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CHICAGO STUDIO NICHOLAS COATES | FALL 2013

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COVER IMAGE: 35th/Bronzeville/IIT, 1959


About CHICAGO STUDIO The program creates a neutral platform where the students are a part of (and often prompt) the discussion and exchange of ideas related to the built environment in an effort to generate innovational strategies for the city. The CHICAGO STUDIO actively engages in challenging issues facing Chicago, by designing “for” the city, instead of simply “in” the city. Every semester the studio brings innovative ideas to different neighborhoods and partners with local community groups, architects, designers, real-estate developers and political members to collaborate on architectural concepts and community building projects. The program helps build upon the already prestigious reputation of Virginia Tech’s mission of “inventing the future” through the collaboration of the academy and practice in the real world. Andrew Balster Program Director, CHICAGO STUDIO


Design Lab Professional Practice Internship Urban Mapping Fruit Stand Competition Independent Photography

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Design Lab ARCH 4015

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Design Lab Introduction The Uptown Market is the collaborative effort of three architecture students and one landscape architecture student through CHICAGO STUDIO and von Weise Associates. It is one of three projects located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The project seeks to analyze and understand how multimodal transportation hubs can revitalize an area. Over the course of ten weeks, we collaborated with various members of the Uptown community through interviews, critiques, site visits, and presentations. Through our investigations, we gained a better understanding of Chicago, Uptown, and various transportation methods found within the area. This project specifically investigates the renovation and adaptive reuse of the former Uptown Station. In 1922, Arthur Gerber designed the Uptown Station with a classical revival style. The ‘L’ brought tremendous growth to Uptown through its direct connection with Downtown, and as a result The Gerber Building became a central focus for the thriving entertainment district. Because of its placement under the tracks, the Gerber Building degraded with time. It currently lays vacant, aside from the still active Wilson Station. Our intent is to bring this site back to its former glory, becoming a catalyst for growth in the Uptown neighborhood. By analyzing the site through our multidisciplinary lens, we realized the inherent opportunity in The Gerber Building and its surrounding block, and created an innovative and unique program for Uptown. What was once the Uptown Station is reborn as the Uptown Market. The Gerber Building becomes an open, dynamic space housing a mixed-market, restaurant, and cafe. Two vertical farm towers soar above, framing the existing Gerber facade, and supplying the Uptown Market. The central plaza becomes the public fabric that connects these unique spaces. The Uptown Market is about establishing connections: people connect to food, the growing process, the neighborhood, and The Gerber Building becomes the beacon of growth that connects Uptown and Chicago.

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PROCESS

DESIGN PROPOSAL

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SITE BACKGROUND

PRECEDENTS

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Design Lab


The Gerber building is situated at the corner of Wilson + Broadway and directly beneath the Wilson Red Line Station in Uptown Chicago. Uptown is a diverse neighborhood rich in history. It was once the heart of the entertainment district and famous comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin, got their start in Uptown. Currently, the neighborhood is in the process of reviving this rich art scene and will be the future of much growth within the city of Chicago.

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WILSON

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AY

DW

OA

BR SITE AREA: 41,294 SQ. FT.

The original site was limited to the shell of the Gerber Building. Given the programmatic constraints, we determined that more space was needed. Due to the construction of the new CTA tracks, the building immediately to the west is slated for demolition, allowing for a direct north-south passage on the west side of the site. We decided to take this newly formed area as well as one more adjacent building that is also in a state of disrepair to create a site that allows for the programmatic needs.

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Wilson + Broadway

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Existing Conditions Design Lab


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View from Wilson Station

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View from Wilson + Broadway

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Timeline: 1900-1965

1900

Northwestern Elevated began operation.

1907

1908

1910

Railroad

Located at the south of Wilson Av. Wilson was the North terminal with a station, yard, offices, and shops. Architect William Gibb initial design presented problems with height of the railroad.

The Northwestern Elevated opened its extension to Evanston over the electrified ground-level tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.

1917

1924

1947

The Stohr Arcade demolished.

All train Wilson beyond Building

was

Arthur Gerber’s designed a Classical Revival building. Gerber’s new building was thought of as the joint between the Northwestern Elevated and the interurban train.

Traffic assistant, Peter C. Stohr, hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design The Stohr Arcade Building at the north side of Wilson, between the elevated tracks and Evanston Avenue.

The Chicago Transi took control.

McJunkin Advertising Agency com sioned architects Marshall & F large commercial building resembled the new Wilson s across the street.

The 465 feet long McJunkin Build located at Broadway.

The Stohr Arcade Building was merely commercial.

Chicago Daily published: Gerber’s extension would relieve some of the congestion at the terminal.

Uptown district became the largest and most popular commercial and entertainment area on the city's North Side.

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The CT trains at

Also, the two-track line north of Wilson was expanded to four tracks.

Upper and Lower Wilson work simultaneously with local and express trains.

The neighborhood of Uptown gains recognition due to the fast growth of “Wilson Shops” nearby the station.

1923

The Northwestern Elevated consoli dated the upper and lower stations into one entrance.

Wilson is no longer the North terminal.

Architect Arthur Gerber designed the “lower Wilson” which included the station’s headhouse, trainmen’s rooms and clerk’s office.

1922


1949

1957

1956

TA discontinued terminating t Wilson.

ns from downtown serving ran through to Howard or d.

it Authority

mmis Fox a that station

Tragedy struck at Wilson station when a CTA train collided with a North. Shore Line train. Initially, seven died and approximately 160 "L" riders were injured.

1960

1958

CTA’s renovation effort declared that the decorative terra cotta arched parapet at the station's corner entrance needed to be removed. CTA embarked on a $1.8 million project to reconstruct about 1,500 feet of right-of-way through Wilson station into a continuous four-track system.

1963

The North Shore Line ceased operations and vacated Wilson station. Only the "L" now using the station and only North-South Route trains stopping, the large waiting room and several platforms were no longer needed. The waiting room was converted into commercial space

ding is

The Lower Wilson station entrance was closed and demolished, leaving the stairs to the mezzanine and Upper Wilson exposed to the outside again at street level. The population of Uptown declined.

A large portion of the lower yard was used to store out of service wood cars.

Many apartments were subdivided into smaller units, rooming houses, and single-room occupancies more suitable for individuals than families or couples.

"Chicago ''L''.org: Stations - Wilson." Chicago ''L''.org: Stations - Wilson. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2013.

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Timeline: 1965-2016

1975

1976

Harry S. Truman community college open doors. Wilson received a new auxiliary entrance to coincide with the establishment of the new commu nity college adjacent to the "L" on the west.

1982

1984

1996

1990s

2000s

Wilson shops caught fire. The shops and adjacent yard were irreparably damaged. A&B Food Mart moved out and the space between Wilson and the side entrance was partitioned into three separate rental spaces. The primary entrance of Wilson station as it appears today -- originally a secondary side entrance -- looking northwest on Broadway.

Communities to the south such as Lakeview and Wrigleyville had seen substantial redevel opment and gentrification. The trend crossed north of Irving Park Road, transforming the southern part of Uptown known as Sheridan Park or Buena Park. The corner entrance was home to a Popeye's, which occupied the space for several years until vacating the space circa 2010.

CT wh his

The community crossroads, home populations with backgrounds, life

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2005

2007

2006

2011

2012

2013

$203 million dollars was given for Wilson station renovation Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CTA President Forrest Claypool, several state lawmakers, and nearly a dozen aldermen announced a $646 million state capital investment grant to improve infrastructure on the Red and Purple lines. T Phase II design was expected to be complete but the project was cancelled before the second phase was completed. Funds for the project were reallocated to other capital needs and the plans set aside. The Chicago Transit Board approved funding for the second phase of design work for Wilson station. The approved amendment brought the total design contract for Wilson station to $3.5 million.

2014

2015

2016

Proposals Responses Due in September Developer Evaluation/Selection Development Agreement(s) Finalized Station Project Substantial Completion

The CTA issued an Invitation for Bids (IFB) seeking a general contractor for the reconstruction project. CTA hosted an open house meeting to allow customers and community members an opportunity to view renderings of the proposed Wilson Reconstruction Project. Request For Information published Station Project Start

TA's 2004-2008 Capital Improvement Plan, hich provided funding for rehabilitation of storic Wilson station.

found itself at a e to very different h widely divergent estyles, and priorities.

"Chicago ''L''.org: Stations - Wilson." Chicago ''L''.org: Stations - Wilson. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2013.

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1910

1922

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Original Plan by Arthur Gerber 27


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FACADE STUDIES In order to design an adaptive reuse of the Gerber Building, we first had to understand the building itself. The most prominent feature of the building was the elaborate terracotta facade. Upon further investigation of the ornament and breaks in the facade, we discovered that Arthur Gerber used a rigid grid system to order his decisions.

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Design Lab TRACKS: New

TRACKS: Existing


CTA TRACK REALIGNMENT With the changes proposed for Wilson Station, the CTA tracks that currently cover the majority of the building will be shifted to the west. This allows more of the Gerber Building to not be directly under the tracks. In the new proposal, the tracks will be lifted three feet from the existing ones, the Gerber Building will house an auxiliary station, and concrete decking will conceal the platforms and tracks above to decrease noise.

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PROCESS

DESIGN PROPOSAL

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SITE BACKGROUND

PRECEDENTS

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Adaptive Reuse Various Projects

Successful adaptive reuse structures honor and understand the existing, while reimagining a new future. In looking at examples, we became interested in the idea of the existing facade as only a wall and studied the possibilities of inserting a new volume. In the examples to the right, the new volume has a conversation with the existing. Neither one is dominant and both are dependent upon the other.

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The Plant Chicago, IL

The Plant is an indoor urban farm and food business incubator located in Chicago. The goal of The Plant is to create a net-zero system. To achieve this, they employee an aquaponic system that forms a closed loop. With indoor farming, the possibilities for fresh produce grown within a city are endless.

study: The plant

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Pasona Urban Farm Tokyo, Japan

The Pasona headquarters in Tokyo incorporates 43,000 sq. ft. of its 215,000 sq. ft. office space to an urban farm. In this project, both hydroponic and soil-based plants are used. Over 200 species of fruits, vegetables, and rice grow in this space. The raw goods are then served at the cafeterias within the building. Interestingly, Pasona is a recruitment company and the growing not only takes place on the exterior skin, but also in every free space within the building, including tomato vines above the conference table.

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Gotham Greens Brooklyn, NY

The first commercial rooftop greenhouse in the United States, Gotham Greens produces over 100 tons of leafy greens each year. What is interesting about this project is that an existing unused resource, the rooftop, can be turned into a sustainable model that not only harnesses and reuses rainwater, but also produces goods that are sold at a local Whole Foods Market.

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Institute for Forestry & Nature Research Wageningen, The Netherlands

When looking for precedent studies into how to create a park-like space in Chicago that can be used year-round, we discovered the Institute for Forestry & Nature Research in The Netherlands. Imagine exiting the CTA red line and being immersed in a green space in the dead of winter. We wanted to achieve this so that increased density on our site could be sustained year round. The success, however, was dependent upon the atmosphere of the space and whether or not it felt like a typical atrium. In looking at the project in The Netherlands, we found a precedent that does a great job of creating an indoor space that blurs the boundary between interior and exterior.

Design Lab


The Gerber building is situated at the corner of Wilson + Broadway and directly beneath the Wilson Red Line Station in Uptown Chicago. Uptown is a diverse neighborhood rich in history. It was once the heart of the entertainment district and famous comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin, got their start in Uptown. Currently, the neighborhood is in the process of reviving this rich art scene and will be the future of much growth within the city of Chicago.

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El Campo de Cebada Madrid, Spain

In order for a market to be successful, it must be active throughout the year and be integral to the fabric of the community. El Campo de Cebada is a project in which the community members used readily available materials to create simple structures that could house the various components of a market. This allowed them to have an ownership in the project. Additionally, since the structures are flexible and readily changed, new structures that meet the needs for any given season or activity can be created. This results in a market that is always filled with activity.

precedent study: market precedents

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The Gerber building is situated at the corner of Wilson + Broadway and directly beneath the Wilson Red Line Station in Uptown Chicago. Uptown is a diverse neighborhood rich in history. It was once the heart of the entertainment district and famous comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin, got their start in Uptown. Currently, the neighborhood is in the process of reviving this rich art scene and will be the future of much growth within the city of Chicago.

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Mercado San Miguel Madrid, Spain

Mercado San Miguel in Spain has a strong axis that leads visitors through the space. On this path, vendors flank either side selling a variety of goods. Multiple scales are incorporated, from the path itself, the structure, the people working, and the goods being sold. While the path is linear, the movement through the space is constantly interrupted by movement to the various vendors. This creates a space that is a beautiful static arcade when empty, yet extremely dynamic when filled with visitors.

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PROCESS

DESIGN PROPOSAL

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SITE BACKGROUND

PRECEDENTS

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Design Lab


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Uptown Theatre Institute of Cultural Affairs

Inspiration Kitchen

Cornerstone Community Outreach

Weiss Hospi

Weiss Rooftop Garden

Uptown Farmer’s Marke

Wilson Truman College

ay

adw

Bro

Graceland Cemetery

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Wilson Montrose Beach

ital

et

Markets Community Based Institutions Entertainment 53


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Touch

Smell

Material Light Air People

Auditory

Visual

Train People Transit Mechanical

Area People Kitchen Products Waste Mechanical

View Perspective Frame Transparency Rhythm Shadow/light

Atmosphere

Enclosure

Level of Activity

Grow

Arcade Ramp Promenade Plaza

Dispo se Merchan ts

Connecting people to a sustainable food system

Eat

Doors Stairs Elevators

Enclosure Walls Columns Density Windows

tional Emo

Pathway

Se rv Tou ris ts

e

P

ers ut

Egress

People Columns Stations

Ha rve st

p re

Static

Residents

Proximity

Supply cess Pro dents Stu Co m m

Men Circula tal tion

t an Pl

Density

Pace Publicity

Ph ys ic Seating Handles Bar Stations

Columns Glass Steel Wood Structural Functions

Openings Windows Doors Hallways

Material

Sensory

al

Cook Furnishings

Understanding

Wood Steel Stone Glass

Surprise Clarity Detail Atmosphere

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Behavior Communication

Signage

Advertisement Interaction

Train Street Interior Moving Static Exchange Converse


Circulation

Structure

CTA

Enclosure

Program

Existing Facade

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Types of Interaction 59


Main Level The main level of the Gerber building houses prepared foods, the restaurant, the cafe, and produce. They are all linked together by an indoor plaza that extends outside to the north end of the site. The plaza is the primary circulation area and is home to many landscape details. Along this space, ample room is left for a farmer’s market to set up shop or for performances to take place.

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4

3

1

2

Market Cafe Produce CTA Restaurant

1 2 3 4 5

Ground Plan

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01

5

10

20

raw goods

plant

prepared foods

grow

harvest

compost

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process

supply

purchase

dispose

consume


restaurant

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Connection to Sidewalk

In keeping the existing shell of the Gerber Building, it was important to open up the shell to expose the new volume beneath. The openings in the facade are filled with large panes of glass that open. This establishes both visual and physical connections.

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Connection to CTA Having a CTA auxiliary stop housed in the Gerber Building provides a constant circulation of people through the space. The stairs are located on the axis that links Broadway to the north-south axis. In designing the station, the platform crosses this strong axis and puts the connection to the CTA on display. Vegetation extends to the platforms above making the station a destination and experience the moment one exits the train.

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Connection to Vertical Farm When in the plaza, the two axes meet directly under the vertical tower. This allows for a strong connection to be made to what is happening above. Additionally, this is the area where the fresh produce is sold, allowing consumers the opportunity to see where the fruits and vegetables are coming from. In studying how the tower met the glazed roof of the Gerber Building, the decision was made for the walls to drop slightly into the space, like B in the diagram below. This allows the visual connection to be made of the growing process, but doesn’t appear heavy restricting like version C.

A

B

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C


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Vertical Farm The vertical farm is the component of the project that gives substance to the other programmatic elements. Producing the raw goods that are sold in the market and served in the restaurant allows for not only a connection to the food process, but also a closed-loop food system. The towers soar above the Gerber Building, providing emphasis on the dominant corner of Wilson + Broadway. While their scale makes them iconic to Uptown, they also honor and respect the original Gerber Building. In the towers, an aquaponic system is utilized to allow for growing efficiency. The southern tower is primarily vertical, with large voids that allow the user to see from the ground floor all the way through the levels to the sky above. The northern tower is horizontal, spanning the CTA tracks with voids that emphasize the view to the surrounding context.

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G

18’

68’

30’

76’

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86’

73

55’

94’

The floor plates for each level are different, allowing for a rich and unique experience as the user progresses through the space. Floor levels were determined to establish connections to the main floor of the Gerber Building, the CTA, and views into Uptown.

Tower Levels

40’


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2

3 1

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1 horizontal pipe

2 basin

3 basin with soil medium

4

types of growing

4

vertical pipe

plant

compost

grow harvest process supply

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purchase

dispose


Connection of Towers The connection between the two farming towers is a concrete core. The core houses egress, vertical circulation, research areas, storage, utilities, and plant processing. The core is solid concrete not only for structural and programmatic reasons, but also to provide a sense of threshold between the two towers. When one enters the core, they enter an environment that is much darker than the open tower. The passage through the core heightens the sense of arrival into the next tower.

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1. Vertical Circulation 2. Research 3. Plant Processing 4. Storage 5. Egress

5

4

3

2 1


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Concrete decking ends and light is able to pour into the exterior plaza space

Vertical farming tower touches down on Broadway facade creating a connection to the growing process

Removal of concrete decking on tracks to improve lighting + establish connection to train Broadway entrance is kept as a major entry point into the Gerber Building Glazed roof allows sunlight deep into the space

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process work

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PROCESS

DESIGN PROPOSAL

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SITE BACKGROUND

PRECEDENTS

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Design Lab


INITIAL IDEAS Due to the building being tucked completely under the tracks, the very first ideas involved going vertically, with the prominence being placed upon the corner of Wilson + Broadway. The positives of this idea were that it allowed the tracks to be engaged, yet wasn’t feasible due to the actual configuration of the proposed tracks. Following those concepts, the shift was placed on understanding the possibilities within the Gerber Building itself.

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Design Lab


GRID STUDY Originating from the rigid geometries of the existing building, the grid study was a way to order our decisions. From the study, we explored how to create spaces by removal of units from the grid. The key learning moment was the ability to create individual spaces without the use of walls. In designing the main level of the Gerber Building, much of this was utilized to create spaces that are open, yet divided into smaller clusters.

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COLUMN STUDY Derived from discoveries made in the grid study, the column study was an exercise to use the grid three dimensionally to creat spaces. Since the CTA tracks were causing new columns to be added to the main level of the Gerber Building, we studied how to potentially turn the columns into an asset. In the final proposal, two main areas utilitize the discoveries we made with this study. First, we created spaces that are open to one another yet feel private. Secondly, with the framework of pipes in the vertical farm, light and views are constantly shifting due to the arrangement of this framework. As one moves through the vertical farm, a similar effect is created to the experience of moving through a field of columns.

HOW THE COLUMNS MEET THE PLANE

SEEING MULTIPLE LAYERS AT ONCE

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TOWER PROCESS The towers were initially derived from the floor plates discovered in the column study. The shifting of the levels allowed sunlight to enter into the spaces for plant growth. One of the largest breakthroughs in the project was the decision to make the farm vertical. First, six tower units hovered above the Gerber Building, allowing for a range of spaces, from small and private to large and more public. Exterior catwalks connected the units. As the design progressed, we were able to achieve the hierarchy of spaces with fewer towers, resulting in a simpler design.

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Professional Practice ARCH 4044

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Professional Practice

4 Bid

BUILDING AREAS AND VOLUMES FIXED

2-4 WEEKS

RESOLVE STRUCTURE, ENVELOPE + ENCLOSURE

SPECIALTY CONSULTANT COORDINATION

PROJECT PERFORMANCE CRITERIA REFINED + CONFIRMED

MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING

CLIENT SIGNS OFF ON DESIGN

SCHEMATIC DESIGN ESTIMATE OF COST OF WORK

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER CONSULTED + SELECTED

STRUCTURAL + MEP/FP SYSTEMS DEFINED

PROJECT IMAGES CLEARLY DEPICT DESIGN INTENT

DOCUMENTS INDICATE SCALE + RELATIONSHIP OF COMPONENTS TO PROGRAM

GENERATE MULTIPLE SCHEMES

DETERMINE MOST ECONOMICAL USE FOR SITE + PROGRAM

IDENTIFY PROJECT TEAM + ROLE OF MEMBERS

ESTABLISH CLIENT NEEDS, SCOPE OF WORK + CONTRACT 1-2 WEEKS

3 Design Development

2 Schematic Design

1 Pre-Design Typical Project Schedule 1/3

CLIENT MEETING 2-4 WEEKS 1-2 W

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

SITE ANALYSIS

FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS

DESIGN CHARRETTE

DEVELOP PROJECT DESCRIPTION DEVELOP DESIGN CONCEPT SELECT MAIN SCHEME STRUCTURAL DESIGN DEVELOP PHASING PLAN LIFE CYCLE COST ANALYSIS

ESTABLISH PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS COMPLETE SCHEMATIC DESIGN DOCUMENTS REFINE SCHEMATIC DESIGNS INTRODUCE SUB-CONSULATANTS INVESTIGATE BUILDING SYSTEMS PRICING CODE EVALUATION ISSUE DOCUMENTS FOR BID BIDS SUBMITTED CO


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CLEARED FOR OCCUPANCY

BUILDING INSPECTED

RECORD OF RESOLVED ISSUES

4-6 WEEKS

RECORD OF SIGNIFICANT DESIGN CHANGES

7 DAYS FOR RFI’S, 14 DAYS FOR SUBMITTALS

6 Construction Administration

WEEKS

AWARDED BEFORE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS, IF POSSIBLE

ARCHITECT + CONTRACTOR COLLABORATE ON BUDGET SOLUTIONS

REDUCE RISKS + CREATE BETTER OUTCOME

FINALIZED THERMAL, ACOUSTIC + FIRE RATINGS

5 Construction Documents

1/3 1/3

VARIES BETWEEN PROJECTS

D

ONTRACTOR SELECTED

DETAIL FINAL DESIGN

DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR PERMITTING

PERFORMANCE RATING EVALUATIONS

QUALITY CONTROL

VALUE ENGINEERING

SPECIFICATION WRITING PERMIT AWARDED

PROCESS SHOP DRAWINGS

PROCESS RFI’S + SUBMITTALS

CONDUCT ON-SITE OBSERVATION

SUBSTANTIAL COMPLETION SUBMIT RECORD DOCUMENTS PUNCHING

POST-OCCUPANCY


Professional Practice


Practitioner Interviews

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Conversation with von Weise Associates Chip von Weise John Janda Kristopher Huisinga Karla Hunt Aya Hirose Marcy Townsend Tiffany Danielle Natalie Pastor

Will: One thing I was curious about, which it doesn’t seem like you have this sort of an issue as an office, but have there ever been any situations where office politics and infighting has interfered with a project? And as a project manager, have you ever had to separate people from a project?

weren’t ‘in,’ it felt as if you were expendable at any time. And I was part of that group, so it took a lot of effort to maintain a certain level of involvement with the firm, on a professional or personal level. And it shows, since leaving I haven’t stayed in touch with anyone in the firm.

Chip: No, but I’ve had requests from people not to work together again on a project. It’s rare; I think it’s only happened two times in my sixteen years of practice. Sometimes people are just overly difficult.

Chip: Sounds like high school; we’re at LEAST Freshmen in college here.

