâ€?, the collaboration of disciplines to design with the intentions of maximizing the positive aspects of an existing system, as oppose to creating something new, is the future shift of thinking for designers.

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d u a n e

c a r t e r

p r e s e n t s :

scb SUSTAINABILITY SPECIALIST when working with other disciplines or non-designers, communication is the primary tool to understand one another; however, communication does not have to be verbal. through diagramming and other means of visual communication, duane explores the power of effective diagrams.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VISUAL COMMUNICATION? DIAGRAMS AND AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION TOOL THAT CONVEYS ELABORATE DATA THROUGH IN A SIMPLISTIC WAY THAT DOES NOT OVERWHELM THE READERS. WHEN WORKING WITH CLIENTS THAT ARE USUALLY NON-DESIGNERS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REPRESENT COMPLEX INFORMATION IN A CLEAR AND CONCISE WAY. I ALSO USE DIAGRAMS TO COMMUNICATE WITH DESIGNERS . A PART OF MY JOB CONSISTS ANALYZING ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS IN A WAY THAT ARCHITECTS CAN UNDERSTAND TRANSLATE TO HOW THEIR BUILDING WILL BE DESIGNED. WHAT IS ROLE AT Solomon Cordwell Buenz (scb)? mY WORK IS GROUNDED IN RESEARCH, BUT

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MY RESEARCH IS NOT ALWAYS LIMITED TO THE ANALYSIS OF NUMBERS. i DO A LOT OF BUILDING ANALYSIS AND BUILDING SIMULATION. AT scb, MY JOB POSITION FALLS IN LINE WITH SUSTAINABILITY AND LEED INITIATIVES. HOWEVER, MY POSITION IS MOVING IN A DIRECTION WHERE I AM BECOMING MORE INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT AND INCORPORATING MORE SPECIFIC DATA ANALYSIS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DESIGN PROCESS; PRETTY MUCH MAKING DECISIONS BASED ON DATA. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DIAGRAMS YOU WORK WITH MOST? FOR BUILDING ANALYSIS I USES SEVERAL SOFTWARE PROGRAMS THAT COMPUTE THE DATA, BUT MOST OF THE TIME THE DATA IS CONVEYED IN A WAY THAT IS TOO ELABORATE AND NOT VERY USER-FRIENDLY IN ITS PRESENTATION. SO I START TO


ASK THE QUESTION OF HOW CAN THE INFORMATION BE CONDENSED IN A WAY FOR PEOPLE WITH NOT ENOUGH TIME GET TO THE BOTTOM LINE IN ORDER TO MAKE DECISIONS. DIAGRAMMING IS ALSO A WAY TO LINK MY BACKGROUND AS AN ARCHITECT TO MY MORE CURRENT ROLE AS A RESEARCHER. wHAT ARE THE TOOLS YOU USE TO DIAGRAM? SINCE MY DIAGRAMS ARE FOR REPRESENTING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS, I DO MY RESEARCH IN PROGRAMS LIKE GRASSHOPPER. ONCE I ANALYZE THE DATA, I USE ILLUSTRATOR AND PHOTOSHOP TO EDIT THE CONTENT. WHAT MAKES A GOOD DIAGRAM? A GOOD DIAGRAM STARTS WITH A FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT. THE DIAGRAM SHOULD BE PRESENTED IN A WAY THAT 113

SHOWS COMPLEXITY. THE TOOLS USED SHOULD INCLUDE: HIERARCHY IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP MESSAGE- WHAT IS TO BE CONVEYED CLARITY- SIMPLE ARTICULATION THESE COMPONENTS SINCE DIAGRAMS ARE A MIXTURE BETWEEN VERBAL COMMUNICATION AND IMAGERY, AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION IS IMPORTANT. NOT THAT DIAGRAMS HAVE TO MASTERPIECES, BUT THE USE OF COLOR , VALUE, LINES WEIGHTS, AND TEXT SIZE SUPPORT THE CONVEYED DATA. AN UNSUCCESSFUL DIAGRAM IS WHEN THE AUDIENCE CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING REPRESENTED. WHETHER IT BE THROUGH OVERSIMPLIFICATION OR OVER COMPLICATION, DESIGNERS MUST ESTABLISH A HIERARCHY AS AN ATTEMPT THE ANSWER THE DIAGRAMMATIC QUESTION.

