Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
“Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050” Design Research Studio Interim Review
October 13, 2017

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CHICAGO  – Friday, October 13, 2017 marked the midterm review of a semester of intense work for the students and tutors of “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050,” a collaborative design studio undertaken by the IIT College of Architecture, with assistance from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and AECOM. Taught by CTBUH Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du, IIT Visiting Assistant Professor, and CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Research Professor, the studio explores the sustainability and resiliency in urban environments within the context of accelerating urbanism and climate change, proposing new city locations and urban design. Students are currently working in six groups to create city and urban scale designs pertaining to six different climate zones and terrains including: (1) Arid / Desert; (2) Continental / Delta or Marsh; (3) Continental / Plain or Grasslands; (4) Mountainous / Highlands; (5) Ocean / Sea; and (6) Polar / Tundra.

Students present their work and receive critiques from the jury.

Interim reviews were held at Crown Hall on IIT campus. In addition to the two studio professors, the review jury also included Bane Gaiser, Managing Principal & Vice President at AECOM; Daniel Safarik, Editor at CTBUH; Luke Leung, Director at SOM; Martin Felsen, Associate Professor at IIT; and Steven Brubaker, Adjunct Professor at IIT.

Professors Du and Wood opened with a brief studio introduction and a summary of the studio’s progress. Next, students presented their research for city locations and urban design proposals within the different terrains and climate zones, before receiving critiques on their work. The jury reviewed each of the student projects and provided comments for further development of the design.

Polar / Tundra (left) and Continental Delta / Marsh (right) student groups present their designs.

As a two-semester-long Cloud Studio at IIT, Semester 1 is focusing on utilizing research and experimental designs in order to recommend where future cities should be located and how they should be planned. Students will continue working during Semester 2 to develop their urban vision in more detail (i.e., at a community/block scale), and specifically to develop the design of one tall building or a cluster of tall buildings within the vision to an advanced level.

Throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to interact with design professionals, as well as travel to Sydney for the CTBUH 2017 International Conference. AECOM will continue to support the studio throughout the year through a variety of capacities, such as weekly tutorials, lectures, and critiques during the final review, which is expected to be held at Crown Hall, IIT, in early December.