Alex: Can you all talk about your group dynamic working in a smaller firm as opposed to a larger firm? Kris: I worked at Cannon before it was Cannon (OWPP) and at that time it was a 200 person firm, and I was pretty fresh without a lot of experience. It seemed that they groomed certain people to become higher ups, and if you

Marcy: Politics can eat you alive. It’s something I’ve grown sensitive to, and immediately appreciated since being here. No matter what happens, there will be politics, and with a hierarchy…there you have it. The firm I was with before had very tricky politics, and it often interfered with the work. It’s something that needs to be managed somewhere someplace in the hierarchy, and when you find the right balance, it’s worth its weight in gold. Kris: For me, there’s definitely a sweet spot, and it’s the

Professional Practice


5-20 person firms. It varies; some people really thrive in larger firms, since they have the ability to really attract some serious talent.

an Architect to do basic things in an office setting for me to then say “ok, bring on the High Design.” I mean, you can only make something so pretty using concrete, vinyl tile, and paint.

Tiffany: In my experience, I’ve mostly stuck to smaller firms. One as low as me and one other person, almost a partnership. My last job was a Landscape Architecture firm, and I was initially the Consulting Architect for the firm, and then quickly became a Project Manager like most of the firm. I found that the stratification of tasks made me feel much less attached to the projects because I was only one piece of it. That’s one of the things that’s awesome about this firm, you work with Chip and get guidance, but also own your project and vision from beginning to end. Its super gratifying being engaged throughout the process instead of just working a portion of the project. It seems like you end up specializing in one aspect of the profession in larger firms, and typically end up getting stuck in that rut. And to touch on office politics, they’re everywhere you go. It’s never fun working with a difficult person, and you have to remind yourself not to be difficult back, it’ll get you nowhere. You get what you give, and it usually irons itself out.

Kris: Yeah, the real world hits pretty quickly after college, specifically because you spend so much time in Architecture school, and I’ve gone back and forth on whether this is a good or bad thing, but you spend a lot of time focusing on Design with a Capital D, but there’s no real execution. I had a design Development class, and that was as far as we got into the process of creating drawing. My first real project was a Data Center…there’s no design there. It’s all about accommodating the engineers, and going from Thesis to that was a smack in the face. So, some skills transfer. My time management skills were critical. Knowing when to ask if you have a question. You don’t always get to design these wonderful poetic buildings for the perfect client with no budget…I don’t mean to be entirely cynical. Tiffany: You mean no budget in terms of limit. “No Budget” projects turns into those vinyl tile and paint projects.

Kris: Remember, we’re all from a smaller firm, so our perspective is definitely biased. It’d be very interesting to compare your notes with the SOM and Cannon groups because it’ll be a very different take on the situation, we’re going to give you one side, make sure you get the other side.

Aya: It seems like in school, you’re creating those problems, and that’s part of your design. While in practice, you’re attempting to solve those problems. Kris: Well, solving them in a real way. Aya: Yeah, it’s no longer hypothetical.

Tiffany: It comes down to the type of personality, and “Doer” you are at a firm. Small firms tend to attract those who follow through and have attention to detail. There were some brilliant designers at my last firm, and I would be amazed at the quickness and creative spirit some of the Big Thinkers had, but they would always change the project, and never really get around to completing tasks. And if you know how you are, then pursue a firm that responds to that.

Aya: I think both for me. Just adjusting to the environment is strange; the mentality switch is difficult but critical. But it’s good to be in that position, because it’s refreshing to be in both mindsets.

Chip: The thing that I see majorly over the years is that the transition has all these issues everyone is talking about, and then the client. It isn’t just the budget constraints and limitations of the client, but understanding that you’re designing for a person, and the project isn’t yours. They have goals and expectations that are idiosyncratic to them, there’s an emotional component to it. I find that I spend a lot of my time helping people understand what the client actually needs and wants, and helping them realize why the client might be freaking out about one thing or another. It’s self-evident on one hand, but more nuance than people think coming out of school. People on their first couple of clients are often baffled…And I’m occasionally baffled as well. We spend a lot of time talking about it and managing it. We try to design things that have Design Content, and the components of that are as close as you’re going to get to an academic environment, at least in this office.

Tiffany: Initially, mine was realizing that the design profession isn’t always what it seems. I worked for my professor at first, and the focus was not on design, it was how to build. It was a lot of code-manifested design. I did learn a lot, and found value in it, but it took a while to feel confidence as

Karla: Yeah, with suddenly dealing with the human element…this is the only place I’ve ever directly dealt with clients. It mostly depends on the type of office. Working at a big office, there are 15 people between you and your client, so you may never hear from them directly.

Will: What was one of the main things you all struggled with shifting from University/academia into professional life, in terms of skill set, management, or general things?

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Chip: Yeah, there are good and bad parts to that. Marcy: The clients can bring you the most difficulty ever imagined, but they are also the ones that give you that intense feeling of reward at the end. I’ve worked 90% on house, so you’re dealing with the most intimate environment anyone is going to experience…it’s a piece of themselves… so you get to know these people more than you care to. When you see the family living in the house or people using the classroom, you get this understanding of “OH, what I just did is real” and you never get that feeling in school. Until you see people using space you drew on paper, and all the things you talked to your boss and engineers about, and see all that effort affect someone’s life. I’ve had clients that were ready to kill each other at the end… Chip: or get divorced…during the process Marcy: Yeah and when they move in, and he has his own den, and she has her own den, everything is harmonious again. Kris: We’re really just marriage counselors. Karla: You do get the rewarding feeling. John: Yeah, there’s a weird bond. You get really close to people, some of which you’ve worked with for several years…it’s a cool process. Tiffany: All the relationships that you forge in your role, with clients and consultants, are pretty crucial. It’s important to try to get as much face time with those people as possible. Overtime, they can really inform you as a designer. John: And good consultants will, for lack of a better word, teach you. You know, we only know a certain amount, and need to learn the rest. Karla: Yeah, school won’t teach you how to have the conversation with the contractor or electrician. And it usually sounds like a foreign language the first couple of times. There’s a level of accountability that doesn’t exist in school that’s overarching…just having to answer to everything… confidently.

Karla: Yeah, I’m at that point all day. We usually go around the office, asking, and if no one knows, then ask Chip, and if Chip doesn’t know, then we call the consultant. Tiffany: Also, Product Reps are great. They’re experts in their own product…and won’t bill your project. Consultants can bill hours to the project and still not have an answer. But if you can go to a supplier, it can be a great resource, because ultimately they want to sell you the product and have it in your project. The biggest thing is questions, questions, questions, ask them. Don’t worry about looking stupid, because as long as you communicate clearly most people in the business will be open to your inquiry. Even in drawings, we draw to understand and discover, and in turn communicate. Sometimes there will be errors, and part of the discovery is finding those discrepancies and realizing how the design can be better through resolution. A clean, quality drawing can go a long way. Nick: So in the process, what role do you take vs. what role does Chip take. How is that interaction back and forth, and what different ways do you explore the idea, either through drawings or something new? Karla: Our relationship with Chip is pretty dependent on the client. Some clients just want more Chip time. We’ll work through design problems with Chip, we’ll always go through an idea and work it out, and he looks for that in us. It’s a nice breath of fresh air, because most offices don’t do that. John: It’s client dependent. I’ve worked with clients who can’t visualize anything, so we had to make cardboard scale models just to show them what we were thinking. Tiffany: So far anything I’ve mentioned to Chip, even if it isn’t the same thing he thinks, he’s been very receptive. He wants to hear your opinion, and if he doesn’t agree, he can tell you why it won’t work. Chip is where he’s at because he’s been there and done that, while being extremely charismatic. Karla: I have classmates from grad school that were not good designers, workers, or executors, and because they were extremely charismatic, own extremely successful firms.

John: We have to wear every hat; you have to know everything even if you don’t know it.

Tiffany: Understanding personality in this profession is a big thing, between clients and bosses and contractors.

Laura: When looking at big firms, they seem to have a specialist for everything. In smaller firms, what do you do when you can’t figure something out, or when do you reach that point?

John: And back to the relationships conversation, you’ll develop close relationships with contractors because you ultimately want the same goal. There’s a level of trust you develop, as long as you keep both levels of interest in mind. Alex: Why did you all decide to practice and not take

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your careers in a different path?

Kris: You need to set your schedule because you can’t rely on work to set it. There’s always something to do.

Karla: Well, I didn’t want to get a PhD, so that rules out academia. I like building stuff, its super fun. It’s the best part.

John: Studio culture in academia dictates you should be working all the time, but people burn out way too quickly. The difference is that projects, and the semester, end in school. You need to find that balance in the workplace, because it doesn’t end.

Tiffany: Yeah, I’ve recently come out of a big questioning period where I was trying to find something else to do aside from Architecture, but I found that I just kept doing little projects and sketches. So coming back, it is about the building part. That’s the reward. The whole Design-Build thing is really interesting, because it’s all about Build. It’s a totally different experience, and used to be frowned upon, but you can get special certifications and stuff.

Tiffany: It all lies within you. I missed my own surprise party because I had to get a project out for midnight deadline. I was the only one in the office, and needed to do it. Afterwards, I decided I was going to reevaluate. If a project is overbearing, ask for help, and if you don’t get it, set your limit. If it doesn’t get done, there’s only so much you can do without help.

Karla: I don’t know many people who didn’t practice, and those who didn’t usually ended up in totally different career paths. A lot end up as Product Reps.

Karla: I don’t think you’ll ever find an employer who is adverse to you saying “This is my life.”

Alex: I always thought it was interesting that people still do what they’re passionate about and find ways to incorporate it into Architecture.

Kris: Well and if you do, you leave, because you don’t need to do that.

Karla: You have to be passionate, we don’t get paid enough not to be. There’s no other reason to do it this besides liking it…unless you want to die at least once a week.

Karla: If you set the expectation early on, it won’t be a problem, because then it’s known, and it can’t really be argued with.

Tiffany: I’m excited, because the older you get, the more valuable and skilled you become as an architect. We age like fine wine…or cheese. You get better at what you do. In this profession you won’t get pushed out because you’re old. The older members are usually more integral and active on projects. Functional Obsolescence won’t happen.

Tiffany: Just be mindful. If you want to set your boundaries, and then be sure you’re pulling your weight at work during office hours. The work is work, whether it happens in an 8 hour day or 12 hour day. Karla: And I’ve had this discussion with Chip, and he’s always been open and said whatever is going on outside of work with family and life takes precedence to the office.

Karla: That is true, our skills don’t become obsolete. Kris: No one heard about Frank Gehry until he was about 65 years old.

John: And that’s because he has that same philosophy. If it’s more important, make it more important. My last boss had the opposite, where Work was it, except he didn’t want to put in the time, so his job became my job. The person running the firm has to set the example, and allow his employees to follow.

Tiffany: And even what we do, were building upon ancient technology. Romans used bricks, and were still building on that. What we know doesn’t go away and always learning new things. We don’t tend to get phased out of use. Kris: I don’t know, my lead paint and asbestos house didn’t pan out too well.

Tiffany: In this industry, there is this component that’s almost hazing. It’s expected that you pay your dues, and put your time in…staring at sections… to earn the right to call yourself an architect…and I think that’s BS and you don’t have to fall into that. Establish your boundaries early or you’ll find yourself being taken advantage of.

Nick: How do you find the work/life balance? Karla: I had to sit down and tell Chip “my schedule doesn’t allow me to stay past 515 3 days out of the week,” because it doesn’t. I have to go home and take care of kids. But I usually log on later in the night. You have to find what you’re comfortable with, your family, your friends.

Marcy: And sometimes you’ll be asked to do the menial tasks like organizing the product library, but there is value in it, and there are lessons you can derive. You want to show 105


that you’re willing and a team player, and keeping the bigger picture in mind helps the first couple of years. Tiffany: It’s kind of a rite of passage.

want to do as opposed to finding the right place. Alex: Well, today was very helpful, thank you.

Natalie: I guess it depends on who’s in charge, they’re paying, and so do what’s asked. There are a lot of people to hire for entry-level jobs, and people feel like they should do certain things because they’re asked. It might not be in the job description, but you don’t want to seem unappreciative for having a job either. It’s all how you set your precedent up. Karla: What kinds of places do you think you want to be in? Alex: At this point, I really don’t know. While I’m in school, I want to experience all I can. Since being in Chicago, I’m more OK with saying I don’t know. Right now, it’s trying everything, and seeing what works, then deciding from there. John: It’s good that you’re thinking about that now, because it doesn’t get easier. Tiffany: Definitely. I would encourage you to keep your commitments loose enough to get those personal experiences and travel. I’ve never been to Europe and it sucks. You can learn so much just by actually seeing things. Once you get a job and settle down, it’s hard to take vacation time, especially with how our industry is so demanding and fast paced. Karla: Some clients are only available on days you should have off. Especially in residential work. Tiffany: There are plenty of industries that don’t follow that sort of loose schedule, so if that isn’t your thing, be mindful. Kris: I know a lot of people in my class that ended up being non-traditional architects as well. You can do a lot of different things with this degree. Marcy: There’s quite a few papers written that argue Architecture actually is the best education you can receive. It doesn’t teach you at all what it takes to function in an office. It teaches you how to think, problem solve, ask the right questions, and communicate with people. You can almost do anything with a Design mindset. Nick: This semester has really helped me see where I want to go, and realize what I do and don’t want to do. John: There’s almost more value in finding what you don’t Professional Practice


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Irma Ayala Designer GREC Architects

Nick: Can you briefly talk about your history and why you came to Chicago and decided to do architecture? Irma: It goes back to when I was a kid and I would like to build my own houses. I had a friend who knew that I liked to do this so much and she gave me a magazine that had a bunch of floor plans. She thought it would be good to understand how they work. I’m not very good at 3d, but the plans help me organize things really well. It’s what I have done since I was eight years old. My brother went to be an industrial designer. In Mexico, you have to have one year in architecture and then switch into industrial design. He decided he really liked architecture and stayed there. It helped me see that architecture was real and that it exists. I can build things if I study architecture. My brother works for Kengo Kuma. He got into the office because he was the only person doing a doctorate program at the school he studied at in Japan. Kengo Kuma is his mentor. I don’t

think I have the same design vision as he does. I don’t know if that’s because I am in the states and our design here is much more limited by codes, where in Japan he has much more freedom. It’s the same in Mexico. After school, I spent two years in Mexico. You can do more things, but the problem is money. There is no restriction by code, though. You don’t have to have a handrail on the stairs. That’s how they get these elegant and beautiful staircases. My frustration with living in the U.S. is that everything is based on the module and you have to document everything. It is just so limiting. Nick: What led you to Chicago? Irma: That’s a coincidence. It wasn’t architecture. It was an ex-boyfriend. He met somebody who knew another person who was an architect. He suggested that I talk to the office (GREC) and that’s how I ended up there.

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Nick: What do you do day to day? What is your focus?

very beautiful buildings and a rich history, but so many of the architects today are unwilling to take risks. Everything is just a box. It’s all the same. There’s no innovation. I guess Jeanie Gang is the only one. Maybe Gensler. But in general, it’s all traditional. They look fine, but it’s nothing interesting.

Irma: Now I do different things. I do a lot of details. I’m starting to work finally on more coordination with clients, which is good. Lately I have been working on coordinating the matierials for an interior project. With this, you basically have to focus on all of the details. Take the grid on the ceiling above us. Not every tile can fit in each spot. I have to size out details like that. These are things that are really small but you realize you have to coordinate them.

Nick: I think “fine” is the best way to describe the work today. Irma: I am trying to move to Los Angeles because there is so much going on there. Where do you want to live?

Nick: Do you enjoy working on the smaller scale projects like the one you just mentioned or do you wish you worked on larger scale projects?

Nick: I don’t know. I want to live at least a portion of my life in Europe. I’m not really attached to a certain place. I think that’s both good and bad.

Irma: I like small. I really like small. I worked for GREC for four years and then I left for one year for a corporate office before coming back to GREC. I did not like it. I do not like big scale. It’s not because it’s ambitious, but it’s because you get lost very easily. With these large projects, it easily takes four to five years to complete a project. So it’s a long time to work on just one thing. For 505, the first high-rise they did here, it was three years. It’s a long time. You do the plans over and over and over because they are changing it constantly or the budget is shrinking. It becomes a little tedious. Every time I have to change a project, I have to reset my mind and think of it like it’s a new project.

Irma: No, that’s good. One day you will have to and you will miss exploring new places. I think Europe will be amazing. It will be a much more open experience. I always say I would like to have my own office, but if that doesn’t happen, I would say I just want more of an opportunity to design. That’s what I like. Not many people give you a chance to do that. It’s possible to work in a place that does just the design. There are many firms that do this and then sub out the construction documents or technical things. GREC often has been hired to do the construction documents. That’s also why you sometimes get lost. You don’t get to design. You just get to coordinate someone else’s design. Sometimes architects are more just the people that orchestrate all the disciplines. We get blamed for everything, but never get any of the credit. I was in a meeting on one of our projects. The interior designers were the stars, like the rock stars. Everyone was talking to them, but I was writing notes about everything that was said because at the end of the day, it was me who had to implement all of these things. Whatever they proposed, I had to make it happen, even if I wasn’t being acknowledged. Architects are rarely seen as the rock star, unless you are really famous.

Nick: What’s your favorite part about architecture? Irma: I think I’ve lost it. That’s the good news about being in school. That’s what I admire about you. You still have the passion. You kind of lose that when you get into work. It becomes very routine working for somebody and don’t get the chance to really design. I think my favorite part is when I get to propose something and have the approval or acceptance of other people. Even if it’s small. I designed the carpet and they are going to install it. You find a way to get excited over the little things. You lose the passion unless you have your own office. But that’s tough too. Somebody has to be in charge of the budget, the schedules, the construction, and administrative tasks. You don’t always have the time to design. You will be forced to delegate. In a successful office, you need to have a variety of personalities. Someone that is great at design, someone who is very technical and knows how to building a building.

I like to complain about my job at times, but at the end of the day, I don’t know if there is another place I would rather work. Sometimes you have to be in situations that aren’t ideal or where I don’t get to design too much because they teach you a lot. Danny, my boyfriend, gave me a good point. You can always go back into design. If you know how to design, you can always go back into it. If you are a good designer, you are going to be a good designer even if you lose the track and have to come back to design. If you were never good, it doesn’t matter how much you try to come back. You just have to be honest with yourself and know what you’re good at.

If I can make a suggestion, I would say don’t work in Chicago. Just don’t do it. Nick: Why is that? Irma: I think the mentality is very conservative. It has some 109


What about you? What is your strength and weakness? Nick: I think I am really good at visualizing the 3d space. I’m not very good at representing it to other people in my drawings. I can draw a plan that has a lot going on in section, and visualize that. The plan is just a tool to let my brain think through what is up there. I can really get myself in there and perceive it. I think my weakness is that I can lose interest easily in a project. I will get to a phase and be ready to move on, much of the time too easily. I have to find those moments of passion and discovery that keep me moving throughout the entire project. I think another weakness is my ability to come up with a design really quickly. I think from the inside out, so a competition where it is an image of the entire thing is tough. For me, the form comes from designing the spaces and your movement between them. What about you? Irma: I think my strength is that I am really fast. I am fast because I don’t have much patience. My weakness is that I probably get lost. I get focused on tiny details and I lose the entire picture. I have to be honest and talk to other people and have them help me sort out my mess. Nick: Any last words of advice? Irma: I think that you will be successful in whatever you set your mind to. Just remember to never lose the passion. Have fun because that’s what matters.

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Christopher Lawton, AIA Micah Stanley, AIA Owners/Partners Lawton-Stanley Architects

Nick: Can you start by giving a little background? What led you to architecture as well as Chicago? Christopher: I graduated in 2003. I went to work for a firm in Germany named Pfeiffer Rosen Kuhn. I was there about two years until 2005. It was a really good experience with great people. I loved it. My buddy moved to Chicago. I decided I wanted to come back mainly because I missed family. He convinced me Chicago was the place. I knew I wanted to live in a bigger city, at least a dense place, so I was looking at New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle even. I had never been here before, actually the entire Midwest. I had gone to California, but that was about it off of the east coast. I came here and had five interviews at five different firms. I thought for sure I would get a job. I was very cocky. I did not get any of those jobs. I ended up working at a bar for four to five months. I was also a doorman. Not a healthy lifestyle, but it worked. During the

days, I would take my portfolio case and a suit, walk around downtown. I was literally looking at the yellow pages to find firms to visit. It was a very humbling experience. I went to a bunch of different firms. Some wouldn’t even let me in the door. There was one firm that I buzzed up to and told them who I was. They wouldn’t even respond. All I could hear was silence. I ended up getting a job at this one place. It was not a design-oriented firm at all. It was mainly retail, like Targets. It was soulless and tough to work on. I kept sending out stuff while I was there to try to get another job. I was there around six months. It was the biggest firm I have worked at. It had around sixty employees. It’s a good thing I left because in 2008, they dropped to about twelve. I was there three to four months. One of the five firms I originally interviewed with was Perkins + Will. I got a call from Perkins + Will saying that they got a new project and needed to hire some people and wanted to bring me back in. I go and they made it sound like they were going to hire me. It was a good

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lesson in not quitting your job until you know for sure you have a job. I almost quit my job. I didn’t hear anything back from Perkins + Will. A couple of weeks went by and I got a call from another office. I went to that interview. They said they were interviewing others, but would make a decision shortly and let me know. At least they were honest. I got another call from Perkins + Will. They said to come back in. I thought I would be going in to sign a contract and start in a couple of weeks. It was kind of weird and they were very disorganized. They ended up just grabbing these two guys randomly who were HR guys. It was strange. I think they were stalling because they hadn’t landed the big job for sure. After three weeks I get a call from the other firm I interviewed at to come back in. They made me an offer and I accepted. The same day I got another call from Perkins + Will to come back in. I took great pride in saying no. At my new job, I met Micah, my partner. I was there seven years. While I was there, I worked on a lot of stuff. A lot of high end residential, restaurant work, a dorm oddly enough, and Micah and I worked pretty closely together when we could stand each other. I worked on a project. It was an interior office build out. It was for a firm called equity international. The guy that I worked under was really great in terms of drawing with good line weights and his attention to detail helped me see a lot, but he was horrible to work under. He only wanted to work on high end residential. When we got this equity international project, he was supposed to run it, but he didn’t really want to. So he pushed it off on me, which I was happy to accept. A side note, one of the unique things about this office was that since it was small, you got to do a lot of different things. It was much different than my time at a larger office. It really sets you up to learn those things you will need to know to start your own office. At least you think it does. Another thing, the way the firm worked, it wasn’t particularly organized. If a project came in that you wanted and you pushed and bullied a little bit, you could run a project at 26 years old. That’s not common in many offices. I was working with the owner of the company on it. There was a falling out between him and the CFO. I thought we were going to get fired from the job. My former boss didn’t want anything to do with the project after that. We didn’t get fired, but got an email from the CEO telling us not to be idiots. From then on, he didn’t go to any of the meetings. What that did was, it allowed me to form a bond with the CEO. He was a really great guy and still is. At the end of the project, he said that he wanted to do more projects and asked me if I wanted to do them on my own.

