Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life of a Saluki Architecture Grad Student

By John Svast
Hello again readers!  So much has happened since I last wrote… So where to begin?  For studio we have already visited both sites and have picked where we want to change the world from the comfort of our studio.  The sites of choice were in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois.

 I went with Chicago:
Site Transportation Analysis Title Page (photo by author)

The site is two Blocks East of the United Center in the Near West Side neighborhood:
Roads Site Analysis (photo by author)

Our urban design project is to analyze our site and propose a thesis that would best suit our particular community.  The only thing the two sites will have in common will be the requirement of residential, a hotel, or both must be on site.  Other spaces are at the discretion of individual groups.  Some of the ideas that have been kicked around by other groups are art communities, communities of “makers”, and international communities to name a few.  The idea that my Group and I are starting to develop is that of a high tech hub that specializes in 3D printing. 
What is 3D printing you say?
 Let me feed you this wonderful video...

Why 3D Printing?  Why this area?  Well, that is a bit complicated.  If you are familiar with how architecture and urban planning works then you know how difficult it is to make “the most right decision”.  The architect has to take in all factors of what the client/community needs/wants.  This is no simple walk in the park.   In architecture and especially urban design there are so many factors to take into consideration that there is always likelihood that someone is going to walk away with their feelings hurt.

 Let me drop some of the factors on our Chicago Site in particular on your face:
              -We have an elementary school to the North
       -We have a high-rise senior living facility to the North East
         - We have a mixed use block of;  a church, residential, a shelter, small business, and the Mexican Consulate to our East
       - We have the Teamsters and Medical offices to our South East
        -   We have the Rush Medical Campus to our South
       -    We have Malcolm X College to our South West
       - We have a sea of parking with the billionaire neighbor the United Center To our West
         -   The neighborhood has had a parade of ethnicities come and go that have put their mark in the area.
         -  In History this neighborhood was also the starting point for the Chicago fire, home of the Hull House, and part of the 68’ Chicago riots.

These factors are just a few one could skim off the surface.  How do you take them all into account?  Well…. I don’t know…. But that is what this is all about and the challenge is why I love this all so much.  I leave you a few photos of my progress thus far.  Thanks for reading and write in with any questions you have.

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