Highlights of Student Work

Following is a selection of recent projects by Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) students. This work—focused on tall buildings and vertical urbanism—showcases an emphasis on connected urbanism, rather than on a single tall building.

Towards Zero-Carbon Cities

Shenzhen, China  |  2019

This year-long studio conducted research in order to develop a typology of possible sustainable vertical cities that integrate the maximum number of relevant sustainable design strategies and technologies, not only in terms of carbon, but also in terms of internal environment, building community, and the impact of the building on the physical, social and cultural realms. 

In this year-long studio, students were presented with this scenario: The year is 2050 and, after five decades of attempting to adapt cities to cope with “natural” disasters of increasing frequency and severity in the face of accelerating climate change, humanity has come to accept a simple truth: that many existing cities—especially coastal cities—are no longer viable into the future. Students were asked to determine the most sustainable global locations for new cities, and determine how these cities can maximize environmental and cultural symbiosis with both terrain and climate.

Urban Sustainability Index Project

Global Studio  |  2013

This semester-long studio examined what the term “sustainability” means on an urban scale. A question was posed: “What contributes most to the sustainability of cities?” Considering only the environmental sustainability of cities, the most sustainable city is most likely that which consumes fewer resources and emits fewer pollutants per capita. However, “sustainability” is the equilibrium point of three different aspects: social, economic, and environmental. 

The Remaking of Mumbai

Mumbai, India  |  2009

For two years running, the studio traveled to Mumbai and worked with the community-based Remaking of Mumbai Federation (RoMF). The project was based on the very real situation that is the C-ward district of Mumbai – a dense, historic district that had seen no investment and is largely dilapidated. RoMF, a private/community-based organization in Mumbai, had been established with the sole aim of improving the urban standards of Mumbai, with a focus on the C-ward.