thoughts of continuing to do it. Truthfully, I always wanted to do it. I always was looking for ways to maybe do something like that. The next thing that came around was a focus group facility. It was very shady. It was actually in the same building that my old office was. Again, it’s one of those things where in our company, as we grow, I will be very against employees having access to clients, ever. I just don’t want them to steal our clients. I think one of the failures of my old boss was that he allowed complete access. In this case, he owned the floor we were in. There were association meetings and my former boss didn’t want to go so he asked me to. I go and form a relationship with the guy I did the project for. That’s how they project started. I did the design and the CDs. I learned a lot about the realities of bidding it. They ended up not building it, which was probably good because we would have definitely got caught at that point. Around that time, Micah’s friend was starting a vet clinic. They asked him if he would do a design. I like to think it was because he liked working with me, but I think it was mainly because I had a stamp. I was licensed. He talked to me about stamping the drawings for the clinic. We did that project. We were making a little money, but not a lot. I was working on a residential project for a family in Glencoe. It’s another one where my former boss was absent. The relationship was really between the owners and me. They are wonderful people who have been incredibly good to us, and continue to be. They had a friend in Glencoe as well and saw her project and gave me a call. In the kitchen of our office, I remember talking to Micah and we decided to do the project. It’s a seven thousand square foot home. In the same week, we got a call from this guy, post 2008, who came across his destitute, basically. He was a wealthy guy who lost everything in 2008. He had been working with my former boss. He had actually asked another employee, who was working on his project, if he wanted to do some side work to get going again. That guy said no and sent me his name. I called him and we agreed to the fees and started the project. So we had those two. Keep in mind that Micah and I were both working our other jobs and were pretty high up. We were running other jobs. I was traveling to New York every week for two or three days. Usually three. We were trying to pull this off doing it nights and weekends. There were times when we were driving to Glencoe that one of us was driving while the other was modeling on a laptop in the car. There just wasn’t enough time. It’s not the healthiest of lifestyles. I was sick all of the time. So we had these two projects that were taking up all of our time. Micah’s wife went into a wine shop and talks to the owner it comes up that her husband is an architect thinking about starting a company. He had this friend who was having a lot of trouble finding an architect to do a restaurant. She gives him our number. He calls and I first told him that we couldn’t do it. We just didn’t have the time and

What they do is that they invest in these emerging markets and start companies. So they started a hotel chain, a mini mall, and a storage facility. He asked at one time if we would do prototype projects, mainly for investor packages. That was kind of the beginnings of it. During that time, I formed some rough LLC’s because I started having 113


restaurants really are a pain. He kind of convinced me to meet him and we figured out what it was that he did. He did extremely high end food: the twelve course, little bite, insanely expensive stuff. There was a lot of potential to do something cool. I don’t think either Micah or I thought we would get the job. That was based on the fact that my former employer did get the chance to do a job like that but it was after working for twenty years. The reason we got it was because we worked for a firm that had done that kind of work, but were a third of the price. We meet with these guys and we meet the chef and the sommelier. They were really cool people. The investor was a former hockey player and he did business the way he played hockey. He was very aggressive. At the interview, I thought this was a crazy person. We walked out of the interview thinking we didn’t have a chance, but we got a call saying they wanted to work with us. That’s when the fear started to set in because of the amount of stuff we had just said yes to and the reality of the amount of time we had. The lecture I was going to give your studio was going to be called fiasco. There was a This American Life (podcast) that was talking about success and fiasco. They tell this story of this play where the hopes of the person putting this on was that it would be this great production but it turned out to be a total fiasco. I don’t think our project did that, but that was our fear. When you have that level of expectation, it’s a long way to fall if you mess it up. We start working through this and learn even more how insane this investor is. He threatened lawsuits over nothing. The process starts picking up and we were able to get our office space we are in now through those guys. Micah and I make a plan that we are going to leave our job in October. We started getting closer and my project in Glencoe is delayed. At that point I had developed a pretty good relationship with them and I didn’t want to leave until it was done. Micah put in his notice and I hung around. It starts getting really suspicious. I have very little care for the projects in New York. I just wanted to work on the side work we were doing and finish the project in Glencoe. The other factor in all of this is that there is a certain financial risk in all of this. You want to save as much as you can. We had historically gotten bonuses at the end of the year right before Christmas. We usually got them at the Christmas party. It was December 16, 2011. We all of the sudden have impromptu reviews. I go in and I was pretty blunt about being unhappy, but I didn’t say that I was doing side work for the last year. He lets me go through this whole thing and then he said it had come to his attention that I was doing side work. I don’t know if you know, but that’s not allowed. My heart sinks and I get all nervous. He gets really upset and doesn’t outright tell me to leave. He asked me what I was going to do. “Are you going to stop doing this stuff? If not, you need to leave.” I asked how long of a notice he would need if I were to leave. I didn’t want to screw him over even more than I already had. He was

always very good to me. He said, “Well, you can leave now if you want.” I didn’t think that was best for anyone. I wanted to finish the project in Glencoe and I knew it was close. It was really close. I let that family know what was going on, even though he told me not to. We agreed that I would stay until the end of January. We officially form Lawton-Stanley Architects in January of 2012. We had been doing it awhile, but that’s when it was official. We get a lawyer, and accountant, and get everything together. We started molding our office space and getting it ready. Going back to the restaurant, it was by far the most stressful thing I have been through in terms of money, in terms of psychos you are working with, and in terms of fear. I mean, it was painful, mainly because of that investor. He will argue that his efforts saved them half a million dollars, but if you asked me, they would have opened another six months earlier had they spent more. What would they have made in that six months? I think it would have been a better space had he not been involved. We were going through that and had a proposal for what we thought was a lot of money at the time. There was a big difference between making money on the side when you have a job and paying your bills with it. Our proposal was a lump sum for ten months in monthly increments, which is unusual. The project was eighteen to nineteen months. It was a long process so we had eight to ten months with no fee for a project that was literally taking ninety percent of our time. We kind of had that roller coaster where we made money then we watched it bleed out. It’s hard to stay motivated when this guy is beating you up and you’re not making any money. In fact you are struggling to do other stuff with people who are actually paying, but you don’t have time to do it because you are spending so much energy on this guy’s project. Saying that, what were we going to do? We were aware and he was aware, which was the main point, that this was by far the most important thing we were doing right then and it would help us get started. As much as I complain about this guy being a psycho, only a psycho would hire two guys who don’t have a company yet to work on a restaurant of that caliber to save money. Most sane people would never do that. Something for you to think about in order to get started are that the people who are going to hire you, have to be hiring you for some reason. For this guy, he knows he can leverage the hell out of us because we can’t do anything. Had the job gone really fast, I guarantee he wouldn’t have paid us the rest of the money. He ended up screwing over a lot of people on that job. It was a tough one. That guy who was destitute has turned into our best client.

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deliverable. It’s tough to do that for years.

There has not been a month since we started that we haven’t billed him. It’s one of those things, I think when you’re starting, and you have three avenues of getting clients. One is friends. Friends, family, if you’re lucky enough to be wealthy, that’s how the majority of architects get started. It’s a heck of a lot easier to do it that way. That’s one avenue. The second is people that are in a situation where they need to work with you. Most people are not going to want to work with people who don’t have a track record of doing things on their own. You can say you did this or that at another firm, but it doesn’t really count until you did it on your own. If you can find that person that lost everything and is trying to rebuild, stick to that guy because he might rebuild and do well and bring you along with him. The third, which is the unfortunate one, is the psychos of the world. Those psychos will hire you for the absolute wrong reasons. They know you’re cheaper, they know they can bully you and not have much recourse, and if they want, they can not pay you and there’s probably nothing you can do about it. Micah, do you want to add anything? Do you disagree with me?

Christopher: I don’t think very many small firms run like the one we worked at. It’s really like a college studio. The boss came in and kind of critiqued and then walked away and left you to your own devices to figure it out. Buildings are incredible complex. It takes a long time to figure out. We still have trouble with things. Just the other day we had a medicine cabinet that was opening up into a sconce because the sconce wasn’t drawn in the correct way. You try to account for that stuff, but it’s hard. You don’t draw every detail. You can’t. The client looks at you like you’re a moron. How in God’s name could you mess that up? Micah: They have no idea there are thirty other relationships around there that you figured you. You nailed them. Nobody notices that. It’s the one that you overlook that everyone sees. Christopher: It’s like a drawing. If you make a drawing that is photorealistic and looks dead on, people just look at it and accept it and move on. But if you mess up the ear or the nose nostril is just not quite right, that’s the only thing the person will see. Their eye will go right to it. When you have that kind of critique on a three dimensional basis and at the scales that we work, it’s tough. Things are going to happen.

Micah: No, I mean, we’ve been really lucky to get all of the clients we have and we continue to get more in. The amount of proposals we have out right now is great. It’s exciting and interesting. At my last job, I was stressed out all the time. I had a hard time with the way the projects would run. We were in charge of negotiating the first contracts or negotiating the client’s expectations. We didn’t build the client relationship, but we were tasked with running the project. There’s and inherent conflict there. If you don’t get to guide what the client thinks is going to happen, the scope, cost, and really your role, then it’s really hard to fulfill those expectations. Our boss kind of had unrealistic expectations of what we could do so we had to do crazy stuff that was outside of our scope. It’s not that we didn’t want to do those things, but it just led to problems because we didn’t know what we were doing all the time. The costs would go through the roof and it was all falling on us. One of the nice things about working for yourself is that you can guide all of those things. You can control client’s expectations. You can define the limits of your own scope. You can tell them what you are very good at, what you can control, and you can define what other relationships are with contractors and consultants. It actually takes a lot of stress out of our life. It makes everything run a lot smoother.

During one of Micah’s project, he would get phone calls at five o’clock every day. I think she was out shopping or something because she didn’t work. They were like an hour long and you could just see him over time get less sensitive to her whining. Micah: It’s funny because at that time, I talked to her longer on the phone than any girlfriend I had at the time, or my wife or my mom. What do you do? Christopher: The key is to manage the expectation. Tell the client that upfront. They will be much calmer when the bids come back high or we mess something up. They don’t feel like they have been lied to. That’s a big thing. Nick: What is important in terms of finding the right partner to work with? Christopher: Whatever people are good at, the instinct for a lot of people is to push that thing as the most important thing of the process. If you have really strong design people, people who can sketch the wind, compositionally they put something together that blows you away. Those people will think that’s the most important thing. Then you have the detail people who look at the world through a narrow scope and are all about construction, constructability, and

Christopher: And it feels more honest. You don’t feel like you are lying to people. Micah: Sometimes your boss promises something that’s just not possible. You try your best, but it’s not always 115


detail. Those are the most important things. There was this idiot back at my old firm; he was a detail guy that said he could shake great designs out of his sleeve. He couldn’t. He was a horrible designer. He always did lame stuff and did boring details. They had no ideas that were governing the architecture. That’s the most important thing you can ever do. If you get to that point, everything else files into line. That silly, abstract idea makes it worth it. Back to the point, you’ve also got the process people who are all about how you get there. You really have a mix of all kinds of people who think what they are doing is the only way to go, but it’s all crap. All of them are incredibly important. You need to be cognizant of your own abilities and be honest with yourself and others about what it is you do well. Try like hell to improve those other things, and be respectful of what that other person brings to the game. That is incredibly important. If Micah, with all of his talent, was really arrogant, we would never work. What really works is that we both design things and both criticize the hell out of each other. We had an argument last night. We have an argument everyday. It was over the way I was writing a scope summary, which is the administrative crap you have to do. It’s important though. We had an interview on Thursday with a potential client. We sent a proposal and an initial scope summary. My initial draft of it was very dry. I said things like renovation and addition to kitchen; stuff like that. He threw a hissy fit that what was written there could be picked up at Home Depot. You could give that to anyone. There was no architectural idea expressed in it. I knew it was going to be given to the husband and he’s a lawyer. I thought we would want things dry and listed out. Micah thought that was stupid. He left and I stayed here. I rewrote it doing what he said, and it was better. Maybe the client will look at it and think we are artsy fartsy and that he doesn’t want to work with us. I still feel better because I believe in the stuff I wrote. You’ve got to have the relationship with someone where they aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings and tell you if it’s not right. You really need to engage each other in that way. If you sit there and think that it is good, don’t. You should never say that it looks good. You should look at it and see what can be better; what needs to be changed. The other thing is that we both work on every project, but one person takes the lead. The other person is the support and is there to critique and help the process. Nick: Where do you see yourself going from here now that you have finally started the office? Christopher: We make jokes about having a ten-person office and coming in and designing and making furniture. The truth is, we are both very controlling people. We would never, in the foreseeable future anyway, give up the control to someone that I don’t trust inherently. It would

be hard for me to say that we want to grow. We are pretty comfortable. We had someone work in here. She is gone now to grad school. It’s really expensive to have people. A lot of times we are picky about the way we want stuff. It is hard on someone unless they are really gifted in getting it and understanding that if they don’t do the line weights how we want, we aren’t going to be happy. They need to understand that we are going to be really hard. I think eventually we will start picking up people, but it would take a heck of a lot of work. We have a lot of projects now and we manage because we are both pretty open to do what we need to get the work done. That’s another thing I want to talk about: work ethic. You are going to want to work with people that have similar work ethics. You have lazy people, you have the guys that literally work around the clock, and then you have people like us that won’t leave until the deadline is done, but if you have a day with nothing to do and it is sunny outside, we will go outside. You don’t have to be here. For me, what I hated so much about working in a firm is that our business is so deadline driven. It’s so much work with insane productivity then it falls off a cliff, especially if you are putting a CD set out. I always hated the fact that I would work until midnight two weeks in a row, but didn’t get the weekend off once it was turned it. It always bugged me. It just seemed unfair and stupid. When we aren’t that busy, we might get lunch for an hour and grab a beer, but when we are busy, we will do what it takes to get the work done. It’s a lot more like school was. Micah: We work in a field where you have to be inspired and creative. Physically sitting at a computer all of the time; what can be less inspiring than that? Not to mention that it’s unhealthy. I am a huge proponent of vacation and getting out when you can. I mean, you have to get your stuff done, of course. That’s first and foremost, but anytime you can do other stuff, do it. I have a seven-month-old baby and that changes things slightly, but tonight we are going to be out until probably midnight working on a competition with some friends. It’s really important to get to work on other stuff and stuff that you have fun doing. One other thing I feel like I should say, working in a small office and getting experienced with all phases of architecture is super important if you ever want to do your own thing. Almost even more importantly, is that you are forced to communicate with all of the parties involved with making buildings, like clients and contractors. These people don’t talk like architects. They don’t think like architects. You can’t talk to them like that or nothing will work. I think a huge part of the job is figuring out how to communicate well. That’s a big part of it. Nick: What is your favorite part about architecture. What do you really enjoy now that you have your own office? Christopher: For me, doing this type of work, as frustrating

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as it is, is the most intrinsically rewarding thing I have ever done. Truthfully. I have heard that when you have children, that is more intrinsically rewarding, but for me at this point in my life, I’ve found nothing else that makes me feel more accomplished. When I get through a project, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I know what went into it. I feel proud of it. Another anecdote, but when you start a project, every project has a pain bucket. You will not know what size that bucket is, until you are really far into it. That restaurant, it was a pain dumpster. Every project is really difficult in some respect. It’s going to be. That’s where feeling good about it at the end really matters. Micah: My favorite thing is going back to why we got into it in the first place. We can take a problem that a client gives us and work on it architecturally until the solution emerges. I love that part. Clients bring this blank site and a list of requirements. Juggling all of those things until an architectural solution comes out is just great. That problem solving process is awesome. I love doing it and we get to do it all the time. Nick: What pieces of advice would you give for me for the future? Micah: Try to go to the best possible office you can. Seriously. Aim as high as you can and do everything you can to get in there. I think it’s worth it. It’s a great experience, even if you aren’t there for long. Really do a lot of research into how they work and see if you respect the work and want to work for them. Christopher: This is going to sound really pretentious and I don’t mean it to be, but refuse to be mediocre. Always try to make it better. My first job here, I worked in a bar. Then I worked in a crap firm, before a good one. Just keep pushing. If you keep that pace, eventually you will chip away and get closer and closer. Inertia is a crazy thing. If you sit back, three years go by. You have to constantly be looking. When people first start playing chess, they have this delusion that you play fifteen moves ahead. It’s the miracle move. As you play more and more, you realize certain spots on the board hold a certain advantage. You start playing to move yourself into positions that give you the advantage. That’s how you do it. Slowly, you chip away at it. If you see an opportunity to develop a relationship with a client, you don’t go in say let’s work together right off the bat. That’s the miracle move. Do the things that put you in a position where that person thinks highly of you.

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Chip von Weise, AIA, LEED AP Owner von Weise Associates

Nick: I wanted to talk more specifically about starting your own practice. What were the difficulties involved and what got you interested in it in the first place? Chip: What got me interested in started in my own practice was an internship I did between my third and fourth years of grad school. My first two summers I worked for a midsize firm. It was a forty to fifty person firm that did a variety of projects from a couple of houses to corporate interiors to healthcare. Then I worked for a small boutique firm, Peter Forbes, in Boston. He did small house projects, some small retail projects, and restaurants. He was sort of the design focused boutique and did some beautiful houses. I really liked that. I knew I could see myself doing that. When I came to Chicago I had a cousin who was in the design industry and told her I was interested in working in a smaller firm to learn how they did what they did with an eye toward potentially starting my own shop. So she gave

me a list of the top firms. I ended up taking a job at Booth Hansen. At that point, they were smaller; twelve or so. I learned a lot from Larry Booth. In between graduating and taking the job at Booth, I designed and built a house for my brother-in-law and designed but didn’t build a house for my mother and father-in-law in Toledo, Ohio. This let me build a house I designed and that sort of reinforced that was fun. After being at Booth Hansen six to eight months, I had someone approach me to do a project. We did that with Booth Hansen. It was a hotel renovation project. He was a guy I met in Boston socially and they bought a hotel here in Chicago. I brought that project in and then I had another client come in that had a big piece of property in the north shore and we designed a house for them. Then I had my former employer from when I did advertising approach me to do their Sao Paolo, Brazil office so we did their office in Sao Paolo, which was really fun. I took two trips down which was great. So I was bringing in work and I was frustrated

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because it was Larry’s firm. He didn’t give me much financial compensation for what I did. While Larry backed off and let me have a pretty strong hand in the design, the mid level managers who were above me where very difficult to work with. They weren’t bringing in any projects so they didn’t see why I got to design projects and they didn’t so they were always making it difficult for me. I had a guy at Booth Hansen who was a year ahead of me at the GSD talk to me about starting a practice. His name was Matt Peatrey. He was more of a technical guy. He was good friends with John Ronan who also wanted to start his own firm. We were pretty naïve so we said sure. I landed a coach house project. Then I got a gut rehab of a house on the gold coast. At the time, John was working for Dirk Lohan and I worked for Hansen. We did those two projects at night. We did them completely by hand. Those projects paid for our servers and computers and the startup of the firm. We did it with no insurance. We did set up a LLC so if anything did go wrong we couldn’t be sued, personally. Our clients knew we didn’t have insurance. I left Booth Hansen first and set up the office and bought insurance. Shortly after, Matt left Booth Hansen and John left Lohan. We had two really big multi million dollar apartment renovations and we landed a big office project. Then a restaurant and a couple of house renovations. Right out of the bat we were really busy. John brought in a few projects. If you’ve seen his work, he’s only interested in really modern work. In the late nineties we were still transitioning form post modernism. In the Chicago market a lot of people wanted more traditional projects. A lot of our friends, who were our clients, wanted more traditional work. I didn’t mind that; I acutally enjoyed it. However, John didn’t. He didn’t want his name on a firm that had a traditional project in their portfolio. And I respected that. We talked about it a little upfront. He thought it would be fine. What happened, though, was that he brought in a couple of projects so he didn’t need my projects to keep him busy, even though mine were the ones paying the bills. So we split up, which ended up working great. I didn’t need him doing my projects and taking the money from it.

so I would read them a bedtime story and then go down into the basement where we were set up. Matt and John would do the same thing. John taught at IIT. He would teach his afternoon studio. His was even worse. He would work, then teach studio, then come over to my house for three hours at night. We would go down there around seven and finish up between ten and eleven. We had some time during the weekends to do work as well. Nick: Do you think having the other two made that possible? Chip: It would have been difficult to do it on my own. Ironically, it worked out great. It would have been difficult for me to have an employee and work at Booth Hansen. But for three guys working in a basement, it worked great. It was nice having three somewhat more experienced people. We were very efficient. We could crank out a lot of stuff; both in terms of design and getting the construction documents done. The hard part was the construction administration because that was a sacrifice. I had to get up early and go to the construction site on my way into Booth Hasen. I would typically do a 7:30 meeting at a construction site. Our days would be from as early as seven to as late as ten or eleven at night, five or six days a week. It was a lot of work, but hat was only for about a year and a half. Then we were all in my basement full-time for about nine months before we did an office in River North. Up to that point, I was providing free rent for the firm. We all chipped in a built cheap desks and I did the wiring for the new office. Nick: What is your favorite part about your job and has it changed over the years? Chip: Yeah it has a little bit. Initially both when I was right out of school and when we started our practice, it was really exciting to get stuff built. It’s not that it’s not exciting now, but it had this sort of raw energy about it. It’s a unique thing. For a lot of architects, that stays their entire career. That’s the juice that keeps them going. You do a line on paper and then six months or a year later you see that line being built. It’s pretty cool. That’s still interesting, fun, and exciting to me, but it’s the relationship between the clients and that built thing that’s more what I enjoy now. Also, I enjoy the process of drawing the projects during the design phase more than I used to. I used to be really nervous. It’s scary designing something that’s going to be built. I am less nervous now. I’ll freak out every once in awhile, but having done it so much I can actually be reasonably confident that if I keep banging my head against the wall, something will come out of it. That allows me to really enjoy it. Enjoying the drawing process is probably my favorite thing to do, which isn’t that different than school. In school, what’s the best part of the project? It’s doing the drawings, right? The

Nick: With starting the practice at night, how did you maintain the work-life balance or did you even have one during that period? Chip: It was actually easier than you think. It was tiring. I’d work a nine to five and about two days a week I would sneak and get a workout in at lunch. Then I’d come home reasonably early. What made it easy was that my workload at Booth Hansen wasn’t crazy. I was able to manage that. After a couple of years there, I was already running two big projects so I had other people doing the drawings who could stay late so I could sneak out at five-thirty. I had to stay late, but not a lot. I had two young kids at home. I would have dinner with them. They went to bed really early 119


combination of making drawings and thinking through the design. Nick: At your pro practice lecture, you were talking about how time spent desinging is only about twenty percent of your time, but you said you are more happy now than you have ever been. Could you elaborate on that? Chip: For the reason that I just told you. It’s pretty simple. It’s really enjoyable because we have built some nice stuff. We have critical acclaim for it and really happy clients. That feels good. We are all people. We all want mom and dad to tell us we did a good job. That gives you confidence in the design portion. It’s that confidence that plays through in the enjoyment part. If you think you are going ot do a good job when you sit down at the drafting table, the process of doing that is a lot more fun. Nick: You talked about the house where the client asked to paint it lavender. Are there any other strange requests you have received and what are ways to deal with that when you think it’s wrong but it is what the client wants? Chip: The lavender one was pretty bad. For this other project, we worked really hard on this beautiful renovation and they hired a landscape architect to work on it with us. It was in the city and had a nice, big backyard. The client wanted to put a sport court instead of a garden in the back. There’s this multi-million dollar house looking out onto a plastic sport court. That was a little weird. It made some sense, but it really broke our heart. The landscape partner really wanted to quit. He really didn’t have the heart to finish any of the details. We also get goofy requests. We get asked to do his and her bathrooms, which seems kind of weird to me. I mean, I get that a little bit, but I think it’s kind of silly. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else that really stands out. Nick: I have heard you talk a lot about the emotional connection with residential work. Do you find it more helpful to have different project types to balance that aspect or more just to keep you going intellectually? Chip: Well, it’s both. It’s nice not to have the emotional content and so much pressure on the relationship with the client. We had a client that we were renovating a house for early on in my practice. It was falling behind schedule and the contractor was not a particularly nice guy and was essentially blaming us for the delays. I had to field several crying phone calls from clients. So that’s the downside of that connection. They are now multiple repeat clients, so we worked our way through it. On the other hand, it’s nice

to have a project that is only about schedule and budget. We are doing an office for a private equity group. They want a nice looking office and he isn’t too concerned with the details. He’s interested in the budget and the schedule, so we get a little more freedom in the design. He trusts us to make it work as long as it is on budget and schedule. Nick: Are there any architects that you really enjoy studying, both past and present? Chip: I think that early modernism was a very interesting period. The formal components were wonderful and early on, it was much more pure. Unfortunately, it has now evolved into a style. I really like Schindler, Mies, Kahn, Le Corbusier, and Saarinen. Kahn did a better job than the rest of bringing in the human component. This is what I think is lacking in much of modernism. I also enjoy Le Corbusier’s smaller projects. What you might not know was that he was skilled in millwork and the millwork on some of his smaller projects was just phenomenal. Currently, I enjoy many of the northwestern architects like Bohlin Cywinski Jackson or Olsen Kundig. The level of detail and human quality that they bring into very modern forms is great. One area where I think our profession is suffering today is in these big bold forms: the crazy spiral or big white blob. How do these forms enhance the environment and experience for the human? I am also a little disappointed in Jeanie Gang. I am good friends with her but I think her work, like the aqua tower, has fell victim to the same problem. The form is spectacular and she has great ideas about the concept for the work, but the experience is uninspiring. In it’s tactile qualities and rough detailing, which wasn’t her fault since someone else did it, it does nothing for the human component. I think I enjoy working on houses so much because they are centered around the human component. It is emotional just in the fact that the people move in and live in the space. I’ve been in houses before that had a decorator do everything; from picking out and buying the books on the shelves to matching the silverware to the doorknobs. While it was beautiful, I left the space with no idea who the people living there were. It was lacking soul. It was like a museum. I think this is the same way much of the modernist projects have suffered. Nick: Since it is easier to get to the level of refinement and detail that focus on the human experience in a smaller project, how would you go about achieving that on a much larger project? Chip: On a bigger project, you have to make sure you have moments that break down the scale. You break it up into little experiences. Take a corridor in a hotel, for example. You can use the materiality, light, configuration, or objects like lamps and furniture to create little experiences that cue

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the individual to slow down or stop. You have to be careful that it doesn’t get too hokey. I think our profession suffers by not focusing on details like the lamp. You really lose an opportunity. Nick: To wrap things up, what are the pieces of advice you would give me if I want to one day start my own office as well as what advice would you give as I finish up school? Chip: This is a tough question. I’m not sure if I’m really in the position to give advice. But generally, I think you need to think about where you find the joy in architecture and build your career around that. Imagine yourself in various situations. You aren’t me or John, but you can put yourself in our place. What are the things you like, and what don’t you like? You can look up to any mentor all you like, but you have to put yourself in their shoes and see what is the same, and what is different. Then you can focus and put the effort into where you want to go. In school, revel in it. It’s fun. One of the best things and most important is being able to make the connection between the design concept and the design itself. If you can do this, you have a leg up. You can design with intention and understand how design can bee a tool. Additionally, you will never be successful if you can’t communicate well. This is one of the most important things.

