Center for Limnology: Divided Waters in Chicago

This studio is led by Jeanne Gang, Design Critic, and assisted by Instructor John Wolters. Please see the studio schedule below. The studio requires analyzing and challenging the underlying premise of Chicago\’s approach to water. For more than 100 years, Chicago has managed its waterways with large-scale engineering solutions such as reversing the flow of the Chicago River to protect the city\’s drinking water. Today, in response to an unfolding crisis of invasive species moving toward the Great Lakes–an unintended consequence of the river\’s reversal–there is an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the confluence of infrastructure, architecture, and ecology in the region. The appeal of the project is its potential to have far-reaching significance for an entire metropolis while dealing with a very specific and viable site of intervention. Three interconnected design elements are included in the project: a new center for research on fresh water systems, a physical barrier dividing the Chicago River from Lake Michigan, and an urban land strategy that addresses flooding and water quality in the vicinity of the barrier. The project will test architecture\’s ability to elevate urban experience and discover untapped recreational and social value, while deploying strategic initiatives that resolve crucial contemporary transformations in cities. Experts in ecology, engineering, and logistics, among others, will consult with the studio. National exposure of the work produced by the studio is to be achieved through a proposed print publication that will be sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council.This studio will take place on the following days:January 26, 27 (Gang, Wolters)February 2, 3 (Gang)February 9, 10 (Gang)February 16, 17 (Wolters)February 23, 24 (Gang)March 2, 3 (Wolters)March 9, 10 (Gang)March 23, 24 (Gang)March 30, 31 (Gang)April 6, 7 (Wolters)April 13, 14 (Gang)April 20, 21 (Gang)Final Reviews TBD