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Chiara Noppenberger
Student Gallery Undergraduate

Big Dumb Building

123 Design Studio

This studio examines the relationship between architecture and the city, deepening students’  understanding of the ways in which architecture can both inform, and be informed by, the city  into which it intervenes. Through both the in-depth study of relevant examples and site  research, models of formal, infrastructural, and ecological approaches to architecture’s  interface with cities are considered and applied. Tasked with developing proposals for a large,  mixed use project, students are encouraged to design into existing urban conditions with an  understanding of the dynamic and interdependent forces of economics, planning, ecology,  politics, and infrastructure that have shaped the contemporary city. 

With t​he 123 Studio the curriculum focuses its attention on the study of the relationship of  architecture to urbanism and, more specifically, of the architectural artifact ​as​ urbanism. This studio project is for a very large mixed use building in the Chicago loop to replace Helmut Jahn’s James R. Thompson Center (formerly the State of Illinois Building), and is to be  conceived in relation to the recent controversy surrounding the proposed sale of the building. The studio’s main focus is on disciplinary questions of the relationships amongst typology,  function, and form in urbanism. These questions will be considered as they relate to current issues of urban politics and policy, infrastructure, and large scale buildings.

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Ramiro Diaz-Granados
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