HOW DOES RESEARCH AND DIAGRAMS TRANSLATE INTO THE FINAL DESIGN PRODUCT? AS COOKING IS TO A MEAL, RESEARCH IS TO A DIAGRAM; RESEARCH IS FIRST STEP IN ESTABLISHING PERIMETERS IN EFFORT TO IDENTIFY THE DESIGN PROBLEM. ONCE RESEARCH IS COLLECTED AND ANALYZED, THE PRODUCT OF THE STUDY SHOULD BE REPRESENTED THROUGH DIAGRAM, THEN DIAGRAMS WOULD BE THE INITIATION OF THE NEXT STEP IN THE DESIGN PROCESS. SINCE THE DESIGN PRODUCT BUILDS ON ITS PREVIOUS STEPS, THE INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH THE RESEARCH AND CONVEYED THROUGH DIAGRAMS WILL INFORM THE OUTCOME OF THE PROJECT.

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“Diagrams are still data, but conveyed in a universal way�

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As an urban planner, I have always felt limited in my communication skills. The challenge of visually communicating data is how to succinctly condense knowledge without negating its complexity and significance. The first step in creating an infograph is to start with a concept; harvesting What the client should know about the data trends. With the use of graphic design, diagramming is the use of words and images to convey a message and portray relationships. Different kinds of information must be portrayed in through different styles of expression. Similarities may be expressed through overlapping of shapes, and progression may be expressed through variations in size. Since the initial amount of information may be overwhelming, diagramming through iterations is a productive exercise to edit information and simplify the visual. In addition of portraying data trends, the order of design the diagram should be expressed through hierarchy. Although subtle, it may be comfortable for designers to create graphics that other designers can comprehend, but it is important to create diagrams that tailor the data for the client or other stakeholders to understand. Once I attained a better knowledge of the adobe creative suites, I myself to understand graphics through making, and no longer viewing. Initially, I held a higher value to aesthetics rather than information in my diagrams. After being dissatisfied with the lack of information in my graphics, I placed too much of an emphasis on information was also as ineffective. In search for a balance, tried narration as an exercise to my thought process as I create a graphic. To my surprise, I discovered that thinking out loud and questioning my design decisions, I was able understand the relationship between understanding and representing data. As an urban planner, it is extremely critical that planners understand how to represent the right information in the right way. From my experience in the field, the information is overwhelming; but the aesthetic component is usually not compelling. If data is meant to be significant, then it’s presentation must reflect its importance.

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r o b

c a l v e y

p r e s e n t s :

dfa design fellow Motivated by Design for America’s (DFA) culture of community interaction, interdisciplinary teamwork, and real world implementation, rob hopes to spread unique design cultures to urban communities in effort to increase public participation through community design activism.

what do you do at design for america (DFA)? as a design fellow at the national office, i have two major roles. i mentor dfa student groups on their projects through partnering projects with local community initiatives and providing feedback on the groups design process. , my other role is building educational materials for design process. we just finished a book on a process guide to design students. why dfa? i did not want to work at an architecture firm; i am more interested in design education. i no believe that the only career option after completing architecture studio is to build buildings. studio teaches you skills that are not just

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transferable, but used in a variety of other disciplines. WHAT ABOUT YOUR JOB DRIVES YOU? I LIKE BEING MENTOR STUDENTS. THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN MY STUDENTS AND I IS NOT HIERARCHICAL RELATIONSHIP; ITS MORE OF A FEEDBACK LOOP. I USUALLY HELP ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PROJECT, BUT DURING THE FINAL PHASES OF THE PROJECT I GIVE FEEDBACK ON THE PRODUCT. SINCE THE PROJECTS ARE BASED ON IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE WITHIN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY, THE DESIGN FEEDBACK GROUNDS THE STUDENTS IN MAKING THEIR DESIGN PRODUCT STRONGER FOR THE COMMUNITY. THEIR VIGOR AND DEDICATION TO THEIR PROJECTS WHILE WATCHING THEM GROW WITH THEIR PROJECTS IS WHAT INSPIRES ME.


what are the skills have studio taught you that you apply to other disciplines? Iteration how to study a variety of different things and how they relate to each other, not being too attached to your first idea- being able to ask for feedback, listen to the materialletting the material inform your future design as oppose to forcing the design on the material.

with a background in architecture, how has your undergraduate education prepare you for your current career? yes, although there were aspects of my education that i liked more than others, i would not take back my architecture education.