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Laura Fisher, FAIA Managing Director IPM Consulting, Ltd.

Nick: What led you to architecture in the first place and why did you pick Virginia Tech? Laura: I went to a large suburban high school here in Chicago. I always enjoyed art, but my drawings didn’t look like I wanted them to look. I took mechanical drawing in high school and to me it was like oh my goodness, it looks like what I’m trying to draw. I took that for several years. We did model projects and I took them to state competitions. I really liked that and thought it was fun. A couple of things led me to Tech. I got a couple of pieces of advice from my guidance counselor. The first was if I wanted to be an architect, I needed to take physics in high school. That piece was useful. The other was useless. They didn’t think I really wanted to be an architect so they said to select a school that has interior decorating so I could change majors without changing universities. At the time interior design was not what it is now. It really was picking out fabrics. I

would have never enjoyed that. At the time there were three accredited architecture programs in the state. One was at IIT. It was a horrible, horrible neighborhood. I wouldn’t even consider going there. University of Illinois here in Chicago was completely a commuter program, so I crossed that off the list. Champagne had forty five thousand students. I didn’t want to go somewhere that big. So I started looking elsewhere. My dad had gone to Cincinnati. He took me to a bunch of schools and all of the deans asked where I was looking. I mentioned Virginia Tech. They all said that if I could get in, I needed to go there. At the time it was a much smaller school than it is now. It was hard for me growing up in a larger city to be in the middle of nowhere. In retrospect, I didn’t have as many distractions so it might have helped me manage my time a little better. It was a real cultural shock for me. It was like stepping back in time. After third year, I started questioning if this was what I wanted to do. School consisted so much on design and I could do it okay,

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Laura: I didn’t mention it yesterday, but a couple of months when I was looking for a job, I did drafting work on contract. One of the firms was an interior firm. I worked on a weekly basis doing drawings for them. I had this really good experience at Skidmore. I am looking for something permanent. The interior firm wasn’t a crummy firm, so I thought it might be a good fit. Do you know where the Merchandise Mart is? The floor plates are massive. This interiors firm was hired to do a whole floor. They had no asbuilt floorplans for the building. We literally went over with tape measures to do a set of plans. They had a designer who would sketch up ideas and we were to hardline them. That was kind of interesting. I was drawing up this stuff this guy had quickly sketched up. In an older building like that, things aren’t as regular as they are today. I remember stopping the guy when I was drawing it up because a door was opening up straight into a column. I was trying to get his attention to see what he wanted to do. He literally screamed at me, “You are being paid to draw, not to think.” It was so loud it disrupted the entire office.

but I was never in love with it. When I found out about the opportunity to do this work-study thing, it gave me a break from Blacksburg. It turned out to be a terrific eye opener. Where as in school, everything is design, but where you are in an office, you see there is design, as well as a lot of other stuff. That’s kind of how I got into it. Also, my parents were building a house. Their friend was an architect and designing it for them. It was when I was in kindergarten. I spent my time as a small kid wandering in and out of construction sites, picking up stuff and playing with stuff. It would have probably horrified my parents had they paid attention. I have always enjoyed seeing how something goes from a stack of materials to something people use and live in. How did you decide to study architecture? Nick: Similar to you, I really got interested when my parents were building a house. My dad did a lot of the work, from framing on really. I was young, but I was around and got to be involved as much as I could. Before that, I always played with Lincoln Logs and every Christmas I would ask for more so I could build bigger cities and buildings.

After that, I got the full-time job at Goldberg’s office. I walked in the door on the first day and another employee said, “You don’t want to work here.” I had just signed a lease too. So I had two really bad experiences right out of school.

Laura: I probably should be embarrassed to admit it, but I never cared about what my Barbie was wearing. I would take TV tray tables and stack them around her so she could have multi-level houses. My parents were probably wondering what message I was sending.

Nick: What are the ways in which the business degree or being a registered architect has helped you in your line of work? Laura: I found that when I am working with these other firms and directing them, having the same degree has helped. They know I know what I am talking about. From my view, most of these degrees don’t make you ready to do something right away. I’m sure you have seen this already. Do you think that what you’ve got makes you ready to hit the ground running at an architecture firm?

Nick: After that, my parents were looking to build another house. This was when I was twelve or thirteen. My dad was teaching me how to lay out space and the amount of room you need for a typical hallway or bathroom. He is in IT, but his passion has always been architecture. I learned a lot and helped him design. I knew at that point I wanted to be an architect. In high school, the influences in my high school were trying to push me into engineering. I love math and I was uncertain at that point what I wanted to do. I applied to Tech because I knew I wanted to go there. I decided to do architecture because I had a gut feeling and felt more passionate about it. I had never visited the architecture school but decided to apply. I get accepted and show up for orientation. That’s when I first entered Cowgill. When I stepped into the building I knew I had made the right choice. I haven’t ever looked back.

Nick: I couldn’t design a building. There is so much that I don’t know. Laura: Exactly. But you have the vocabulary to have the conversations to learn from. You have the basic building blocks. I think the MBA really is the same. It teaches you how to ask the right questions and define the problem. It’s not like a science class where there’s one right answer. There are infinite numbers of answers. You have to find the best answer given your parameters. We now call it design thinking, but I find it interesting that in regular schools they are asking if students have come out with critical thinking. Even now people with liberal arts degrees are prized hires if they can demonstrate they can do critical thinking. I really don’t think critical thinking is that different than design thinking.

During your lecture you stated that your bad experience at Goldberg’s office was one of the reasons you pursued the career path you did. Do you think that you would have had the same path if the experience had been positive? 123


Nick: What has been the toughest thing about going out on your own doing contract work and starting your own business? Laura: I was fortunate that right as I was going to leave McDonald’s that the Pritzker’s called me and wanted me to work on a project. I had set the company up when I did the project for Disney in the UK. I just kept the company and paid the fees to have it legally still be a company. I had this thing on the shelf and I sort of pulled it out. My contract with the Pritzker’s was that I would only work on their projects until we were winding down and getting to the end. So I sat in their office. Even though I billed them through the company, I really didn’t have anything else to do to run the company. That was for the first five years. It wasn’t until toward the end of the five years that I really had to start paying more attention to the business. Once I didn’t have as steady of an income, I started asking what does my accountant really do? Could I do some of those things instead of paying them to do it? I made some mistakes, but they weren’t major. It takes a lot of time. When you’re busy, it’s easy to miss a lot of these things. Now I try to really plan ahead so I don’t have to cram at the end of the month to turn in everything. Those are the little things I have figured out along the way. The government makes it really tough on small businesses with all of the paperwork and hurdles we have to go through. The key is to make documents that you can reuse so you don’t have to start from scratch constantly. Talking about establishing documents, there was this project at a church here in Chicago to replace their organ. It was a four million dollar project and would take three years. The RFP they sent out was a lot to do. I also found out that there were some pretty big firms also bidding for the job. I didn’t think it would be beneficial for me to go through all of the process when I didn’t think I would have a chance. My friend who had recommended me in the first place insisted that I submit because I stood a good chance. I wasn’t all that busy so I thought I could create some documents that could be used if I was asked for something like that again. I did not get the project, but I had all of these helpful documents I could use on future projects.

they wanted so much that would have required a lot of work. While I could have done the project wonderfully for them, it wasn’t worth it because there was too much paperwork. I knew another project management company that specialized in hospitals. I just forwarded the whole thing to them. They have the resources to easily complete the paperwork. I took the pass with the hope that they got something smaller; they would send it out to me. Is the amount of work worth the effort you put into it? Is it interesting to me and is it something I could do well or not? If you’re slow, maybe you should take them, but knowing when to say no is important. Nick: What are your pieces of advice to me going forward? Even if I know, more or less, the direction I want to pursue within architecture, what would you give to help me as I progress? Laura: You still have one more year to go in school. You should have a bunch of electives free in your schedule. You should fill them with other stuff. I took some building construction classes, marketing, accounting; those were things I felt I didn’t know anything about. I knew the courses wouldn’t teach me everything I needed to know, but they at least exposed me to these things. I had enough room with my grades to take them pass/fail so I didn’t have to kill myself during my thesis. Also, when I picked my thesis project, I picked something I could get my arms around easy enough and I could document it without killing myself since I was doing it in two quarters instead of three. I picked advisors that I was on the same wavelength with. That helped in getting decent grades. If I had picked a project where I tried to be Frank Gehry and the professors wanted me to be Frank Gehry, but I’m not, that would have not gone as well. I did end up with much better grades at the end than I started out with. It helped, particularly when I started applying for graduate school. I guess what I’m saying is that you need to be a little strategic. You’ve got so much time left in school; figure out how to get the most out of it. If you are thinking about going to graduate school, figure out what they are going to be looking at and position yourself accordingly.

Sometimes you shouldn’t propose for a project, however. About two years ago I was approached by a group that had community health facilities. They call it a clinic, but they needed certain type of project manager to get federal funding. It literally was a small two-story building. It had community rooms and the clinic was the equivalent of a nurse’s office in a school. I start working on the proposal and the federal government wanted my documentation of my drug testing policy of the company. I didn’t have the policy. I’m the only employee. Going through the process, Professional Practice


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Paul Blanding Designer Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects

Nick: Does landscape have a seasonality that affects the design process? I know that projects are always being designed, but since the major deals with planting to a large degree, does it have an effect? Paul: Any one project lasts longer than a given season. You are always working on it. There are certain tasks you don’t do in the winter, however. I wouldn’t go out and pick trees, for example. There’s not much construction during the winter, but that’s true for architects as well. There’s often a push to get stuff out for bid at the end of the year because contractors are less busy and they are more likely to give you a good bid. This is the time of the year that they are seeking to fill up their calendars for the coming year. Will: How did you ultimately find landscape architecture?

Paul: I went to a small liberal arts school in Ohio called Oberlin. It is most known for it’s music conservatory. It’s like a weird, hippie, liberal school. It’s a really great place. Very political. Since it’s a liberal arts school, you are thinking very broadly and tackling projects in that way. When I graduated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew I was interested in the arts because I had been involved with them all along the way, with activities like theater, film, photography, painting drawing, and music. I really did a little bit of everything. I moved to Chicago because I had friends here and then I started working at a flower shop. It’s called A New Leaf. It’s a really great place that you should check out. Harry Weiss’s daughter designed the space and it’s gorgeous. The guy who was working there had a small residential landscape design company that he was doing on the side. During the summer, he asked for people who wanted to go out on the weekend and help with installing landscapes. I needed the cash and thought it was very interesting.

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Then I started pulling up the theory behind landscape and really discovered landscape architecture as a profession, which I found really fascinating. I always had an interest in architecture. I really liked spaces. I liked going to cities and walking around and experiencing spaces. I read a book that I would recommend to anyone called Design With Nature by Ian Mcharg. This was basically an early GIS analysis before GIS. He loved collecting data and literally overlaying layers. That’s when I realized how complex and interesting the field was. Around that time, IIT was starting a new program. I found out from the guy I was installing landscapes with about the program. He told me he was interested in becoming a landscape architect. Before that, he was just a guy with a truck. It was brand new and I liked being a guinea pig. They were so hungry for students so I immediately got accepted. That was it. After my first year, I got an internship with Ted Wolf and continued working there after graduation. I worked for him until last March when I left to come to Hoerr Schaudt. Ted’s office was a great place to get my foot in the door. It was small and they were doing quality work. Most importantly, he had confidence in me from the very beginning. You always start out as a minion to some extent, but in smaller offices you really can move up quickly if you work hard.

done nothing all day but take care of our daughter. Nick: How do you find the work life balance? Paul: Give up on the idea of a nine to five job. That’s just not how it is. The tradeoff is that you love what you do. Most people who have a nine to five job are waiting until five because they hate what they do. Most people in this profession love what they do. I still think of work when I go home. I think that’s a better problem to have than hating your job and watching the clock until you can go home. Most weeks I work around 45 hours. There are definitely 60-hour weeks, but it’s not the norm. Nick: Do you get to experiment with the mediums you explore in your work? Paul: I wish I could say there was more experimentation. It’s not like school. I am picking up new skills, however. There is a big emphasis on hand sketching here. I never used SketchUp before this office. More than experimentation, it’s been refinement of the tools. There is a limited amount of tools available. It’s finding ways to use them in new ways. I encourage you to experiment as much as you can now. It makes your brain think in new and exciting ways. The practicalities and the deadlines make it tough to do this experimentation in practice.

It was a quick launch to having a fair amount of power. I got to see a wide variety of work, except for residential work. He never did residential. It was seen as designing rich people’s gardens. At Hoerr Schaudt, I am part of the residential studio. What is nice is that I am getting to design and explore details that I would have never touched in the commercial world. You just don’t have the time or the resources to get into that level of detail. I think it is making me a better designer. However, I ultimately see myself doing commercial work. What I love about commercial work is that it is really satisfying to see your work in the public realm. You get to see other people enjoying it. It’s an amazing feeling. That’s part of what I love about this profession. That and the diversity of what you deal with on a day-to-day basis. If you are an artist, to become really good you probably spend most of your time honing a craft. I think it became clear to me that would never be my thing. I’m too scatterbrained. You are always challenging yourself to do new and different things. Constantly.

Will: What role do you get to play on the design and what role to the partners take? Paul: It varies from office to office and from project to project. When I first started working at Ted’s office, I wasn’t doing significant designing. I would be at the table when design was happening, but I wasn’t leading the conversation. In larger offices that’s probably more typical for longer. You are watching the person who is watching the person with the sharpie. You are a monkey for a while. You are taking something sketchy and turning it into something real and within that there is design. Inevitably you see that this doesn’t line up the way they thought it did. So how do I make that work? Really, there’s design in everything. If you lay out the details page, you design the page. You learn to love those small design decisions. You probably do more graphic design in your career than project design.

Nick: Do you find enough time between family and work to explore your other interests, like art or music?

Will: The term landscape is so misused in the world. What are your thoughts?

Paul: No, not really. If I really tried, then maybe. Having a one year old at home and a wife staying at home working with her all day then working when I get home, there’s not really time for anything else. Ironically, I think couples with two working parents and a daycare situation have it better off. I get home from work and my wife tells me that she has

Nick: Landscape architects don’t like using the word landscape as a verb. The term landscaper is an extension of that. I’m not landscaping this; I’m designing the landscape. The landscape is a thing. I just try to be specific when talking about what I do. There are subtleties to understanding the 127


differences between installation, maintenance, and design, and that’s what it comes down to. Will: Do you see any overarching trends in landscape architecture? Where do you see the profession going in the near future and the projected future? Paul: On the surface level, sustainability is on everyone’s mind. That’s for architecture too. I would says that’s both good and bad, except it’s pretty much just good. It just gets misused. There is a green washing term where everyone just tries to label it as sustainable. What do you really mean? Is it sustainable in that it is ecologically sustainable? Is it sustainable from an economic perspective? I think life cycle analysis is a better was to approach the topic of sustainability. There’s also the study of landscape urbanism. There is a little disconnect between theory and practice, but there are some good writings on it. James Corner has a good approach to it and he is the only one to ever build something. The High Line was what made him famous. In academia, there are trends. I think landscape urbanism seems to be at the forefront. For people who aren’t familiar with it, it is a lot of open-ended stuff. It’s hard to determine what that means in the built world. The profession is always behind academia in theory. That’s how it should be. In practice, you have budgets and are satisfying clients. It’s a business. It’s hard to change anything in that set up. That’s why it’s great that we have academia. They almost have the opposite problem. A professor’s salary depends on exciting, written ideas. In a way the students are almost the minions to professors on this cutting edge leading work. Students are the tools the professor has to do that. So in terms of what has found its way into practice, sustainability is huge. Dealing with fluctuation with water has been huge. For example, the New York waterfronts have displayed the new ideas. We have learned to accept ecological disturbance and reconnect people with ecology. It’s great how we get people back down to the water. It’s not just better as an experience, but it’s better for the shoreline. After Hurricane Sandy, Brooklyn Bridge Park fared way better than the hard-edged projects. The soft fluid edge really helped. Nick: So you touched on stuff that you love about your job, but what are the things you would change? Paul: I miss the theoretical stuff. It would be nice to do more competitions. That’s one area where professionals get more ambitious with testing ideas. We do them sometimes, but not too often. That stuff doesn’t pay, so only the bigger offices really can afford it. On a personal level, I wish I had more control over my project. You want to be the one calling the shots. You won’t ever get over this unless you have your own project. I have almost

taken a reset in my career to a certain extent by switching offices. At Ted’s office at the very end, there were a couple of projects it was my idea, my sketch, everything. One in particular was my design. Have you seen the amoeba planters in the Mies plaza next to Cannon Design? I’m sure that is going to have a lot of haters. I’m curious. Miesians are die-hard. Is it sacrilegious to put those curves into a Mies van der Rohe plaza? Maybe, but I love Mies. Don’t get me wrong, Federal Plaza, Seagram building, they are amazing. There is a place for the open and vast horizontal plane. It is beautiful, but not in this plaza. It was underused and dead. It needed something. When working on this project, I prepared some sketches before my first meeting with Ted. He didn’t like them. He drew up some sketches and had me work on them. In my own time, I developed my idea. One important thing to learn is to always do your boss’s drawings first. Then, put in the extra hour and do your own. The next day, he appreciated I put in the extra time, but didn’t like it. Then the meeting was cancelled because the funding fell through. A few months later, they called us up the day before the meeting as asked if we could bring some drawings. He wanted a third drawing so he said to bring it along. That’s the one the clients loved. It was one of the only cases where the client picked a design early on and didn’t mess with it too much. He really made the design better. But that’s rare. That’s the only project that it really was my idea throughout the whole experience. It was the combination of having a boss that trusted me and a client that loved what I was doing. Nick: What is your favorite part about your job? Paul: I guess the satisfaction that knowing something you did is out in the world. On the day-to-day basis, I like solving problems. I like figuring out an elegant way to solve a difficult issue. I also like communicating about it. I love to write. That is one area where my liberal arts education really came in handy. I learned to write and how to articulate ideas. Will: What are the other ways the art and philosophy background has helped you? Paul: The ability to find the connections between things and to break things out logically. That’s where philosophy comes in. It’s almost mathematical, but I’ve never been good at math. I always made too many number errors. However, I always excelled in the logic. Logic is really math without the numbers. I can understand the structure of what is going on and see how ideas come together and really break it down. When I have A condition, I have X results. Also, just a breath of historical understanding; being able to understand ideas within a historical context and speak with a client intelligently about painters and

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dancers and film. I think more than that, understanding the basic aesthetic principles. That’s where my interests have been all along. There is a great quote by Greil Marcus. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Some people say that like you shouldn’t do it. I don’t take it that way. It is both a way of interpreting the thing you are talking about but also a thing itself. When I was into theater, I was really into site-specific improvisation and setting up shows where a group of actors would go into a space and start improvising based upon that space. I think that sort of thing really excites me. Will: In terms of design education, what do you see as the strengths and what do you think is lacking? Paul: I wish I had learned more about construction. I’ve had to play catch up a bit in my career. At the same time, you can only squeeze in so much. A lot of people like to rag on academia for being too theoretical but I’m not really that way. That’s the time to be theoretical. You are going to need those skills but you aren’t going to have much time to flex them as a professional. You need to have that thinking engrained in you. Otherwise, it’s too easy to lose it. I think the programs that are solely devoted to preparing students for the profession are missing the boat. They are doing the students a disservice because you will learn those things when you are in the profession. But once you are in the profession, you will never have people pushing you to question things at the fundamental level. History is also very important and is often not given enough time. Again, writing is critical. You want to write a lot. When I was teaching a studio at IIT, I encouraged my students to write out in prose their ideas behind the projects. Putting together a narrative really strengthens the idea. It’s too easy to put together bullet points, but easy to miss the connection between elements. When you have to write it out with modifiers and prepositions, you establish and further understand the connections within your design. You have to understand the if this, then that.

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Natasha Krol Mauskapf Managing Consultant McKinsey & Company

Natasha: Do you all think you want to become practicing architects?

entry level architects, and even higher positions in a firm, don’t get paid a lot.

Nick: I do. I really want to have my own firm and work on the smaller scale projects. Being in Chicago has taught me I don’t want to work for a big corporate firm. Being at VWA definitely showed me the kind of office I want.

Natasha: Well, it all depends on the firm and city you live in. Generally, Architects don’t get paid much at all. You don’t go into it for the money though. You can’t.

