"The Garden in the Machine" featured at MoMA

Feb 14, 2012
The Garden in the Machine

“The Garden in the Machine,” a collaborative project by an interdisciplinary team led by Jeanne Gang (MArch '93) which includes Roberta M. Feldman, Theaster Gates (Loeb Fellow '11), Greg Lindsay, Kate Orff (MLA '97), and Rafi Segal (Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design), is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of the exhibition Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. 

The exhibition is the culmination of research and design work that began in May 2011, when five teams were chosen by MoMA to examine new architectural possibilities for five separate U.S. suburbs in the context of the recent foreclosure crisis. 

“The Garden in the Machine” proposes a new plan for transforming the inner-ring suburb of Cicero, IL. Cicero, a former factory town outside Chicago, struggles with the foreclosure of its industrial properties as well as its homes. With its abandoned factories and subsequently vanished jobs, Cicero’s high immigrant population is simultaneously faced with unemployment, poverty, and environmental degradation.

The project demonstrates how the remains of Cicero’s industry—its lands, building materials and existing rail infrastructure—could be transformed into new urban neighborhoods. It proposes to use nature and technology to improve the land, while combining housing and jobs within flexible live/work structures interwoven with a variety of public green spaces. The project includes revised zoning codes and different forms of ownership, to encourage Cicero’s success as an “arrival city”–a place similar to other inner-ring suburbs across the country that acts as the entry point for immigrants arriving to the US. From an urban point of view, the project also challenges current practices of large scale development by offering an integrated architecture-landscape-urban strategy for rehabilitation and transformation of post-industrial sites. 

Foreclosed runs from February 15–July 30, 2012. For more information, visit the Museum of Modern Art.

Office: Department of Urban Planning and Design

News: "The Garden in the Machine" featured at MoMA

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