Retooling: Thinkbelt Chicago

Once based on manufacturing and transportation, Chicago has shifted to become a contemporary city of services. In this transformation, much of the older manufacturing city\’s identity has been left behind and vast areas of the city now remain inactive. Seen together, Chicago\’s abandoned industrial territories represent a large amount of the physical landscape of the city. Potential sites include large-scale abandoned properties, shuttered factories and existing rail yards likely to be converted. These large sites offer a significant opportunity for a further recasting of the city. The design of each individual project is to encourage the reengagement of each site back into the city. Proposals for physical interventions at each site are anticipated. Part of the semester will be devoted to hypothesizing alternative scenarios for Chicago\’s growth over the next century. Reconsidering the role of manufacturing in the contemporary, post-industrial city will be considered. Alternative planning models – from Burnham to Cedric Price – and recent contemporary models of re-conceptualizing the urban condition – will be examined. The studio will also establish its own cohesive visual language.