Will: I have a couple options. I want to work for a firm for a couple years, get licensed, “pay my dues,” and then maybe do my own thing. I’ve been with a firm back home for seven years now, so I have a place there. Justin: I’ve always loved Architecture, but I’ve learned that I’m interested in every aspect of design. I really want to try working for a place like BluDot, then maybe open my own small practice. I also want to live in the country, so I’d have to commute to a city to work. I was wondering, I heard that

Will: So what made you switch into being a Consultant? Did you ever practice? Natasha: I did summer internships, and then was a freelancer for 6 months, but it was more graphic design than architecture. I did some research through design with professors, but I didn’t like it too much. When I interned, it was more Urban Planning, and I didn’t like the environment. I really enjoy working in teams, but often in the early stages, you just have your task and design it. That just wasn’t me. When I graduated arch school, I was a bit burnt out. I still

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considered design, but more of an academic version of it, some combination of teaching and joining a small firm. I worked in Chicago for Mayor Daley with a three month fellowship, and I really enjoyed working with public policy, just thinking about problems that impacted cities, and I liked design, but Design Thinking was enough for me. I was applying to a lot of different places then, and I happened to meet someone at my Consulting firm who told me about the field. He gave me a case study, and I realized I really enjoyed it; it was like solving a real-time design problem, which actually felt a lot like school. I’m a nerd, so it was super fun. I applied to McKenzie, interviewed, and got a job. I only thought I would stay for a couple months, but I ended up really liking it. I’ve been thinking about leaving for some time now though, and will probably do it in the next year. I miss making things, and want to get back into design. My ideal job would be working in some sort of social innovation field.

in Chicago. But ultimately I have no clue. My family is pretty small and dispersed; I have friends all over the country and world, so there’s nothing really pulling me to any specific city. But how are you guys thinking about what you want to do? Do you want to start your own firms right away? Alex: I spoke with some architects about how you actually start your own firm. They said it takes about 40,000 to start a firm, and will take about 4-6 years to get that. It’s a general plan. Nick: After Tech, I want to work somewhere else in the world away from the US, then do grad school. I want to get to the point where I’m teaching and practicing as well. There’s so much energy in teaching and helping people with projects. Afterwards I might want to work in an actual firm, so I could really learn those technical Architectural skills. Natasha: In grad school, always try to do as much TAing, lecturing, and volunteering as possible. It will pay off so much. Why do you all want to start your own firms, is it the design freedom?

Will: So you’re locally in Chicago, but travel a lot for work. What’s that like? Natasha: It depends on the project. I travel here and there for trainings. I usually travel Monday-Thursday, often times international. I went to Nigeria for 5 months, and I chose to travel around Africa a bit and got to see 9 countries in 14 weeks, it was awesome.

Alex: I enjoy it because I already started my own furniture business, and it’s been fun. I like the entrepreneurial spirit, and being able to run a business. Nick: it’s definitely the design freedom for me; there are little things here and there, but mostly that.

Will: I guess you might not have this issue since you’re from Chicago, but with all the traveling and somewhat sporadic scheduling, do you ever find it hard to really feel grounded, to feel like someplace is “home?”

Natasha: I would talk to a lot of people at small firms, because part of what happens when you start your own thing is the business side, so you lose a lot of that design time. Maybe partner with someone who enjoys the business side of it.

Natasha: I totally have that issue, and it’s probably why I’m going to leave. I haven’t done the week to week travel in a while, so it hasn’t been that bad. It’s very difficult trying to live equal lives in Chicago and DC, often times disorienting. Very hard to make a lot of things work. McKinsey is good though, I usually get 4 weeks off a year. They also have a lot of local projects, but that limits what you can do?

Justin: I’m pretty similar to Nick. I want to go to grad school, I don’t know if I ultimately want to have a partnership. Natasha: I have a lot of friends who did their own start up thing. Since no one could get jobs when we graduated, it just made sense. It still gives design freedom, but is something that you can take complete ownership of.

Justin: So why do you travel so much? Natasha: I work on social and public sector work, and so Midwestern projects are healthcare, operations, industry kind of stuff. If I’m working for the federal gov, I’m probably in DC. If I’m working for international development organizations, I’m probably working in DC.

Justin: That’s like the lecture we heard on Mas-Studio. It’s a one man studio run by Iker Gil, and he makes a publication called Mas-Context that’s really gaining momentum in the design world. Will: Probably the coolest thing about his lecture was that he works on his own projects. He’ll see a problem, and think of an interesting way to solve it, even without a backing client or project. Eventually he might show the work to an interested party that starts

Will: Could you see yourself living in DC? Natasha: I thought that for a while. When I leave McKinsey, I don’t think I’ll work in government, so I will probably stay 131


the conversation, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t. Its super refreshing to see because I definitely think this profession takes itself way too seriously. Natasha: Totally agree. Especially with design, of all things. Justin: How many hours of sleep do you get, or do you even sleep? Natasha: I don’t sleep enough. But I try to get at least 6 hours a night. I don’t always. The hardest thing is that I’ll lose sleep during the week because of work, and then want to have fun on the weekends, so I always drain myself. I run on coffee; there’s too much stuff to do. Nick: What ways have your undergraduate degrees help you with your career? Natasha: A lot actually. I studied a lot of different things in undergrad. My eventual majors were neuro science, and I minored in music and psychology. I started in Computer and cognitive science, like artificial intelligence. Most of what I cared about in Architecture school was the psychological aspect of it. Why people do what they do has always been what I like and care about. With nuero science, I can understand what’s actually happening in the brain, psychology I get the social aspects of it, and architecture is how space and the world around us affects us. It’s really just different ways of looking at the same thing.

Alex: How do you find time to pursue interests, or what do you do? Natasha: I read a lot; I’m usually reading 12 books at any one time, and not finishing any of them. I have enough of a social life. I want to do more designy things. I’m in the orchestra. I cycle often, go to shows with friends…so yes I still do things, but it’s always at the sacrifice of downtime. One thing I don’t do that definitely helps with time…I don’t watch TV. I realized I got nothing out of it, and it just sucks up time. Justin: Have you ever thought about going back to school? Natasha: All the time. I think I will get a PhD at some point, probably in 5-6 years. I don’t know what I’d get it in, but I know what I want to study. I’m obsessed with markets, the decisions that go into them and the notion of them across different countries in different scales of development. There’s a lot of science behind it that isn’t apparent, and I’m curious how you can optimize them in different settings. It’d also just be a lot of fun to be a professor. Nick: I could totally see you as a professor. Natasha: And I will take that as a compliment.

Nick: What’s your favorite thing about your job now? Natasha: Most of my clients and colleagues are my friends, so I basically go to work and get to solve problems with my friends. Will: Does it even feel like work? Natasha: Not really, it only ever really feels like work when it’s too many hours. It just gets draining. You all are in a privileged position that it is a shame to just get a job. Work and a job are totally different. Humans want to work, we want to be useful, change the world, you know, that sort of work. The line between work and no work isn’t the same line between job and not job. It starts feeling like a job when I’m not happy. Most of the time I’m excited, happy, learning, solving problems with people I love. Justin: How did you get in the position where you work so much? Natasha: Well, at McKinsey, you just work tons of hours, it’s known. I also have a personality that no matter what I do, I’ll work too much. I’m too much. Professional Practice


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Critical Response

Having the opportunity to interview professionals from different offices and backgrounds while in Chicago was one of the most rewarding experiences of the semester. For my interviews, I first focused on understanding more about each of the people I was interviewing. After that, the questions varied between the interviews, but a high focus was placed on understanding more about starting a practice. Finally, I tried to end with general pieces of advice that the professionals thought would be useful for me as I continue on my path in architecture. One of the best interviews I had was with Chip von Weise. I interacted with him daily in the office, but having him talk more about his influences and history gave me a new insight. Chip is one of the most intelligent people I know. I particularly enjoyed his take on modernism and what it was lacking, as well as the blobitecture that is all over the world today. Chip is someone I look up to because of the richness of his knowledge and personality. I think it is remarkable that he got his start in his basement along with two other architects. I was surprised when he said it was easier than one might think. It seems like it would have been highly difficult. The idea of starting a practice is something that was important for me to learn more about. I enjoyed getting the perspective of Christopher Lawton and Micah Stanley on the topic as well. They both worked for an office before realizing it wasn’t what they wanted. Similar to Chip, they found contracts on the side and were essentially working two jobs at once. It was interesting talking with the two of them because they are only a couple of years into this journey, where Chip went through it much longer ago. The parallel idea between the two is that if you aren’t finding the satisfaction you desire from your job, then create a job that will allow for you to be happy. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it. Similar to their stories, Irma, from GREC, always told me to follow my dreams in life and to never settle. Connecting to the idea of creating your path, Natasha Mauskapf and Laura Fisher were great resources to understand the alternative paths one can take with an architecture degree. Natasha is super intelligent and always thinking about one thing or another. I found it fascinating to hear how he has taken not only her background in architecture, but also her understanding of neuro science and to understand how people think and use the skills to find solutions to their problems. With all of the professionals I interviewed, the common element had to be that you must always seek what makes you happy, regardless of what it might be. Paul Blanding, who works in Landscape Architecture, wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after his undergraduate degree. He ended up working in a flower shop and got asked to do landscape work on the side. He was fascinated by how landscape created spaces, and started researching more about the profession of Landscape Architecture. He was one of the first graduates of IIT’s program and the rest is history. What I enjoyed so much with talking to Paul was that Landscape Architecture and Architecture really are the same thing, just with different design mediums. Really successful projects stem from the collaboration between the two professions. The roundtable interview with the entire office at von Weise Associates really demonstrated how collaboration is important for the office on any given project. Kris has been at vWA the longest, at slightly over two years. With the new employees, it was great to hear about how they ended up in Chip’s office and throughout the semester, great to see how they operate like a studio in academia. The atmosphere is highly collaborative and I was always welcomed to ask any question. Interviewing professionals in Chicago was a fantastic opportunity. I learned an incredible amount from each and every conversation, as well as made contacts that will always be available if I ever have a question. It also taught me how to better construct questions to allow for lengthy responses that bring up new topics that I couldn’t even imagine. All in all, I learned so much from these people, and am highly thankful for the opportunity to do so.

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Professional Practice


Codes of Conduct + Ethics Interview

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Drew Ranieri Associate Principal Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Q: We wanted to focus on the code of ethics and have a conversation about experiences where you have seen the AIA code of ethics being broken or have you ever found yourself in a place where you weren’t sure if you were stepping over the line? Drew: I have been involved in situations like this. One is in ownership of the design. It’s a difficult thing for most people to understand. How much can you copyright or say no this is a design that is very much idiosyncratic to this thing and we own it and another architect can’t just copy it. I was lucky in that my older brother was a patent attorney. I talked to him when I started my own shop. I learned to put a copyright date. All you have to do to start is to put this on all of the drawings. What had happened when I had my own shop was that I had a partner that was more of a developer. He was an architect but also a developer. We were looking at a potential project and did some conceptual

design work. It wasn’t really far along but it was far enough along that it was architecture. We went through the investor package. We did that and presented it. At the end, they decided not to do it. But one of the other investors that had the package took the package from the other architect and did the deal himself. He gave them our drawings and they went and built it from where we stopped. We were driving by the site and said, “That’s our buildings.” We sued for copyright infringement. We ended up going into arbitration because that’s the way you start. There was a magistrate instead of a judge. It didn’t go into court the same way you have a case. We were then awarded a sum of money. It was really interesting because they found our drawings under tracing paper in their files. It was crazy. They didn’t even take it farther. It was just a conceptual thing. What would you think are the issues?

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Alex: Do you get paid for the work since it is getting stolen?

Laura: Did you have any proof that he didn’t know these things were going on without you knowing?

Drew: If you are the architect, it is your responsibility to make sure the original architect has been compensated for their work and that the person giving you the work has the right to give you that work. So, first of all you are literally stealing someone’s work. It’s the Golden Rule. They’re not doing that. The interesting thing that the magistrate said to us, and this was like a slam-dunk. The first thing he says to us when we get into the room is, so how much money do you want? Don’t tell me it’s all about the principle of the thing. If your principle is right and you lose the case, is your principle wrong? You may lose the case for whatever reason, but your principle is right. So how much money will it take? So we worked it out to a number that we felt based on this percentage of work completed, this is what we should have been compensated plus a penalty. So we got that. It’s all about money in the end. It really is a terrible thing. You want to punish someone, but it becomes the issue of who owns the rights to things. Whose work is it and are you being compensated. Do you remember when we talked about contracts? It’s the exact same thing. What service are you providing and how are you being compensated? It’s really that simple.

Drew: He admitted that he never asked them if I had been fully compensated and he never asked me. He never told me he was taking the job on. That was all known. Nick: He knowingly made the mistake. I think you have to punish him because what’s to say that if he gets by this that he doesn’t do it again and cause harm to someone in the future. Even if he’s your friend and it’s very tough to make that decision, in the long run, I think that’s what is morally right in this situation. Jamie: I think when you read it on a piece of paper; I would do the right thing and have him disbarred. Alex: I would say the same thing. They have to be punished if they knowingly did the wrong thing. I think there’s a difference between making a mistake and knowing when you are making the mistake. Drew: In the long run, here’s the thing. I didn’t have him disbarred. He didn’t realize it was a mistake. He didn’t know there was a code about this. He made the mistake and knowingly did so. He let himself think everything was okay. In the end, had they paid me and severed my contract, that’s their call. It’s when you get cheated out of it that it becomes the issue. I didn’t do it, but I made him painfully aware that if I found out he did this again with any other architect that it would be brought up. I didn’t want to see a young guy like that screw up his whole career for being stupid. At the end, that’s what it was.

There was another situation that never went to court or arbitration. When I was closing my firm and moving to SCB, I had two projects that I was going to finish myself. I had a fair amount of work. Either I was going to hire people and grow the firm again, or close it out. So what I did was hire people on a contract basis. I had a friend who was starting his own practice. I hired him to work on this one particular project. My client was a lawyer, which I was always skeptical about. He fired me. The reason was that my bid was five percent higher than the initial budget. In my contract, we were not responsible for the budget. But we were responsible to design within a certain percentage and we were well within that percentage. What it turned out was that they were actually hiring my employee to finish out the job to save money. They just wanted to get rid of me because he was willing to take it on his own. He was taking on a project, which I was not compensated and they (the client) threatened to sue me instead. I knew the amount of money I was going to get back after hiring a lawyer and going to court, it wouldn’t be worth it. This guy is an attorney. It wouldn’t cost him a thing. That was his bread and butter. He would probably outlast me. I went to my former employee and talked. He was a very nice guy, but in my mind he committed an immortal sin. Do I punish him and get him disbarred, or is he the kind of guy that realizes this is really wrong? What would you do if you were in that position?

There’s another situation that shows how do deal with this properly. When I came to SCB, a few years in we took over a project another architect had designed. We had already done a high rise for a client in Milwaukee. It went really well and they were really happy. There was this building that the client was an investor in, but not the developer. It was a condominium building that was done by this young couple that had never done a project like this. Our client was feeling unsure about the investment because the firm had never done a project of this scale before. So they wanted our firm to do a peer review. We said no. We aren’t going to do a peer review for just a little amount of money, but they would learn everything we have spent years doing and get paid to do so. It wasn’t worth it for five grand. We were eventually hired as the architect of record. This other firm was going to be the design architect. We didn’t take the job on until they provided a waiver of all rights of design to the client and us. Until that paperwork was done, we weren’t going to touch it. I warned the firm, I said, I’ve been through this before. I wasn’t going to be on the wrong side 139


of this. In signing the waiver, they agree that they have been compensated and that all is good. That’s what they agreed to. We went about it in the ethical way. It turns out that they didn’t tell the truth. They hadn’t been compensated properly. This was found out later. They came after us for copyright infringement. We had made significant changes to the design. One of the curious things was that we did a very unusual thing for the elevator core. It’s not a thing you would see anywhere, but it suited this building. I designed it. My sketches were in their documents as their sketches. In the end, they didn’t win the copyright suit. First, they signed the waiver. Secondly, we made significant changes where it wasn’t solely using their design. Thirdly, they were using our design and presenting it as their own work product. They did win their compensation suit, which they should have. Had we known they didn’t actually get paid, we would have never done the project. Our profession is not a group of holy people that always follow the rules. People undercut each other. It’s just like any other business. It’s a great profession, but a lousy business. One of the things that make it really hard is that people who want to get out there and get work will do whatever it takes. Sometimes that means taking a fee they will lose money on, just so they can get their name out there. Or say things about another firm. We get asked to comment on other firms all of the time. We never say anything bad. If I don’t have anything good to say, I won’t say anything, but I will not run somebody into the ground. It’s just not right to do. We can say we don’t like their work, but that’s a subjective thing. That’s not publicly undermining other architects. So that’s three things of being ethically involved in stuff. The first was pretty straightforward. Somebody committed a wrong. The second was muddier in the way to handle it and maybe I could have handled it better, but I was trying not to overreact to a situation and in doing so, ruin someone’s career before it really started. The third was a situation that was misleading from the beginning, where we set out to do the right and thing wouldn’t have taken the job had we known the other firm wasn’t being compensated.

wanted to be our boss in a sense and say, “you owe me this” instead of the mentality that it will get done when it gets done sense we are only doing it in our spare time. What are we responsible for as members of the community? Members of the profession? What does the community need? That’s what doesn’t get talked about enough. It’s not so much where do you give back, but where do you go forward. Another area is how you deal with your clients. The number one thing to remember is that you serve your clients. You aren’t building your dreams; you are building their projects. That doesn’t mean you are reducing it down below architecture. That’s why I really enjoy working on smaller homes. It’s working together with the clients. They are involved. You aren’t doing just what they want. What do they need? If there is something that they want, we will get that out there. But it’s how to realize what you as an architect can bring to it that makes it really interesting. It might not be the thing you want it to be, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good architecture and a thing you are really happy about in the end. That’s where I think the process we go through every day is the critical part. The products should be good by the nature of it being a good process. Your design process is for other people. It’s a service industry, but there is this art side to it. Alex: Do you have any last words you want to share about the code of ethics? Drew: The ethics works on both sides. Don’t put yourself in a situation that you are unwilling to take the risk for. Don’t put yourself in situations where you are compromising yourself or the profession. And it all boils down to your reputation, whether it’s as an employee or as a firm. It follows you forever.

Nick: Are there any areas where the code of ethics is less clear? Drew: I think the things that are grayer are the things we do for free and don’t get compensated for. I’ve been on a panel that focuses on pro bono work. The thing is, pro bono is often translated as for free. It is literally translates as for good. We do a lot of pro bono work in our office. Most firms do pro bono work in all different ways. We started working on a project on the west side. Our client said she didn’t feel right until she started paying us. She also Professional Practice


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Critical Response

Upon reading the AIA Canons of Ethics, they seemed fairly straightforward. The rules are simple, however real world applications make them highly complex. A small group of students from the Chicago Studio decided to interview Drew Ranieri, to talk more about actual scenarios involving the codes of conduct. We pricked Drew following the lecture he gave to our class on contracts because we knew he was highly versed in what is right and wrong and what to do if a situation doesn’t have a positive outcome. In the interview with Drew, he gave three examples from his career where he has witnessed the Canons being violated, some more clear than others. The first involved ownership of design. In this example, another architect stole the work of his office, and built a project from his documents. The violation to the rule was clearly evident, and the courts ruled in his favor. This was an example that was easily comprehendible and related directly to the lecture he gave on contracts. An architect provides a service and in return, is being compensated for that service. If something is being built and the architect never receives any compensation, there is an inherent problem. The second story involved a situation that was more difficult. In this example, Drew hired someone to do contract work for him since he was closing his own practice. Drew was fired from the job, but the client hired his employee to finish the work. It was clear that the individual in this situation was in the wrong by going behind Drew’s back and taking the work. What wasn’t as clear, however, was what should be done about it. According to the code of conduct, the architect in question could lose his license for doing what he did. While that was what should have been done if everything was black and white, Drew came up with an alternate solution to the problem; one that showed compassion and understanding. The architect in question was young and really messed up, however if he would lose his license, it would follow him for the rest of his life. Drew decided to give him a stern warning, while also teaching him a valuable lesson. This was an example where I think Drew acted in the best way he could. Anytime there are laws or regulations, they often fail to take into account the entire situation. I would bet that this young architect learned more out of the situation than he would have if he had simply been taken to court and lost his license. At the end of the day, if someone learns about what they did wrong, I think it is okay to find an alternate punishment. The final story was a situation where Drew was manipulated into thinking one thing, while the truth was another. In the project, he agreed only to take the job if the design architects were first compensated and then signed off on a new company coming in to finish the work. The developer lied to Drew and the other architecture firm never spoke up when he specifically asked them about compensation. In this example, I think that he handled the situation in the best way possible and had no clue what was truly happening. It is what you do when you find out the truth that defines your moral understanding of the Canons of Ethics. The main lesson I have learned from speaking with Drew more about contracts and the Canons of Ethics is that they are there to protect the architect. At the end of the day, the architect is in a business and is supplying a product. He or she should be compensated for that work as well as receive credit for the work. Some examples, similar to ones that Drew mentioned, aren’t as black and white. Architects know what they are morally obligated to do, but is that an option? Are there other pieces to the puzzle that prevent them from acting exactly the way the AIA thinks they should? An architect should try his or her best to do the right thing. The AIA does a good job at presenting the rules clearly, but when a situation is unclear and complex, rely on others with more knowledge to help make decisions. While the profession is tough and difficult situations will arise, if you attempt to do the right thing and abide by the Canons of Ethics, the road to success will be much easier.