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what is the design procedure that design for america encourages? dfa’s design process is a method of thinking and decision making. what are the steps to the design thinking process? phase 1- understand step 1 IDENTIFY step 2 IMMERSE step 3 REFRAME phase 2- create step 4 IDEATE step 5 BUILD step 6 TEST phase 3- implement step 7 PLAN STEP 8 PROVE STEP 9 SUSTAIN WITHIN THE LAST THREE STEPS, IT IS A BIT TRICKY BECAUSE YOU REIMMERSE YOURSELF PREVIOUS STEPS ONCE YOU

TEST THE DESIGN. ALTHOUGH DFA’S PROJECT GROUPS WORK CLOSELY WITH THE COMMUNITY, THE PROJECTS ARE STILL DESIGNED THROUGH AN ACADEMIC APPROACH. WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF POLICY MAKERS AND STAKEHOLDERS WHEN THE DESIGN PRODUCT IS INTRODUCED TO THE REAL WORLD? AN ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT ONLY PROVIDES THE STUDENTS WITH THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO BUILD THE PROJECT, WHILE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT ARE INSPIRED BY THE COMMUNITY. IT IS UP TO THE STUDENTS TO THINK IN AWAY THAT ENFORCES THE OBJECTS AND DESIGN IN A WAY THAT USES THE PROVIDED TOOLS. EVEN IF POLICY MAKERS ARE UNABLE TO ENFORCE THE PROJECT, THE DESIGN IDEAS ARE CAN PLANT THE SEEDS FOR FUTURE INNOVATION. 117


“design activism is a microphone for community engagement�

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The process of thinking is more powerful that the act of creating. Although the final product may be simplified, the design process if messy. The juxtaposition of chaotic design thinking and a fastidious design process appears to be incompatible. How can creative thinking be contained in order to progress through a process to achieve a finished product? If a design is never finished, how can a product be complete? Although Design for America classifies design thinking to occur in three phases, understand, create, and implement, the structure of the process still allows for flexibility. Although the dfa process diagram may appear to be linear, invisible feedback loops will always exist in the design process. Creativity may be an artistic expression of work, it is not enough to make design matter. Design thinking is unique because it is creativity structured context. There is no good in a design that grounded in aesthetics and serves no functional purpose. Design thinking is provoked by the question of how design can instigate change and the design thinking process is the method of answering the question. With an end product in mind, the design thinking process must be structured by the perimeters of progression and time, therefore the design product is deliberately executed in a way that is still creative, yet realistic. Extending beyond a thought process, design activism is the act of administering socially conscious products in order to disrupt an unproductive system. in order to make a societal difference design activism must work as an integrated system. design thinking is the notion of thought, while design activism is the notion of action. The most apparent example of this relationship is the through the movement of diy/tactical urbanism. the bottom-up approach to design for social change is greatly improvised, flexible and rapid in terms of speed, since its primary purpose is to avoid the red tape that may hinder the progress of the project. Although the realm of DIY Urbanism changes from community to community, there are five underling elements of this movement: vision, value, context, community, and agility. It is crucial to identify such elements, but a project will only be successful if the elements are connected and understood.

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j e f f

s o u l e

p r e s e n t s :

apa outreach director Referring to himself as the deputy of planning ethics, jeff encourages a planning career founded in duties to public services and improving the general public good.

Why are ethics fundamental to planning? Since the planning profession is public by nature, economics, housing, policy, and land use influence the course of city events. It is our duty as planners to serve the public, therefore a system of ethics is enforced in order to ensure the planner’s motivations are based on the general public good. What are examples of violation of planning ethics? Accepting bribes or gifts are obvious violations, but subtle violations include switching between public and private practice. Since some planners switch between a private contractor and government office, it is important to make all relationships known to the public.

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Regarding land use, it you have a particular vested interest in a parcel of land, planners should make that public or not be involved in the project. Is making a public stance the only way to avoid an ethics violation? Although it may not seem like a conflict of interest, the first step in avoiding a violation is making sure your employer has full disclosure of involvements in past work and unknown relationships. If a public stance is appropriate, having the agency that is aware of the unknown relationship clarify the interactions, and being accountable to the public when you are asked to be is the second step. What is the purpose of a planning


certification? The AICP certification is optional in most states. general licensing is enforced for health and safety codes; however, the work of planners does not constitute as a life-threatening safety concern, therefore there is no required certification except in Michigan and New Jersey. An AICP certification are highly recommended because it ensures the employer that the planner has an extensive knowledge of the field. When doing salary surveys, the APA finds that AICP certified planners get paid more than non-certified planners. Do planners usually become certified if they work in the public sector as oppose to the private sector? 121

There is a good mix between certified planners in public, private, and academic sectors. There is wide spectrum of certified planners in all aspects of the realm of planning. Based on the observation of APA members, what are the future trends in the planning field? Due to the financial stress of local governments, there has been a trend in planners in the non-profit sector. Planners are well suited to work for non-profit organization to address the scope of urbanization, community participation, and environmental issues. Within the past five years, when planners are no longer scoping traditional government planning agency positions. Instead, they tend to work in with non-profits or private

design firms. For planners, there are also more opportunities to work internationally. what would be the ethics that a nongovernment planner would adhere to? Regardless of the planning sector, careers in planning are in alignment with serving the public; therefore, planners must adhere to all ethics. Regarding planning ethics in the non-profit sector, planners must be weary of the mission of the organization to ensure that organization’s advocacy align with planning ethics. In order to avoid such violations, planners must maintain objectivity and become an arbiter of data and not manipulate the data analysis to portray a biased outcome. 121


