Project Type: Community Innovation Center
Location: Woodlawn, Chicago
Year: Spring 2015
Project Brief: The goal was to empower residents and give them the resources and tools to build themselves out of poverty. My personal belief is that if people were to continue to find things to better themselves, there was no reason to shoot and kill each other over territory and drug turf. The form of the building is meant to be playful and unfamiliar. The building is an outcast just like many out there who feel discouraged and distressed, however, the building finds its way to stand up above it all – against adversity and stands up proud of itself like a floating monolith. This is a place where people will have to use their imaginations a lot. It shouldn’t feel like a standard “institutionalized building”. Its time to allow a little bit of life to breathed into the neighborhood with bright colors and bio-morphic forms. This is both a socially responsible project as well as an architectural idea.
The typology was to be called “Ideahaus” – a mix between a cultural center and an innovation center. What I came up with was a cross between a business/entrepreneur learning center that would also serve as an art hand making workshop space. The purpose was to provide a space that people in the neighborhood can use to better themselves through the act of making – whether it’d be jewelry making, furniture making, or artistic painting, they could come here and make it happen. They would be trained by local young professionals and students from the nearby Universities (IIT and University of Chicago). At the same time users would be taught to market themselves and create a place where they can learn to sell their ideas to the world. It was a place where investors can make money but also help the community members build a community of their own. The program includes spaces for display/market, a community meeting room, a full workshop, individual office spaces, communal areas, and team workshop spaces.
Read more about this project in issuu book below