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Independent Work

Environmental Ethics: The Morality of Building Throughout history, architecture has been a continuous anchor for human life that has allowed society to function. In this paper, I will defend that it is morally permissible for architects, to build pieces of infrastructure, and that for society to move forward, building must continue to take place. In this paper, I will refer to builders as architects, understanding that other professions, such as engineers, craftsmen, and developers are all part of the process. First, I will justify why building is morally permissible. Then, using a recent natural disaster, I will defend why building must continue to take place and is not simply permissible, but obligatory. In How Are We To Live?, Peter Singer describes methods for understanding and protecting the environment. He makes the distinction between deep and shallow ecology. Deep ecology states that the environment needs to be protected simply for its inherent intrinsic qualities. Shallow ecology states that it is the instrumental value of the environment that makes it worth saving. For example, natural resources, energy creation, or building materials would all be considered instrumentally valuable because they are necessary for human life as it exists today. In this paper, I will argue in favor of shallow ecology while also giving reasons why the environment should be respected for its intrinsic value. In providing a deeper understanding of shallow ecology, Singer provides the example of a new dam being built. This dam is located in a river valley that is rich with rare lumber, exotic bird and animal species, and is a popular tourist destination. The proposed dam would cause a large disruption to the area, including the removal of resources and animal species. However, the dam would provide energy using an existing resource, the river, and provide countless jobs. (Singer 306) Similar to the dam Singer uses to illustrate his point; new pieces of architecture are being built around the world. In understanding if it is morally permissible, we must look deeper into the positives and negatives of the situations. I will provide two examples to understand building from an instrumental perspective. The first example is a new housing project that is bringing five hundred new units to a community that is home to a lumber industry that is on the decline. The community is short on housing and many of the existing buildings are overcrowded, resulting in living conditions that are less than ideal. However, the project is taking over land that is currently a park, one that is a favorite to the youth of the neighborhood. The second example is an adaptive reuse of railroad tracks within a city to create a new park. Currently, the tracks are overgrown with native grasses, yet home to rare bird and lizard species that only live in urban environments. The new park will likely destroy the animal species but will provide a public attraction that will draw in numerous tourists. Additionally, in the new proposal for the park, the water runoff will be addressed and the proposed plants will allow for the grey water to be filtered creating much cleaner conditions immediately surrounding the tracks. In looking at the two examples I have given, plus the one provided by Singer, the morality of the decision must be based on the potential positives created by the intervention. For the housing project example, first and foremost, it is creating housing in an area that needs housing. The construction of the new complex will also provide jobs for not only the workers building the complex, but also utilize timber from a sector that has been struggling. The negative to the situation is that the valuable green-space that the community loves will be lost. Given that the positives outweigh the negatives, I argue that it is morally justifiable to construct the housing complex. For the second example, the situation is a little less clear. The negatives are that it will wipeout rare species that could be potentially valuable, yet their value is unknown. These species do, however, play a larger role in the entire ecosystem and their removal would have a larger negative impact. However, the positives are that runoff can be controlled, which protects more than the immediate area. Additional revenues will be brought in by tourists to neighboring businesses. Also, a public space will be created for individuals to enjoy the outdoors in a dense, urban setting. Given that the intervention

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will lead to lasting positive impacts for years to come, it is creating the largest amount of good in the given situation. Utilitarianism, an area of philosophy pioneered by Jeremy Benthem, states that the morality of any given situation is rooted in the consequences of the action. The goal of utilitarianism is to maximize utility, which is defined as the balance of pleasure over pain. A classic example to understand consequentialist reasoning is the trolley car scenario. In this example, the conductor of a trolley car has been placed in a situation where he or she cannot stop the trolley. On the track ahead, five individuals are stuck and will be killed by the trolley. The conductor does have another option, however. He or she can shift the trolley onto another set of tracks and kill just one person, instead of the five. Following consequentialist moral reasoning, the moral thing to do is to take the single life, instead of five. If that thinking is applied to the environment, building new infrastructure is morally permissible. For example, if a new building creates new jobs, provides energy for the community, or gives families new homes, it has the moral right to be constructed. Architects must weigh the consequences of any new proposal in order to understand if it is the right thing to do. In addition to consequentialist reasoning, the concept of natural human rights upholds the right to build. Natural human rights are the fundamental entitlements that people ought to be able to enjoy by the simple fact that they are alive. The human race has the right to have shelter. My paper is not seeking to question that belief. Any building by a human will result in a disturbance to the environment with the scale of the disturbance being the result of the project itself. If building were not permissible, man’s most basic needs that he is entitled to as a result of natural human rights would be violated. In looking at a recent natural disaster, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I argue that it no longer becomes morally permissible to build, but an obligation by the architect to rebuild the community. In this natural disaster, countless communities were completely demolished leaving residents abandoned and homeless. In creating new buildings, the architect must use materials in a way that values the intrinsic qualities of nature. Nature provides the materials to build structures. Following any natural disaster, availability of resources is often scarce. This requires architects to find innovative uses for the materials not only because of availability, but also so they can withstand any future natural disaster. If the utmost respect is being administered to the use of materials, I argue that the intrinsic qualities of nature itself are being valued as much as possible while also providing instrumental goods. If architects can design buildings better than they were designed initially, it then provides a lasting positive impact on the environment. Additionally, I argue that it is categorically the right thing to do. Categorical moral reasoning locates the morality in the duties and actions themselves. In a scenario where people are left with nothing and have to rebuild to survive, the potential consequence of the depletion of resources does not diminish the need for human survival. One of the main objections to my argument is controlling the amount of impact any given action has on the environment. Given the potential for overuse of resources and land for any given project, building new infrastructure or retrofitting existing infrastructure using resources that come from the environment could have the potential to negatively impact the environment to levels that are not desirable. However, if architects always make sure the greatest good for the greatest number is being achieved, it will be morally permissible. Another objection stems from the perspective of deep ecology and respecting the intrinsic nature of the environment. I believe that the ideas of deep and shallow ecology are not mutually exclusive. As previously mentioned, if we honor the materials and the environment in the best ways possible, objection to building is not warranted on the basis of a deep ecological perspective. The third objection to my argument is one of subjectivity. In situations where the greatest good is unclear or where interests conflict one another, who makes the decision of what is the better choice? Kant and other categorical philosophers argue for a universal set of principles that are to govern ethical and moral decisions. In Kant’s categorical imperative, he states that the morality of decisions is based on the fact that humans are rational creatures. In using someone as mere means in a situation, their universal human rights are being violated. He argues that since humans are rational creatures, they should make their own decisions. Buildings, however, rarely are the result of a single person’s action. I argue that if

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the individuals affected vote upon each new proposal, they are entered into a social contract and become means to an end, which is morally permissible. Given the individual’s voice in the decision making process, I think a point of view favoring cultural relativism is needed. Cultural relativism states that the morality of any given situation is dependent upon the culture in which it takes place. In order to argue whether a controversial building proposal is warranted, it must be decided upon by the members of that community. Only then will the positive and negative outcomes of the situation reflect the needs and wants of the community involved. In conclusion, it is morally permissible for the architect to build. If the decisions are based on the arguments I have outlined in this paper, new construction will result in moral decisions that positively impact the communities involved. Additionally, in cases of natural disasters, I argue that it is an obligation of the architect to help with the rebuilding process. With careful decisions that are based on honoring nature and its resources, I argue that these buildings will have lasting positive impacts on not only the people, but the environment as well.

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Lectures

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01 CAREER LESSONS Randy Gulliot Senior Principal Cannon Design

For the inaugural Professional Practice lecture, Randy Guillot framed his lecture around what he considers to be the top ten pieces of advice he would give to emerging professionals in the field of architecture. Through these pieces of advice, he introduced many life stories and examples to help frame the origin of each point. Through these ten points, we not only learned more about the profession of architecture, but more about Randy and his journey to where he is today.

The Design Process Professional Practice


Critical Response I found this lecture an interesting and insightful way to start off the course. Each of the points offered a great way to look forward not only to the remainder of the semester, but to my future in the profession of architecture. “Top 10 Pieces of Advice” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Building meaningful relationships through hard work Communication is everything Have broad influences + mentors Accept that we suck at time management Your client is your design partner Listen to me + ignore me Don’t expect the outcome. Set yourself up for discovery. Promote your strengths Don’t be an ass hole. Be kind. Do things for others. There is always more than one right answer.

The points themselves are great, but there was even more to the story. For each of the pieces of advice, Randy followed with real world examples, which helped ground the reasons why each and every one were important. For number two, Randy stated that storytelling gives ideas fruition to come to practice. I could tell by his passion and excitement, as well as his delivery, that telling the story really is how he thinks. Architecture is all about your senses, and an effective way to present the story allows for unbuilt work to appeal to those senses. One of the points that stood out the most to me was number nine. Over the summer, I read Steve Jobs’ biography that talked about his journey to success. After reading it, it had me thinking that you had to be a complete jerk to the people in your life in order to constantly push forward until you reach success. Jobs was one of the greatest innovators of our time, but the more I think about it, the more I am amazed that he accomplished what he did while alienating the team that was working with him. Randy told us to be kind and do things for others. If you treat others with respect and honor their opinions, it is amazing what you might learn. Architecture is a profession where it is a team that works on any given project. While some might see that as a negative aspect because it isn’t solely their design, once you realize everyone is on board to accomplish the same goal, a great piece of architecture has the capacity to emerge. Reflecting upon Randy’s lecture and looking forward to the future, three points stand out in thinking about a lifetime of education. I think point three is one that is at the heart of the Chicago Studio. In school, I have always sought people that I can talk with my designs about and have them really push me with tough questions and exploit the gaps in the project. While I have found great people at school to help me in this regard, I am excited by the possibilities that the professional world brings me. I hope to find the board influences and mentors that Randy described in his lecture that will constantly push me throughout my career so that the work, as well as myself, can grow and develop as much as possible. This brings me to another point that I believe is extremely important. Number seven states that we shouldn’t expect the outcome. This notion was one of the toughest transitions for me coming from high school into design eduction, but one of the most exciting moments I have ever experienced. On multiple occasions, I have looked at where I ended up at the end of a project, and had no clue how I made it there. At the beginning of the design process, I have fragments of images that come together in my head to help me start, but I try not to expect the outcome. Sometimes I do get to a point where I think I know what it is going to be, but then another discovery comes along. That’s where the real fun is. Finally, while each of the examples given were highly valuable, I think the most valuable lesson I received from the lecture was number ten. There is always more than one answer. Take a studio in academia or a design competition as an example. For each, a single prompt is given, but the proposals are drastically different. Why is that? Architecture, unlike math or science, doesn’t have a single right answer. Each design is a different exploration. This is what makes the world such a beautiful place. If we had nothing but Mies buildings, would the buildings still have the same significance? I look forward to a world that continues to allow an architect to explore in the way he or she desires. That is what is fantastic.

151


02 CONTRACTS Drew Ranieri Associate Principal Solomon Cordwell Buenz

For the second lecture of Professional Practice, Drew Ranieri talked to the studio about contracts and their importance in architecture and went into depth about why we have these contracts. Additionally, Drew showed us a typical project schedule of the firm he is in and how the contract relates to each step of the design process. Finally, he talked about the role of the client in the process and the relationship of the client, architect, and contractor.

Designer

Manager

Amount of Engagement

B

E Phase of Project

Designer vs. Manager Professional Practice


Critical Response Contracts are a component of architecture that I personally haven’t really thought about much until the lecture by Drew. Drew gave us many reasons why we have contracts when doing a job for a client. These include accountability, scope of work, mediation, and quality control. I know that I personally have always simply thought about doing a job and creating a great product, but never about what has to happen to ensure not only a positive outcome, but successful journey along the way. Importantly, contracts exist for both the client and the architect. The contract has many components. First, it results in a work product. Secondly, it lays out the fee. The fee is how we are being compensated for the work. It can be billed either as a percentage or hourly. Third, the contract describes the schedule for the work.

Average Time:

Schematic Design Concept Design Design Development Example: 50 story building

1/3

1/3

Construction Documents Bidding

1 Year

1/3

Construction Administration

2 Years

One of the flaws of an architect’s work is that the fees are based on a schedule that is set regarding future work. What is bad about that is that the fees are based on current ratios, not that of the future. The fourth component of the contract is regarding the scope of work. The important thing about scope is that it’s not only what you are doing, but also what you are not doing. The final component of the contract is outlining the risks and responsibilities. I think one of the greatest takeaways from this lecture was the outline of how the business process works in the profession of architecture. I had never really thought about the business behind the design work. Drew had a quote that demonstrated the architect’s role in a project. He stated, “Architecture is like you’re pregnant. You deliver the baby and then put it up for adoption.” He stated that it was tough for him at first to realize that the project was for the client and wasn’t his to keep. The sooner he realized this was the case, the easier the profession was for him. The idea of designing a project for someone else is tough to imagine while still in academia. Maybe it is because I am still discovering what is interesting to me within the field of design, but I have gotten lost (in a good way) in almost every project I have had in school. However, I think if an architect is lucky enough to have the right clients, they will only enrichen the design process. Quirky and fun design constraints like a room for a pool table or a tunnel that leads to a single leather-bound book create opportunities that would not be part of the imagination of the architect otherwise. Additionally, I can only imagine the satisfaction of turning over a project to the new owners and seeing how it can impact their lives. In conclusion, contracts are a very important component of the architectural process. They are important because they reduce risk and clarify responsibility. I think that without contracts, achieving a positive outcome for both the architect and the client would be extremely hard to achieve.

153


03 DESIGN THINKING Natasha Krol Mauskapf Managing Consultant McKinsey & Company

“I want you to take fifteen minutes, go outside, and document a block. What do you see?� Natasha opened our eyes to design thinking and alternative career paths available with a design degree. She started off the lecture with an interactive exercise that was highly insightful and helped set the tone for everything that followed. Following the mapping activity and discussion, we then heard about her history and what has led her to where she is today.

Preliminary Study Professional Practice


Critical Response I am highly thankful that we had the lecture by Natasha. I know that it helped me see how valuable design education is, primarily in teaching us how to think. In academia, we rarely hear of alternative career paths outside of architecture, so it was refreshing to know that there are people out there who value what we learn in school, even if they aren’t constructing buildings. The best part of the entire talk was the introductory exercise. In this exercise we were told to pick a block nearby, walk around it at least three times, and find a way to document our findings. Immediately, all I could think about was the first day in design school when we were given an hour to go outside and draw Hokie Stone. The two exercises were similar in that they both sought to demonstrate how designers observe the world. In mapping the block in Chicago, I grabbed my sketchbook and phone. Through photographs and drawings, I focused on what changed or shifted between each of the three trips around the block, points of activity in relationship to built infrastructure, as well as the role the alley plays in the city of Chicago. To briefly elaborate on my findings, I noticed that an area of construction went from a point of high activity to being empty within the span of five minutes. I discovered that directly beneath the “L” businesses rarely have outdoor spaces set up, but around the corner and free from the tracks, restaurants extended out onto the sidewalk. This was interesting because they were still close enough to the tracks that the noise was about the same. Additionally, I walked through and alley and while none of the doors had labels or signs, the smells coming from the exhaust vents and the delivery trucks present allowed me to have a clue as to what businesses were there.

As design thinkers, we are constantly taking in the world. We observe. We start to see connections that aren’t readily apparent at the surface. I find all of this refreshing because it has allowed me to tap into something that has been there from day one, but not exploited until coming to college. I am now able to walk into new situations and define the constraints so that I can figure out the why behind a problem and where to go to address the problem. Natasha has an interesting background that demonstrates why she is able to think about so many things and find the right perspective for any given situation. For her job at McKinsey, she labeled it as a doctor for a business. As consultants, they are brought in to define the problems, many that haven’t even been thought of, and find ways to solve the problem. She described it as using a different medium, but still designing. As for some of the skills she needs for her job, she has to question, listen, recognize patterns, define problems, and communicate, among others. These components aren’t any different than what I use any given day to work on a design for a project in studio. From this lecture, I have started to realize how valuable my education truly is. I remember coming home and seeing my dad after my freshman year of college. The first thing he said was, “You’re different.” He then elaborated that he could see that I was thinking differently and how remarkable it was. I am glad that I have embarked in an academic setting that constantly challenges me. While I see myself pursuing architecture, it was great hearing all of the ways in which my degree can be used in the future. Everything can be designed, from problems to buildings.

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04 TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE PROFESSION Geoff Walters Senior Principal Cannon Design

Geoff started the lecture by talking about the two ‘legs’ of the field of architecture: the design side and the technical side. He then went on to talk about collaboration and integration within the design process. Finally, he wrapped up the lecture by talking at length about Architecture 2030. This is a program, adopted by the AIA, that seeks to achieve net-zero in buildings.

21% Residential 19% Commercial

33% Industry

28% Transportation

40% Buildings

U.S. Annual Energy Bill $208 Billion

U.S. Energy Consumption Professional Practice

40% HVAC 35 % Lighting 15% Office/IT Equipment 10 % Hot Water


Critical Response In the fourth lecture for Professional Practice, Geoff Walters started off by making some great points. After a brief introduction about his role at Cannon Design, he talked about the two parts of the architecture profession. He said there was the design side and the technical side. The notion of understanding each side was not what was interesting. It was the idea that the two should become one and that as designers, we should erase the boundary between the two. The more I think about this idea, the more truth I see in it. Early on in school, I know that I have always been interested in the overarching design and didn’t really delve into how it worked and the technical aspect of the design. This was primarily because it was harder for me to see the design in that portion of the project and partly due to my lack of knowledge on the topic. However, after being introduced to architects that have beautiful details, Tom Kundig, SANAA, Peter Zumthor, and Valerio Olgiati for example, and seeing these details in person, I realize how important they truly are to communicating the design decisions at the larger scale. When an individual first approaches architecture, they are often confronted with the door handle. Why shouldn’t the same design intention be given to the door as the overarching form? In addition to merging design and technical aspects within an architect’s role, Geoff also mentioned that this idea extends to an architect’s role with other fields. He stated that we will never be experts at every single portion of the design. It’s impossible. However, if we understand enough of the design side, the technical side, and everything in between, we can be knowledgeable enough to ask the right questions and find the right people who will progress the project forward. The world has become very complex and we have to be able to bring many different fields together. Understanding what you know, as well as what you don’t know, leads into the next topic of discussion from the lecture. Geoff talked about collaboration and integration of clients in the design process. He said that at the early stages of a project, architects must have a deep dialogue with the client. We have to understand what the problem is in order to seek the correct solution. The key is to always ask questions in order to understand as well as possible. Finally, Geoff talked at length about Architecture 2030, which was adopted by the AIA as a way to achieve net-zero in buildings. How can buildings be designed and shaped to affect energy performance? Buildings are the largest form of energy consumption, yet so much of what is being designed and built today is being done in the exact same way it was fifty years ago. Geoff stated that form should follow performance. When thinking about that idea, I don’t know if I agree. I personally don’t like the term ‘green’ when referring to new buildings and don’t believe that design decisions should be made solely in terms of efficiency. I have seen many new buildings that perform fantastically, but lack the soul that comes from a solid architectural idea and a beautifully detailed space. The vast majority of users don’t pay the energy bills, so why should the design neglect their experience and be solely for lessening the energy consumption? However, I think it is the responsibility of the architect to do everything within his or her power to make the building as efficient as possible. Many technologies exist, from basic, like passive solar, to complex, like active thermal insulation in SANAA’s school in Germany. Within an already formulated architectural idea, any number of building technologies can be incorporated that allow for the energy efficiency that we need, but don’t diminish the experience for the every day user. Additionally, if we design in this manner, in fifty years when the technology is no longer efficient, we still have a great piece of architecture that wasn’t designed solely for performance and will likely live on for fifty more years following an adaptation of new technologies into the existing space. Overall, I found Geoff’s lecture really interesting and a great way to look at the profession of architecture. First, I think the line that is drawn within the profession should dissolve and become solely design. We should design the space as well as design the technical aspects. Secondly, I agree with Geoff that as architects, we have to do as much as we can to save the environment for future generations.

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05 GLASS Carl D’Silva Vice President, Principal Architect Jahn

Carl D’Silva took a different approach than the other lectures so far and focused on a particular topic for the lectures he gave. In his first lecture, he gave an in-depth explanation of glass, including the history, process of making, and types available today. Following this lecture, he showed a case study of a project he worked on: O’Hare’s cable facade. Finally, he continued by leading a trip to O’Hare to see in person the use of this system.

Batch House Furnace

Batching

Melting

Refiner

Batching

Bath

Fining

Lehr

Forming

Main Line

Annealing

Cutting + Packing 1/4 Mile Long

Glass Making Process Professional Practice


Critical Response Glass is a material we see every day of our lives. From the small openings in a typical single family home to a skyscraper that is clad in glass, different technologies and uses are all around us. Interestingly, glass has been around for many years and through those years, it has continuously evolved. This has allowed more and more freedom and opportunity for the architect. Additionally, glass itself hasn’t been the only thing that has changed. The method for fixing and attaching the panes has shifted dramatically. This is one of the areas that was highly helpful from Carl’s lectures. One of the first questions Carl asked was, “What is glass?” We see it every day, but do we often think of what comprises the material? 70% Sand

12% Soda

18% Lime 5% Salt Cake, Coal, Rouge

Glass has been around since the early 2nd Century BC. At that time, the colors were mainly blue-green, as other colors were extremely rare. Also, glass was mainly crown or cylinder glass and was blown into the finished shape. Around the turn of the 20th century, the glass process exploded. Around the middle of the century, the transition to float glass was made due to the discovery by Sir Alastair Pilkington. The process allowed for flat, fire-finished glass that had parallel surfaces. There are many types of float glass. These include clear, low-iron, and tinted. In processing the glass, there are multiple ways of strengthening the glass. Without strengthening the glass, it is highly susceptible to thermal stress and breakage. One of the more common methods of strengthening glass today is heat treated glass. These include heat-strengthened and tempered applications. Heat strengthened is two times more resistant to breakage, but is not a safety glazing. Tempered glass puts the outer surfaces into compression while the inner are in tension by heating the glass to over 1100 degrees and then cooling them suddenly. This results in a stronger glazing that when broken, breaks into small pieces, rather than large chunks. The other type of safety glazing is laminated glass. Laminated glass involves layers of glass that are bonded together by a plastic layer. This plastic layer keeps the glass in place if it is to break. What is interesting about understanding more about glass is that it gives a deeper look into the environment we live in each day. When thinking of projects that use glass well and show the qualities of the material, two come to mind. The first is the Glass Pavilion by SANAA in Toledo, OH. In this project, all of the interior walls are made by sheets of curved glass. The layers of glass create a cavity between then, just like any other wall. However, the cavity is visible since the layers of glass are transparent. What is interesting about this project is that it highlights the material properties of glass more than any project I have visited. First, the reflectivity was amazing. As I moved throughout the space, the reflections were constantly shifting and created an atmosphere unlike any I have ever visited. Secondly, I realized that glass is not completely transparent and that the beauty of this project is when the reflections, light and shadow, and colors the glass takes on from its surroundings create a space that feels opaque, even with using solely glass walls. The second project which uses glass remarkably well is the Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Plano, IL. It really blurs the boundary between interior and exterior. What is beautiful is that the glass planes are simple sheet glass that is only a quarter of an inch thick. This allows for glass that is remarkably clear and doesn’t have the slight wave that is seen in tempered glass. Unfortunately, during my visit to the house, I was informed that they are about to switch all of the glass in the house to tempered glass due to safety regulations. However, these new circumstances will only add to the character and tell the story of what has happed to the house over the years.

In conclusion, it was highly beneficial to have the lectures by Carl about glass. Glass is all around us, even on the subway cars we traveled on to go to O’Hare. I think that we often mislabel glass as transparent and use it in order to achieve a ‘materialess’ space, but understanding the material attributes helps us see the wonderful qualities that glass can bring to a project. 159


06 PROJECT MANAGEMENT Chip von Weise Principal/Owner von Weise Associates

Chip von Weise gave an insightful look into project management. The lecture went more in depth than simply project management, but really talked about general management tips, the relationship with the client, and understanding where to go when you need assistance. It was a great look into the profession of architecture from someone who is exceptionally knowledgeable.

Understanding Appreciation Experience

Professional Practice


Critical Response Chip started the lecture by listing the project initiation steps he takes within his office for any given project. The first is the client proposal. This is the step where contract services are provided, which was the topic of lecture two. Secondly the job and project are set up in the computer followed by a project goals board. An interesting note about the project goals board is that it states the client objectives and goals. These can range from the program to the landscape, to how they want to live. If the project checklist is accomplished early in the process, it allows for a much smoother process. “Everyone is on the same page,” Chip stated. Following the initial steps he makes in his office, Chip went into detail about general management tips. There were a few that really stood out to me as being good lessons in moving forward in my career. The first is that the contractor is not your friend. While you want to have a good relationship with your contractors, it is important to note that they are in the process to make money. You have to be the go-to for the client, that way the solution can be designed. Architect

Contractor

Client

Another point that I think is important is to ask questions and never assume anything. I thought it was interesting when Chip stated that we needed to learn what we didn’t know. Early on in his career when he started his practice, there was much he didn’t know. He was able to make it through the process by understanding what he didn’t know, and realizing who he can call to find out more. What is intriguing about Chip is that you can always see the gears turning in his head. He is always thinking about something, which I find super refreshing to see. He stated that every day he learns new things, and that he tries to set himself up for a lifetime of learning. The third point that I found important was that in order to create the best product possible, we need to be excited about the project, even when it is hard to be excited. I know that when I am excited about a project, I can’t stop thinking about it. The innate curiosity of testing and discovering has a hold on me. However, when I am not excited, it is tough to have the same level of drive. I think an important thing for me progressing forward is that I need to find the excitement, which can be hiding in the most surprising places. This brings me to the final point from his management tips that I found extremely important. Everything is designed. From the email you send to the client to the note you write to the presentation you give a client, it all must be designed. I think that if I can find the design opportunity in each aspect of the process, I will be more likely to find the excitement throughout all stages. In addition to general management tips, Chip also went into detail about the role architects should play with their clients. One of the primary things that has to happen is listening to the client. After all, it is their money and their project you are doing. Some clients might want a lavender house. While it’s painful to think of having to do such a thing, it is their project. When strange requirements arise, it is important to also be leading your client and asking smart questions. Do they really want the lavender house? Is there another design opportunity awaiting that is at the root of their request? Finally, Chip shared some of his insight on finding and maintaining clients. First, he stated that you have to hang out with rich people. What he meant by this was that any architect should be surrounding themselves not only with people who challenge them to think differently, but people who have the means to allow for these thoughts to come to fruition. Additionally, Chip maintains a broad range of relationships in the community. He stated that you want to be ‘top of mind.’ This means that when someone is looking for an architect, they will be likely to give you a call. Finally, he said that you have to remind people that you are out there doing cool projects. “When you’re hot, you want to keep going.” In conclusion, Chip gave a great look into how he has become so successful over the years. The heart behind any of his advice is understanding not only yourself, but the people around you. The key is to value the people you work with, as well as the clients you are working for. The majority of his clients are repeat clients, so he must be doing something right.