“it is the inherent duty of a planner to serve the public�

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planning ethics for public responsibility a) We shall always be conscious of the rights of others. b) We shall have special concern for the long-range consequences of present actions. c) We shall pay special attention to the interrelatedness of decisions. d) We shall provide timely, adequate, clear, and accurate information on planning issues to all affected persons and to governmental decision makers. e) We shall give people the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the development of plans and programs that may affect them. Participation should be broad enough to include those who lack formal organization or influence. f) We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs. g) We shall promote excellence of design and endeavor to conserve and preserve the integrity and heritage of the natural and built environment.

Professional ethics are formalized personal statements that about the objectives of the career, while establishing a general framework professional standards. Due to their intangible nature, ethics seem abstract and unrelatable; however, honoring ethics subtle or only appreciated in retrospect. American planners are recommended to adhere to the American Planning Association’s (APA) principles, but the American institute for certified planners (AICP) has a set of ethics that are only enforced once a planner gains certification. The aICP’s code of ethics illustrate three types responsibilities of a planner; the public, clients and employers, and profession and colleagues. Since planner’s primary duty is to serve the public, planning ethics heavily emphasize promoting the public interest. As attempt to making planning ethics more accessible to planners, the apa has created an interactive blog for all planners, regardless of position or certification, can identify and evaluate common planning violations. Most violations are subtle calls of judgment. For example, when reviewing submissions from an rfp proposal, regardless of what the mayor advises, there cannot be any form of bias during the selection process. Just because the candidate is an area resident, does not make their submission more qualified than other candidates. If found guilty of a violation, consequences may range from membership probation to automatic suspension of aicp certification. Although some violations may seem innocuous, the apa provides a reliable service for planners to consult board members on potential actions that may or may not violate an issue of ethics. ethics are beneficial guidelines that standardize the basis for which planners should make decisions. since a planner’s personal beliefs may be in conflict with planning principles, it is beneficial for all planners to adhere to the same values so the have a universal understanding of the basis of decision making .

h) We shall deal fairly with all participants in the planning process. 123


Venture THE CHICAGO STUDIO IS NOT SIMPLY ABOUT EXPLORING DESIGN THROUGH AN ACADEMIC PROJECT, IT IS ABOUT EXPLORING DESIGN THROUGH SELF UNDERSTANDING. IN ORDER TO HAVE AN inspiring PROJECT, I MUST BE INSPIRED. THROUGH curiosity, MY ADVENTURES HAVE INSPIRED ME THROUGH IDEATION.


02 RENDER IDEAS

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DO NOT BUY HAUNTED JEWELERY

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01 TRAVEL IN STYLE

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LESSONS FROM CHICAGO STUDIO

BE A PART OF THE CITY

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IDEATE THROUGH EXPLORATION

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i have always had perpetual anxiety on i would do as an urban planner. whenever people ask what i do or what i want to do, i never have a idea how to approach the questions. although policy is fundamental to my profession, i do not wish to pursue; little did i understand that your academic studies do not dictate the journey you wish to explore. FROM NOT HAVING ANY KNOWLEDGE OF ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE SKILLS AND TAKING ANOTHER VIRGINIA TECH COURSE ONLINE, I HAVE FOUND MY CHICAGO STUDIO EXPERIENCE TO BE EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL, BECAUSE I HAVE LEARNED. I CHOSE NOT TO BE LIMITED BY MY STRUGGLES OR MISTAKES AND FLOURISH THROUGH CURIOSITY AND NEVER TURNING DOWN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE ENGAGED. after chicago studio, i have chosen to explore my own passions and pursue an adventure that is inspired by MAKING A SOCIAL IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN. AFTER VIRGINIA TECH, I WILL EXPLORE MORE METHODS OF ENGAGEMENT DURING THE TWO YEARS I PLAN ON PROFESSIONAL AND SELF DISCOVERY BEFORE I GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL. I PLAN ON APPLYING TO MIT’S URBAN DESIGN PROGRAM TO BETTER EQUIP MYSELF WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS TO BE A LEADER THROUGH DESIGN. AS A CAREER, I WISH TO SEE MYSELF AS A DESIGN ACTIVIST, I SEEK TO CREATE SMALL-SCALE DESIGN INTERVENTIONS TO EMPOWER COMMUNITIES, THAT IS NOT LIMITED BY POLICY.

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fall 2013


CHICAGO STUDIO, Fall 2013. by N. Sobers