This design research seminar focuses on the urban infrastructure and associated buildings of central Chicago, in and around the areas near the Loop. The Chicago metropolitan area is the third largest in the United States, and from 1870 until the 1950s, Chicago was America's "second city," surpassed in size only by New York City. It remains the densest and most "urban" of the cities of the Midwest, with many examples of complex interconnections between rail lines, highways, and various kinds of pedestrian-oriented urban environments. This seminar combines historical and field research on some of the many architectural urban design interventions in Chicago. Students choose among several topic areas to produce detailed drawings and digital models of specific urban interventions. There will likely be a publication of the work. Topic areas for digital documentation include the pedestrian relationships between transit lines and various buildings and urban complexes, including the large Millenium Park interventions by SOM and others over the Illinois Central railway lines adjacent to Lake Michigan, and Wacker Drive, a 1920s underground limited access highway along the Chicago River, and other projects. Fulfills History/Theory and Urban Issues elective requirement.


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