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07 MAS CONTEXT Iker Gil Principal/Owner Mas-Studio

Iker Gil gave the seventh lecture of the Professional Practice course. In the lecture, he gave a brief background into his architecture practice. In this, he went into detail about things that interested him, as well as side projects he has worked on. One of those projects is a publication known as Mas Context.

Competition Entry Professional Practice


Critical Response Iker Gil started the lecture with a brief introduction about his background and what has led him to where he is today. He is from Bilbao, Spain and worked at SOM for 2.5 years before starting his own practice about five years ago. An interesting point that Iker made was that in Europe, working for a large corporation is very rare. Almost always an architect goes straight from school and starts his or her own practice by building something for a family member or by entering a competition with some friends and winning it. I found that incredibly interesting because it seems so difficult to start your own practice here in the United States. One of the first projects Iker talked about was the reclamation of a Native American reservation. In this project, his team worked on creating signage for the reservation and the many paths and trails on the land.

When looking at the historical images of the bent trees the Native Americans used to mark their paths, my brain immediately started spinning with ideas based on that concept. The idea was fascinating and incredibly beautiful. Following the reservation project, Iker used a local competition he did to bring up an interesting component to his work in the field of architecture. The competition was to revive and empty lot by creating a landscape. In his entry, he had a series of planters that undulated allowing for a geometry that could shift to meet any need. What was interesting was that he could take something made entirely of donated materials (plywood) and create something that could change the attitude of a neighborhood. One of the things that was great about Iker was that he is using his talent as an architect to give back and create change. One of the most interesting things he talked about was taking time out of his schedule to do projects he was interested in, regardless of a pending compensation. The first was a study into the underground pedway in Chicago. He created design proposals to reenvision the space to give it a new life. Iker stated, “If you don’t like something, take two weeks and address it. You have talent as a designer. You can solve problems in unique and interesting ways. If something doesn’t come out of it, you’ve only spent two weeks of your life working on it.” Secondly, he created a design journal known as Mas Context. In Mas Context, Iker created a platform where individuals from all backgrounds can come together and debate a single topic. Interestingly, Mas Context uses different media types to help explore the issues it is exploring. While in Chicago, I attended a lecture on rendering by the founders of the publication Clog. They, like Iker, seek submissions from people with backgrounds other than architecture to debate topics through a variety of mediums. I think it is fantastic that architects are giving back to communities and people with their given talents. Whether it is through a simple landscape installation, a large scale architecture project, or a design publication, architecture is seen and felt by everyone. As a profession, architects have the capacity and responsibility to seek the problems facing cities today and find new and interesting ways to combat these issues.

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08 NEW CITIES Peter Ellis Senior Principal Cannon Design

Peter Ellis gave talked about his career path and interest in city design during the lecture to our Professional Practice class. It was interesting to hear about design at such a large scale, one which is not commonly investigated in academia. Peter went into detail about a project Cannon Design is working on in Brownsville, Texas, including not only the design, but the potential impact the project can achieve. A Campus of Neighborhoods

Professional Practice


Critical Response One of the first things that I believe led to Peter Ellis’ ability to envision and design cities stems from his travel early on in his career. Peter told us to always say yes when offered to travel anywhere. Throughout his career he worked all over, including seven years in London. When Peter ended up at SOM, he was surprised. He told himself that he would never go. However, he stated, “[SOM] had the smartest people from all the best schools. It was like having all the candy from the candy stores. You just had to make sure you didn’t overdose on it.” In his lecture, Peter Ellis talked primarily about the firm he left SOM to start, as well as his current role at Cannon Design with their project in Brownsville, Texas. In Peter Ellis New Cities, ten people from the U.S., as well as a small team in India, were to design a new city in India. It was something he had worked years to start and he was highly passionate about the project. Unfortunately, the recession brought him back from India and he merged his practice with Cannon Design. One remarkable thing about Peter is that he wouldn’t agree to the merger unless all of his employees were absorbed by Cannon as well. What Peter loved about Cannon Design was that they were deeply ingrained in education and designing in this market. He sees campuses as cities, just at a different scale. The Ford Foundation invited the Open Hands Studio from Cannon Design to Brownsville, Texas and the rest is history. They were asked to do a new campus for 20,000 students in Brownsville, just across the border from Mexico. In looking at the project, the faculty in Brownsville were deeply ingrained into the traditional style. What is interesting is that Peter and his team, were able to respect the traditional architecture, but take the campus beyond that and design for the future. I think this is an area where many of the campuses in the United States are messing up today, including Virginia Tech. With the right architects, a design that is forward thinking is possible, while still respecting the history and tradition. Simply copying the past will not allow for anything of significance to be created. One of the greatest accomplishments of the design team in Brownsville is how they have created a walkable campus in a climate that is extremely hot and dry. In order to do this, the team crated narrow streets that are shaded by trees, has a town square, and courtyard buildings. This allows ample shade as well as breaks along the path for a rest. Additionally, in the design, they made sure that the overall length of the campus was less than a fifteen minute walk. I find it really interesting to think about design at the city scale. In the lecture, Peter stated that designers should be able to design anything from the building scale to the city scale and everything in between. While I am more interested in the building scale, I think having the ability to work back and forth between scales can only enrichen the design process. One of the other remarkable things about the project in Brownsville is how they are able to achieve net-zero. It was important for them to understand what they could do on campus, and what can be done off of campus. “The bigger the pie, the easier net-zero is.” Just because a certain aspect isn’t immediately available on the site, it doesn’t mean that interesting partnerships can’t be created in order to make up for the weaknesses. It is remarkable what the team at Cannon Design has been able to accomplish in Brownsville, Texas. Not only are they creating a new college campus for over 20,000 students using new technologies and being environmentally friendly, but they are also reuniting the community and creating an immense amount of excitement. The people in the community are so giving and proud of what they have. With a new project coming in, this can only increase.

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09 BROADENED FIELD OF ARCHITECTURE Adam Whipple

Laura Fisher

Project Manager Newcastle Limited

Managing Director IPM Consulting, Ltd.

In the ninth lecture for Professional Practice, Adam Whipple and Laura Fisher spoke about the broadened field of architecture. Many additional career paths are available upon graduating with an architecture degree, including the paths of Adam and Laura. One of the greatest takeaways from the lectures was to think about the future and plan ahead. While the field of architecture is incredibly broad, finding the correct career path is within reach.

Education Facilities Management

Real Estate Development Architecture Practice

Building Products

Construction Government

Professional Practice


Critical Response Adam Whipple started the lecture by talking about his role as a project manager and the skills involved. He listed six important skills that really are the same as an architect designing buildings. 1. Problem Solving 2. Presentation + Communication Skills 3. Coordination + Teamwork 4. Ability to Break Down Complex Ideas 5. Technical Expertise 6. Spatial Design When looking at what project management is, one of the most important things to note is that a project has a beginning and end. While we often hear in academia that a project is never complete since we constantly learn from our decisions, in terms of completing an objective for a client, there is an end. The project manager is essentially the person who is responsible for the delivery of the project. Adam made a great point when talking about the broadened field of architecture. He stated, “If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” With his job in the past, he didn’t find the satisfaction he was after. It was all about defining what the field of architecture meant for him and finding the right match that allowed the freedom he desired. Another point that was made which I thought was phenomenal was the idea of having time to do what you want to do. Adam stated that there will always be time to do what you want. You must define the success and do what it takes to get there. If you love fifty things, you will have to find a way to do fifty things. However, when doing those fifty things, you might just find that thirty of them aren’t for you. You wouldn’t know unless you tried them in the first place. I think that as emerging architects, we often see the overworked professionals who never have any time to do the things they love. First, why don’t they have the time? Secondly, why can’t their job be the thing they love? Following Adam’s lecture, Laura Fisher talked even more about the broadened field and the role architects can play even if they aren’t in architecture. Upon having two pretty terrible jobs after graduation, Laura was given the opportunity to work for a bank in a real estate group which led her to become a corporate architect. She doesn’t design the project, but she figures out what needs to be done, assembles the teams, and handles construction. While she isn’t designing a physical thing, her ability to think like a designer and be knowledgeable about the process has been extremely valuable in helping her get to where she is today. What is great about an architecture degree is that it can take you many places. Laura asked the question, “Where do you want to go?” The key is that we always need to new possibilities. She never imagined she would be where she is today. I think it relates back to the first lecture by Randy. In a project, we should never expect the outcome. Instead, we should be open and allow for discovery. I think I am at a point in my architectural career where it is important to have goals for the future, but to never let them be too rigid that they cause me to miss out on some phenomenal opportunities. In addition to being open-minded, it is crucial that we connect with people and always present ourselves in the best possible manner. You never know when you will be asked to join a meeting. Will the boss ask the person who looks unkept? Probably not. Adam and Laura provided a wonderful look into the broadened field of architecture. While in academia, it is often hard to see just how widely adaptable the skills learned in architecture school truly are. More than physical skills, the ability to think differently is highly valuable to people in all sorts of professions. Even though I see myself practicing architecture in the future, it is great to see just how phenomenal the eduction of an architect is.

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10 INTERVIEW WITH CHICAGO STUDIO John Severtsen Senior Principal Cannon Design

Andrew: We are going to do this very different than most Pro Practice lectures. I’m going to interview John. There’s really no one else that can talk about the project from a leadership standpoint that I admire or respect more than John. I have a list of questions and we will go from there. First, if you weren’t an architect, what would you want to be?

would have said doctor or lawyer; something that pays really well. Or, a real estate developer.

John: I don’t know. The answer to that question would probably vary from phase to phase in my career. If I weren’t an architect right now, I would somehow be completely involved in some facet of public interest, social work. I feel like I can do that as an architect so it’s not really saying that if I wasn’t an architect but it’s saying that if I could concentrate all of my energy in one area, that’s what it would be right now. I’m not sure when I was thirty, which was a quite a while ago, I don’t even know how I would have answered that question. Probably not the same, however. I probably

John: I read a fair amount. I read a lot of fiction but also a lot of history and historical fiction. I have a favorite book. It’s not necessarily my favorite book, but a book that I love reading and that has taught me something. Well two books really. The first is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book King of Rivals. It’s about Abraham Lincoln when he was elected in an incredibly divided situation where the people in the government at really high levels hated each other. The story is the brilliance of leadership that Lincoln makes to bring the people that hated him the most onto his cabinet. The story

Andrew: One thing that has fascinated me over the years is the quotes that you have from different authors and books. I’m curious what your favorite books and favorite authors are?

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is one of incredible tension but amazing unselfishness and leadership, which of course produced all kinds of things that could not of occurred otherwise. That book was loaded with amazing lessons about how to work with people; including people that you think are adversaries. There’s something really interesting to me about the concept of a fine line between an adversarial situation and an opportunity. Lincoln was a master of flipping one into the other. When you read a book like that, it starts to trigger connections and associations with experiences you actually have. We have been working on this project down in Brownsville, Texas for a year now. What I’ve encountered, if I could really distill it to one thing, is that these people really have amazing adversarial conditions. They are poor. They have a highest rate of diabetes in the country. They are on this really tough border. Across the border, cartels are literally fighting it out on the street. This school that we are working on is right at the fence. What I have discovered is how these adversarial conditions have been turned into incredible sources of optimism and opportunity. They know that they can focus on these issues that they positive impact that it could happen on them socially and economically would be not only amazing for them, but be a significant model not only in Texas, but in the global south. I’ve never encountered a higher level of optimism in a set of circumstances. How on earth could they be so optimistic? It’s amazing.

This book is called John Adams. It’s a biography of John Adams. It’s a big fat book and I started reading it not sure if I could get through it. I got into it and realized there was so much about this guy and this time that strikes me. A couple of things that struck me, and this is sort of a question about the internet age, but my premise was about the way John Adams got stuff done working across the ocean. He would write a letter and anywhere form three to fourth months later, or even six months. He would be ordering a military action and have no idea if it was carried out or if it was successful until the next ship came back with the return letter. You think, how on earth can you get stuff done like that? The fact of the matter is, if you look at the accomplishments of John Adams or other people in that era, I think they got twenty times more done than any of us can get done, and we have instant communication. I can be pulling a trigger in France in a millionth of a second and for him it would take weeks, maybe months. Adams taught me the lesson that it is amazing how much you can get done in spite of what might be challenging circumstances. The other thing about Adams that has remained with me for over eight years now is that he wrote a journal. In this book, there’s reference over and over again to the importance of the time he spent simply writing down observations about what was going on in his head. You can think, I know what is going on, I don’t need to write it down, but I started to keep a journal after I read this book. I kept it pretty religiously and now I have this stack of journals. Not so much if I read what happened yesterday, but if you go back three weeks, you forget what mindset you were in. If you go back a year, you can recreate your entire mental framework just from the notes you have, even if they are mundane notes. There’s something magical about keeping a journal no matter how simple it is and trying to do it on a fairly repetitive time frame that explains so much about who Adams was. It did say that there was this whole mind there that helped him grasp and remember the things that were important to him. It’s very easy to forget that you had seventy-five emails the day before and that you are now trying to deal with the twentyfive you have gotten since you got to work. The seventy-five are now history. There’s a calming aspect but there’s also a stabilizing and orienting aspect of jotting down what’s on your head.

I’m going to toss out another great quote. Another great architect, I use this quote so many times, was part of a group called Team 10. After World War II with the explosion of modernism and the machine age, there was kind of a reaction that said this approach to the world is dehumanizing. This group called Team 10 kind of spilt off and tried something different. They wanted to take this thing and make sure it was centered on humans, on people, and on human values; not any of the other things we saw that were desensitizing aspects of life at that period of time. There were a number of really cool architects in this. They did some amazing work that would probably be called humanized modernism. It began with people at the center of the work. Aldo van Eyck has a quote that I use all the time to remind myself of the purpose of our work. It’s two phrases. Space in the image of man is place. Time in the image of man is occasion. If you think about the difference between space and time and translate it into human terms, you start to think about places for occasions. All of the sudden, you are thinking not about space and time, but you are thinking about an event occurring in a plaza where people come together to celebrate or be together. You think about a thousand different things, which are the celebration of community rather than the stability of the community. I could go on with books for a long time.

Andrew: I’m curious, who are your heroes? John: I would say my heroes are sort of a class of people, not a collection of individuals. It’s more of a category. I think it gets back into the public interest thing. Paul Farmer wrote a book called Mountains Beyond Mountains. He was in Chicago last Friday. My daughter, who is a woman’s health nurse here in Chicago, sent me a note saying we had to go see him. We have talked a lot about him and what he has done, beginning with the people in Haiti as well as around

Let me give one more book. It’s by David McCullogh. 169


the world, particularly in getting them access to medicine and the right kind of care to overcome tuberculosis then HIV/Aids around the world. He is a hero. He is a hero because there doesn’t seem to be a single particle of his being that is focused on anything other than increasing his impact in world health. He was not alone at this session. It was an interview that was done with the people at this event. The other person sitting with him was one of his heroes, a catholic priest that teaches at Notre Dame; a really amazing theologian. They were having this conversation about companionship and how important it is in establishing any kind of relationship with any kind of social interest. It was super important to be there. This priest kind of referred to this fact that the world companion is derived from the Latin word compāniō, which means bread. Companionship is about breaking bread, which means you are together. There is a companionship that occurs without which it is very difficult to achieve the impact you want to achieve. If you look at the life of someone like Paul Farmer, where he has lived, how he as worked, it is a perfect example of the impact. We reflect on our own efforts. We spent our morning with another group of heroes. These are the people that who run Cook County Hospital. We are trying to help them figure out a way to improve just the environments of their clinics throughout the city, which are in pretty tough locations. We were together with them all morning today. We had breakfast and lunch and engaged them for the first time about a process that, I have to say, we don’t know. First we enter the session not knowing what is going to come out of it. Secondly, we wonder how on earth are we going to get this done because it’s so much to do and we don’t have time to do it. We will get it done, however, and I think the idea there is that these people, heroes, are completely dedicated to improving human dignity in these locations throughout the city. It’s a real simple thing. It’s not only really easy to be able to make an impact, but it’s a responsibility. When you go to a place like Brownsville and realize the challenges can become opportunities, there’s this sort of weird clique that occurs when you realize this thing you are calling an opportunity is really a responsibility. That changes the thing. You have to get this right. So referring back to our meeting today, we leave both excited and terrified. Andrew: With this meeting and your work in Brownsville, as well as into the next project you have a year from now, what keeps you inspired? John: That’s so important. I think it’s a real simple question. What keeps you inspired is simply knowing, or at least having a hope, that what you are doing does actually matter. It does actually mean something. It does actually make a difference. I think if the more that I can make a connection

between the energy I have and the benefit that it brings to people, the more inspiring it is. I think that is true with everybody. You can detect that inspiration is rarely caused by a self-centered mindset. It seems to always be caused an external focus of some kind. My undergraduate thesis, I was a philosophy major, was focused on the subject of inspiration. It was focused on the whole question of artistic activity, not aesthetics, not perception. That was too complicated and boring for me. It was focused on what is going on in our brains when we are making things. What is happening in our psyches? Inspiration is a big part of that. I love the translation of that word as well. Inspiration is related to breathing. Inspiration is breath. The concept of inspiration might be too abstract. You can say that air is basically the same as blood. Blood is an internal system that drives your body. Air is the external system that allows you to live. Inspiration is a way of absorbing your context, your environment, that is life sustaining. In a figurative way, it means that you are in Chicago. On one hand, you can be in this room talking with one another. On another, you can be out there in neighborhoods or the city soaking things in. I see that as a definition of inspiration. You are breathing in context that is incredibly energizing. There is a strong connection between inspiration and energy. It’s a subject that I like way too much. Andrew: It’s interesting. When you said it was simple, I knew you would give a very poetic answer. I think it’s a really good way to look at it. It’s not something you find that caries you and stops. In a way, it’s an attitude. John: To that point, there is an image of inspiration that one is passive to, but I really believe it is motion in the world that causes that to occur. That means engagement. It is not a static motion. It is very much a dynamic motion. When you hop on the train and go to a part of the city you have never gone to before, that’s a form of engagement. You will remember that for the rest of your life. Anytime you go to a new place and have that kind of experience, it becomes engrained in your memory. It becomes not only a source of energy at that moment, but it becomes a source of refreshment down the road. When you are working on your thesis and you are recalling an experience that you had, it becomes part of a library of energizing experiences that you have had. It’s not static. If you wait to be inspired, it’s not going to happen. Andrew: Moving on to some direct questions about leadership, what are the characteristics you believe a good leader must possess? John: I think that’s really simple. The most important component of leadership in any individual is the respect for

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University of Chicago. I was with them yesterday. They had been doing a practicum with the business school where they really studied Brownsville then they spent three or four days there. They came down with proposals. These are students that are completely wrapped up in this place. Tim Swanson and Eric Zachrison were leading this conversation down there from the design standpoint. It’s about policy and what kinds of things could evolve in Brownsville that could allow these good things to happen to take advantage of these unique circumstances in this place. My focus right now is on Tim and Eric. I have gone places with them where after three or four hours I am completely exhausted and they are just starting. They can’t stop. Tim alone would be enough to wear you out. I was eating breakfast around 7:00 am and had gotten there at midnight Monday night. Eric asked if he could borrow my car. I was still having my beautiful Mexican breakfast. Eric jumps in the car and drives away. I didn’t know what he was doing because we had a meeting. About ten minutes later, he comes back sweating because it’s really hot down there with five copies of the Brownsville Tribune and on the front page was a photography of the University of Chicago students with us and with Eric barely in the picture on the far left. Nonetheless, Eric was on the front page of the newspaper. He was just beaming because they had only been down there for three or four days, made these presentations to the mayor of the city, and got this amazing reaction. Eric and Tim love the world. They love the cities that they explore. There’s no limit to the amount of energy that they have because they are so inspired by exploration. Those are the kinds of people that I would hire. I shouldn’t say hire. Those are the people that I want to hang around with. They bring a lot to the work. They bring an amazing amount of brilliance to the work. The students at the University of Chicago are studying policy and economics. They aren’t even in our field, but they are interested in the question of the impact of design and design policy on the economy of a region. Wow, what an interesting thing that is. We know it’s true. We know it’s playing out in an interesting way down there. My hope is that we could bring them on board to work with us. Someone will say that I am crazy. How can you hire an economist or a public policy person in your office? My answer is, how can you not?

the people that the leader is leading. I think respect is a little bit too antiseptic. It’s kind of true, but what I really mean is admiration for the people. A leader will not say “I admire the people I lead.” A leader will say “I admire the people that I spend time with.” I do think great leaders are not people who are particularly conscious of the role that they play in a hierarchical sense, but are very conscious in the role that they play in establishing the admiration and the respect for the people that they work with. You all know what I mean. You have had that experience. I leader is someone who is followed, whether they want to be or not. I think you are followed if you are admired and respected. You are admired and respected if you admire and respect the people that you work with. You have all been in situations where you are standing in front of a large group of people speaking. You all have had that incredibly awkward, sometimes difficult, sometimes nerve-racking experience. There is something I discovered is that to overcome that fear, it is a fear of separation from the people you are speaking to, all you have to do is remind yourself that you are there because you admire and respect the people you are speaking to. It’s a simple thing but it changes this from me speaking to you to me being with you. It’s an entirely different intellectual dynamic that occurs that puts you at ease almost instantly. It allows you to be vulnerable but it also gets you over fear. That’s a kind of leadership too. It doesn’t have to be in front of a large group of people. I have had experiences of being at the chair table of boards where I have had direct, personal attacks. People didn’t like something I said or did. I’ve had that happen a bunch of times. I have discovered that it’s not just you, but it’s the position and responsibility that you occupy that is under attack. Almost without any exception, it’s pretty significant justification. That teaches you that a good leader never needs to be defensive because if you respect the people, you respect it. You work your way through it. Andrew: Related to young professionals because I think you have a knack for mentoring, certainly for myself, what are the traits that you look for in the leaders that report to you and also, what do you look for in new staff or young personnel? John: I think the last thing I look at is past accomplishments. I certainly care about that and I find it interesting, but I think it really boils down to level of sincerity and level of active engagement. I will use the word engagement a thousand more times in the next minute, but I really want to work with people who love being in the world and the design profession. I love people who are dying of curiosity and have energy to explore just for the pure joy of exploring and learning new things. Those are the people that are fun to work with. Our city design gang was just down in Brownsville, Texas with a group of students from the

Andrew: Related to leadership, do you think leadership has some capacity that necessitates a certain amount of selfishness and selflessness? John: I think it does. I’m not sure how to characterize the selfishness component of it. Given your knowledge of yourself and how you have found yourself to be successful in cultivating followers, you may come to the realization that one of the reasons that it actually works is that what is good for you, is actually good for them. It may not be 171


selfish, but it’s not foolishly unselfish. My work with the folks at city design, I can’t find any part of it that isn’t selfish. There are people who appear to be selfless. They have almost no limit of authentic generosity. I think that might be missing the fact that the reward they gain in satisfaction, or the impact they have, is immeasurably huge. It’s not as if there isn’t a payback. There is a giant payback. It might be a quiet and profound payback, but it’s gigantic. I think that’s another aspect of selfishness. You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t love to do it. Andrew: I want to open up questions from the students. Kaitlin: When we first walked in, the first thing I noticed was that you had the words hope and fear on the board. It was interesting to see. In most places that we have witnessed, emotions get pushed under the table. You choose to address those. It will ultimately affect the reaction. How do you all work with strong emotions within a project? John: I can’t even imagine starting in any other place. It wouldn’t make any sense. In the context of Cook County Hospital, this isn’t about the community members who are underserved. When you start a process with a group of people that will have an impact, sooner or later you are going to get there. We want to get there now. If you deal with the deepest concerns that people have on the first day, there will be reverberations of that conversation all down the line. Those things will get adjust and augmented, but there’s no doubt that this is the most solid foundation for any steps to go forward. Something interesting happened today. It was an exercise that we did at the beginning of the meeting. We were meeting with most of these people for the first time. We started by saying that we really don’t know how to do this because this has never been done. We have an idea for an agenda and a hope that there’s an outcome down the road, but between those two phases there’s a huge chasm of unknown. By the end of this meeting, we were able to map out an incredible array of interesting and important ways to look at these places of healthcare delivery that we weren’t looking at before. It helped all of us to see them in a different way. We don’t know what we are going to yet, but we do know that we are not going to do anything that isn’t based on those fundamental values. It’s so much more interesting to work that way. We have had experiences where we are close to driving clients over the edge. At one point, they forgot we were architects. They stuck with it and sixth months later, the value of our work was completely evident, to them and us. They completely owned it. Jamie:

One of our lectures this year was about

defining the parameters for creating design and basically thinking outside the box and creating that box if you don’t have one to think out of. I’m curious, with your meeting today, how did you get from point A to point B? John: That’s a good question. First of all, we designed the meeting. We didn’t know what would come of the meeting, but we did have a design concept for the meeting itself. There were multiple topics that we did know, but we didn’t know how they would all fit together. The problem is that if you have four of these different conversations, it’s not linear. The whole point is that it’s not linear. Let’s talk about one thing for a while then shift our mindset to a totally different set of things and explode that and then shift it to something else. You want the dust to settle after these explosions and something to come out of it that you can work with. The way we set it up is that at one end we have existing conditions, while hopes, fears, and goals are at the other end. The whole purpose was to converge those two together into something that might actually work as a process. People expect the process to be linear. You have to tell them upfront that you are going to jump around and know that we can weave them all together. We can’t go from step A, to step B, to step C and get to the end without then realizing there’s something wrong with step A. Jamie: Do you think you have discovered this process yourself or something you were grandfathered into by the architecture culture? John: Nobody has ever done this before, ever. This is the very first time this has been done in the whole world. That’s not true. Through a whole bunch of experiences and people who want these interactive workshops, there is a whole lot of trial and error that has occurred over time. Each one of these becomes sort of a hybrid of the best aspects of others. The problem is that no two sets of conversations are the same. We use things we have used other places as well as what might work for the particular group. It is not our invention by the farthest stretch of the imagination. I think the inventiveness comes in more how to get from this to impact. Especially in the case with Cook County, there is huge need and no funding. It depends on creativity to find solutions to that. Creation, of course, is making something from nothing. All we are doing is setting up the work here. Nneka: The beauty of this collaborative process is that you get to engage stakeholders, citizens, and the community, while also integrating designers and the design aspect. Throughout various stages of the process, the community is very focused on the

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years, how do you think you have evolved as a leader and what cultivated it?

emotional appeal of what the design is, but on the other spectrum, sometimes professionals are so focused on the end product. How do you integrate the emotional appeal to the end of the design product and also translate the object to what the community wants?

John: I think leadership is something that is natural. There are circumstances that put us in a position to test our wings with leadership responsibilities. They are either good experiences or not as good as you hoped they would be. For me, they were good experiences early on. This goes back to high school. They were good experiences early on because I felt proud. Also, I just enjoyed the people I was working with. The kind of basic values were in place at the very beginning. There’s this concept of natural permission, which suggests that because of circumstances you are in, experiences you have had, or your personality traits, you find that in a certain situation, you have a natural permission to take a certain role. A natural position then is not about you, but a responsibility. You accept these roles in leadership because you know that you are the right person to be in these roles. Often, it is whether you like it or not.

John: That is exactly what we are trying to do. Let me take a stab at an answer because that’s really six questions. I do think it does start with the emotional question. It also starts with an existing condition that is problematic. With the meeting today, it is important that this whole thing is about human interaction. There are many different occasions for human interaction within a clinic. Our work as designers is to facilitate those interactions so that the place encourages that to occur, but also about elevating the human dignity. The message that is sensed when you walk into a space, allows two things to happen. This is another great quote by Louis Kahn. At one point someone asked. How would you define the form of a shop, a place where you go to buy things? Kahn said something like this. A shop is a place where you walk in the door and a shopkeeper greets you and offers you a place to sit and a cup of coffee. As you think about it more and more, that’s really what a shop is. If you think about a clinic is that there are physical aspects that send signals to people as they are approaching and entering a building that say “we couldn’t care less about you.” That could be a lot of different design things. There is this kind of notion of the marriage of personal interaction and the space as an enforcer. That is an emotional process. I should tell you a quick story about the way this project started. The COO of the hospital was here one night at a reception we were holding. I was introduced to her and I said, “I know you have fourteen clinics across the city and I bet you that they are pretty crummy.” That was the very first thing I said to this person I had just met. That could be a real conversation stopper. She looked at me and raised her eyebrow wondering what I was doing. After she stared at me for a few seconds, I said, “I bet you we can figure out a way to help that.” Then we started the conversation, which led to what we did today. Going back to the whole selfish thing. If I can look back on this five years from now and know that somehow there are 3,000 people that visited the hospital or clinic more frequently, I will feel responsible for that and I will brag about that. In the area of public interest, I am a complete and firm believer in shameless self-promotion. I believe in that only because maybe someone will resent that and want to do more. Isn’t that a good thing?

Nick: I remember in one of our conversations that you talked about architecture, whether positively or negatively, impacts the way you feel in an environment. Architecture really has the ability to impact the human. You have talked about it a lot with social impact work. Are there any architects, past and present, that start to think about the human and let that come to the forefront in the work? John: I think Team 10, although it’s somewhat anachronistic. If you really looked at their work, these were modern building types but they were designed in a thoughtful way. One great is example is Aldo van Eyck’s school in the Netherlands. There was something amazing about that building that is modern, but not modern. I guess there is a whole generation now of architects that are working in the realm of public interest that wasn’t very active fifteen years ago. You think about people who are doing amazing affordable housing, it is really inspiring. The basic premise is social. It is incredibly cost challenging, but they achieve remarkably beautiful results from not only a visual, tectonic standpoint, but also a programmatic standpoint. They are very cool. I see a lot of good things coming out of affordable housing work. I don’t see it too much in corporate office work. Andrew: In your career, did you work on projects that weren’t serving the greater good, but serving private groups? Where do you think the base of our profession is going to be in the future? Do you think the top down nature of a firm or the starchitect designing an icon is going away?

Justin: Going back to a statement you said earlier where if you asked yourself when you were 30 if you wanted to be a leader, then you would have probably thought differently about social impact. Over the

John: I had no problem with it because I didn’t care. Early 173


in my career I worked for a starchitect and was a principle in the form and worked on corporate office buildings, among other things. Even the projects that you might say had social impact, we weren’t thinking about social impact. Ever. We weren’t unique. It was just the seventies, eighties, and nineties. I think those days are completely over. I think that in the last fifteen years a new generation of people has come into the workforce that are smart and really understand that there are many other factors in our work that were peripheralized in the starchitect era. I was as bad as anybody. I did a series of drawings for an exhibit in Italy. They were purely decorative drawings and I love them. They were beautiful drawings. They were nothing but purely narcissistic drawings. It was nothing more than me thinking I was amazing. Right now, there is so much excitement about expanding the subject matter of architecture to include the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and historic context in which we work. That’s just such a great explosion of interest that it makes a single author almost a logical impossibility. Andrew: In your last fifteen years, you have had high-level roles. At a certain point did something click? Were there certain opportunities? Was there a defining moment or did it just kind of happen? John: I think it was an evolution. Those interests were planted many years ago. I don’t know if they were asleep, or what they were. They were never absent. The concept of service has always been present from the beginning. My focus had been not so much social, but professional. Once I was freed of the burden of the CEO responsibility, it changed my focus to the things that I professionally wanted to do. I didn’t want to be CEO. I told myself I would do it for no more than three years. Ten years later, I was still doing it. So when that changed, it was possible for me to focus on the things I really cared about. I think what I really did care about emerged during that ten year period. It wasn’t really a moment; it was a series of events. Andrew: I think we will leave it at that. Thank you very much for taking the time today to talk to us.

Professional Practice


Critical Response For the final Professional Practice lecture, the studio conducted an interview with John Severtsen from Cannon Design. The format of the lecture, an interview with students, allowed a deeper look into a remarkable human being, one that I have had the privilege and honor to call my mentor. John is extremely intelligent and has a broad range of influences. From his favorite books to his heroes, you can really tell that the people he has the opportunity to work with every day are who he looks up to. I haven’t met someone who is as humble and caring as John. In the conversation with students, he talked about pro bono work as well as the social impact work he is doing with Cannon Design. During one of our mentor meetings, we had a fantastic conversation about this topic. John stated, “Whether it is positive or negative, when a person enters a space, it changes their life. It might be subtle or it might be drastic.” This statement resonated deeply with me. I have never been able to put into words how good pieces of architecture have made me feel. There is a feeling that I can’t describe in words, but it makes me smile and say ‘wow.’ I think the feeling I am experiencing is one of the positive feelings that John talked about. However, I think that feeling can be achieved in different ways and not solely through the work of a famous architect. Architects have a lot of power since the spaces they design can have such a lasting impact. In the same conversation with John, he stated that the human being has to come first in the design process. They are the ones who will experience it. They will live or work in the space. It has to be beautiful, because all architecture should be, but beauty can’t be the sole focus. Why have architects become so egotistical and think only about the form? I think one of the other fantastic characteristics about John is his leadership ability. During the lecture, it was obvious that he cares for every single person he encounters. Through his roles as well as his outside work, he has had the chance to lead many groups. He was spot on when he stated that good leaders are ones who aren’t looking to lead. I have had both good and bad leaders in my life, but the good ones have demonstrated these qualities. In addition to being a great leader, John is a phenomenal mentor. Even with his busy schedule, he found the time to meet with me and just talk. The conversations were some of the best I have had in my life. There was this instant connection where I felt like I was talking to someone I have known my entire life and I think that was only possible because of the amazing personality John has. The best thing about our conversations were that we talked about everything. We talked about architecture, the world, Chicago, dreams and aspirations, our love of Mexican food, and much more. Just in short conversations, I learned so much. In progressing forward, I want to start being more rigorous in keeping a journal of my life. After reading the book about John Adams, John started keeping a journal for himself. At points in my life, I have done so. It always love looking back on what I have written or sketched and reentering that point of my life. In conclusion, the interview with John Severtsen was a great look into a great man. He is an inspiration to us all and I can only hope to share his passion and engagement in the future. I am glad that he was the last lecture for the professional practice course because I couldn’t think of any better way to wrap up the semester. I look forward to keeping in touch with John and having even more conversations in the future.

175


Internship

177


Internship


Single Family Residence Model

Aside from computer models and organizational tasks, the internship portion of the semester at von Weise Associates consisted of rehabbing an existing model as well as building a new model that could fit into the existing topography and reflect the current status of the residence.

179


Internship


181


Internship


183


Urban Mapping ARCH 4214

185


Urban Mapping


Belmont

LAKEVIEW

187

Urban Mapping seeks to understand the contemporary condition of the lakeview neighborhood, especially with current trends in crime. The study starts by investigating the typology of the neighborhood followed by overlaying the crime data with this inventory.

area of study

Irving Park

N. Broadway

Sheffield


ay dw roa

N Clarendon Ave

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

ay

dw roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

N El Pl aine

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

N rk Cla St

W Aldine Ave

N yto Da

W Melrose St

t nS

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LANDUSE: residential

189


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LANDUSE: commercial

191


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LANDUSE: civic

193


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


W Irving Park Rd ay dw roa

N Clarendon Ave

NB

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

LANDUSE: residential commerical civic

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl lar

NC t kS t nS

o ayt

ND

W Aldine Ave

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave

195


Urban Mapping


LANDUSE: residential commerical civic

197


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

3 W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

4

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

2

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

1 W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


EDUCATIONAL:

1

1

2

3

4

199

Lakeview Learning Center 1 satellite of Truman College Salvation Army College 2 officer training Horace Greenly Elementary 3 serves more than 600 students from Pre-K through 8th grade Inter-American Elementary & Magnet School 4 serves 700 diverse students from Pre-K through 8th grade in English and Spanish


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

1 3

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave N Ela l ine P

3

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

t nS

o ayt ND

1

3

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping

W Melrose St


HEALTHCARE:

1

201

ARIS Healthcare 1 provides primary healthcare and support services for the entire community Collaborative Research 2 Collaborative Research, LLC, is a strategic planning firm dedicated to supporting public health and socialservice organizations in their pursuit of federal financing. With a special emphasis on the Ryan White HIV/ AIDS Treatment Modernization Act, Collaborative Research’s services also specialize in issues related to health disparities such as housing, mental health, substance abuse, maternal and child, and health & poverty. Private Practices 3


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

1

W Addison St

2

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

4 o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

1

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


1

1

RELIGIOUS:

2

2

3

4 203

AGLO Chicago 1 Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach create a community for those who wish to reconcile their sexual orientation with their faith Lakeview Lutheran Church & The Crib 2 shares a space with: The Crib Lakeview Employment Group YEPP/Youth Empowerment Performance Project Lakeview Presbyterian Church 3 Educational programs for children, youth, and adults throughout the school year Chicagoland Community Church 4 includes Safe Haven and Clothing Closet for the homeless


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

2

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

4

1

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

3

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


1

SOCIAL SERVICES:

2

3

4 205

Chicago Police Department 1 serves and protects local area residents Michael R. Lutz Family Center 2 Child care for 119 children Full and Half-Day Preschool Kindergarten Enrichment After School Programs & Enrichment Day Camps School Vacation Day Programs Special Programs for the Entire Family Northside Housing & Support 3 partnering with the Center for Housing and Health the shelter provides 15 units for males and females that are homeless Center on Halsted 4 LGBTQ community center with more than 1,000 people walking through its doors every day


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


BROADWAY YOUTH CENTER: program of Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) Offers a safe space for LGBTQA and youth experiencing homelessness HIV/STI Testing Health Clinics Resource Advocacy Food Bank Laundry Community Meetings Youth-Led Workshops RAWR Peer Advocate Project Counseling Educational Services

207


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


THE CRIB:

There are only about 230 other shelter beds for youth in Chicago, while an estimated 2,000 young people experience homelessness every night.

overnight shelter for homeless youth ages 18 to 24 who can also get a hot meal, do yoga, dance, rest, and be safe open to people of all genders and sexual orientations, and is open seven nights a week open from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. each night and can accommodate 20 youth provides the youth with links to daytime supportive service

209


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


CENTER ON HALSTED: Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland.

211


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

4

5

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

2 W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

1

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS: Lakeview Action Committee (LAC) 1 Organization that focuses on affordable housing health care, homeless youth, and economic justice Lakeview Citizens Council (LVCC) 2 Umbrella organization that encompasses 12 smaller-scale neighborhood organizations LVCC has implemented multiple projects and plans, such as the jarvis bird sanctuary and neighborhood protection plan Lakeview Park Village (LPV) 3 Non-profit organization that encourages individuals to age in place Center on Halsted (Halsted) 4 Community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the well-being of the LGBTQ community Community Alternative Policing Strategies (CAPS) 5 Monthly committee meetings where residents and police officers can engage in a dialogue to better understand safety and quality of life issues relevant to the Lakeview area Lakeview Chamber of Commerce (LCC) 6 Dedicated to advance the prosperity of local businesses LCC has published the Lakeview neighborhood guide and the Lakeview area master plan

213


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


C.A.P.S.: Monthly committee meetings where residents and police officers can engage in a dialogue to better understand safety and quality of life issues relevant to the Lakeview area District 19 Beat 1923 Beat 1924 Beat 1925 District 19 Police Station 1

215


ay dw roa NB

N Clarendon Ave

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

8

2

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave l ine P N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

t kS t nS

o ayt

ND

W Melrose St

Taste of Lakeview

W Belmont Ave

Rock Around the Block Urban Mapping

Festival of the Arts

lar

Northalsted Market Days

NC W Aldine Ave


EVENTS: Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival 1 May 25-26, 2013 Chicago Pride Fest 2 June 22-23, 2013 Mayfest Lakeview 3 May 17-19, 2013 Northalsted Market Days 4 August 10-11,2013 Rock Around the Block 5 July 6-7,2013 Taste of Lakeview 6 July 6-7,2013 Festival of the Arts 7 September 14-15,2013 Wrigley Field 8 April 1-September 29,2013

217


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

7

W Bradley Pl

2

11

9

18

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

15

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

8

W Cornelia Ave

2

3

N Ela

4

l ine P

W Newport Ave

1 W Roscoe St

1 12

6 17

W Buckingham Pl

5

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

17

13

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LATE NIGHT BUSINESS: Roscoe’s 1 Weekdays 4PM -2AM Weekends 2PM -3AM

North End 7 Weekdays 2PM -2AM Weekends 11AM -3AM

Spin Nightclub 13 Weekdays 6PM -2AM Weekends 4PM -3AM

Elixir Lounge 2 Weekdays 6PM -2AM Weekends 6PM -5AM

Little Jim’s Tavern 8 Weekdays 12PM -4AM Weekends 12PM -5AM

Lucky Horseshoe Lounge 14 Weekdays 3PM -2AM Weekends 1PM -3AM

Hydrate Nightclub 3 Weekdays 8PM -4AM Weekends 8PM -5AM

Charlie’s Chicago 9 Weekdays 12PM -4AM Weekends 12PM -4AM

Circuit Nightclub 2.0 15 Weekdays 4PM -4AM Weekends 4PM -4AM

Replay Beer & Bourbon 4 Weekdays 12PM -2AM Weekends 12PM -2AM

Closet 10 Weekdays 4PM -4AM Weekends 12PM -5AM

Berlin 16 Weekdays 5PM -4AM Weekends 5PM -5AM

Scarlet 5 Weekdays 2PM -2AM Weekends 3PM -3AM

Bobby Loves 11 Weekdays 4PM -2AM Weekends 2PM -3AM

Minibar Ultra Lounge & Cafe 17 Weekdays 5PM -2AM Weekends 5PM -3AM

Sidetrack 6 Weekdays 3PM -2AM Weekends 3PM -2AM

D.S. Tequila Company 12 Weekdays 11PM -2AM Weekends 11PM -3AM

Cellblock 18 Weekdays 4PM -2AM Weekends 2PM -3AM

219


N Clarendon Ave

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

?

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LANDUSE + OVERALL TRAFFIC CONCENTRATION: pedestrian concentration pedestrians divvy bike routes bus stops bus routes el residential commercial civic

221


N Clarendon Ave

EVERY CRIME REPORTED FROM SEPTEMBER 9 TO OCTOBER 9 IN 2013

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LANDUSE + CRIME: residential commercial civic violent property quality of life

223


N Clarendon Ave

EVERY CRIME REPORTED FROM SEPTEMBER 9 TO OCTOBER 9 IN 2013

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

7

W Bradley Pl

2

11

9

18

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

15

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

8

W Cornelia Ave

2

3

N Ela

4

l ine P

W Newport Ave

1 W Roscoe St

1 12

6 17

W Buckingham Pl

5

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

17

13

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


LATE NIGHT BUSINESS + CRIME: late night business violent property quality of life

225


N Clarendon Ave

EVERY CRIME REPORTED FROM SEPTEMBER 9 TO OCTOBER 9 IN 2013

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


C.A.P.S. + CRIME: beat 1923 beat 1924 beat 1925 violent property quality of life

227


N Clarendon Ave

EVERY CRIME REPORTED FROM SEPTEMBER 9 TO OCTOBER 9 IN 2013

ay dw roa

NB

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave

l ine P

N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

lar

NC t kS

W Aldine Ave

o ayt ND t nS

W Melrose St

W Belmont Ave Urban Mapping


SERVICES + CRIME: educational health religious social the crib center on halsted violent property quality of life

229


EVERY CRIME REPORTED FROM SEPTEMBER 9 TO OCTOBER 9 IN 2013

ay dw roa NB

N Clarendon Ave

W Irving Park Rd

W Dakin St

W Sheridan Rd

W Grace St

W Bradley Pl

W Waveland Ave

N Halsted St

N Freemont St

N Wilton Ave

N Sheffield Ave

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

W Addison St

y wa

d roa

NB

W Cornelia Ave l ine P N Ela

W Newport Ave

W Roscoe St

W Buckingham Pl

t kS t nS

o ayt

ND

W Melrose St

Taste of Lakeview

W Belmont Ave

Rock Around the Block Urban Mapping

Festival of the Arts

lar

Northalsted Market Days

NC W Aldine Ave


EVENTS + CRIME: events violent property quality of life

231


Urban Mapping


LAKEVIEW 233


Fruit Stand Competition ARCH 4214

235


Fruit Stand Competition


PROJECT

THE GOOD FOOD

Creating a module that is easily repeated allows for a fruit stand that can adapt to any need. The fruit stand is highly portable and allows for the beauty of the fruit to be showcased. 237


Removable aluminum or acrylic tubes supported by a wooden frame

The stand is comprised of a wooden frame with circular tubes constructed of acrylic or aluminum for rigidity and weight. The tubes house the fruit but can also be altered for storage or the cash box. Being able to slide, rotate, and be removed, the tubes not only showcase the fruit in a variety of ways, but also form the connection when additional modules are added.


handle container for fruit

wooden frame

Tubes are free to slide in and out as well as rotate freely. Supported by compression around the circular opening, the tubes achieve a cantilever that is remarkable.

239


Process Work


Independent Photography

243


Chicago, IL

Independent Photography


245


Chicago, IL

Independent Photography


247


The ‘L’

Independent Photography


249


Lake Michigan

Independent Photography


251


Lake Michigan

Independent Photography


253


Wilson Montrose Beach, Uptown

Independent Photography


255


Uptown

Independent Photography


257


Plano, IL

Independent Photography


259


Farnsworth House

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Independent Photography


261


Farnsworth House

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Independent Photography


263


Various Projects

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Independent Photography


265


Isidore Heller House Frank Lloyd Wright

Independent Photography


267


Various Projects Frank Lloyd Wright

Independent Photography


269


Milwaukee Art Museum Santiago Calatrava

Independent Photography


271


Milwaukee, WI

Independent Photography


Minneapolis, MN

273


860-880 Lake Shore Drive

Independent Photography


275


Works Cited

cover image: chicagopast.com p. 14-15, image 1: Google Earth p. 22-25, images + data: transitchicago.com p. 26, images 1-2: transitchicago.com p. 27, image 1: construction documents provided by CTA p. 35, image 1: arcspace,com p. 35, images 2-9: architonic.com p. 36, diagram 1: plantchicago.com p. 39, images 1-3: konodesigns.com p. 41, images 1-3: gothamgreens.com p. 43, image 1: behnisch.comÂŹÂŹ p. 44, diagram 1: elcampodecebada.org p. 45, images 1-7: elcampodecebada.org p. 47, image 1: mercadedesanmiguel.es p. 52-53, image 1: Google Earth p. 84-85, image 1: Google Earth p. 91, image 1: 123rf.com p. 91, image 2: narutobase.net p. 91, image 3: poweranimalsunleashed.com p. 186-187, image 1: Google Earth p. 199, images 1-2: ccc.edu p. 199, image 3: salvationarmyusa.org p. 199, image 4: greeleyelementary.net p. 199, image 5: iamschicago.com p. 201, image 1: howardbrown.org p. 201, image 2: collaborativeresearch.us p. 203, images 1-2: aglochicago.org p. 203, images 3-4: lakeviewlutheran.com p. 203, image 5: lakeviewpresbyterian.org p. 205, image 1: chicagopolice.org p. 205, image 2: jcys.org p. 205, images 3-4: lakeviewshelter.org p. 205, image 5: centeronhalsted.org p. 207, image 1: howardbrown.org/byc p. 209, images + data: thenightministry.org p. 211, images + data: centeronhalsted.org p. 213, images 1-6: lakeviewchamber.com p. 215, images 1-2: chicagopolice.org p. 217, images 1-8: lakeviewchamber.com p. 232-233, image 1: Google Earth


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