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IN Chicago : Speakeasy 02, March 22–23

March 22, 2017 - March 23, 2017


In spring 2017, MSc2 students from TU Delft, will move to Chicago for their Architecture & Urbanism studio, led by professor Kees Kaan, tutored by Andrew Balster and Roland Reemaa.

TU Delft’s Chair of Complex Projects and Archeworks are excited to announce the second installment of the “Chicago Speakeasy”. The two-night series focuses on discussing the past, present and future of Chicago, taking place on Wed, March 22 & Thur, March 23.

** Please note the event is invite only, but transcripts of the conversation will be made available to the public. **

Land as a spatial territory has been the literal grounds for the American justification of liberty, democracy and individuality yet might have created one of the most polarized societies in wealth, injustice and unbalanced growth. How is a city being built, by whom and for whom? Through collective and individual research, fieldwork, documentation, experience, experimentation and proposals we seek to find ‘the geist’ of Chicago, its agents and motives of current era and its future scenarios. Where lies here the role of space, what is a rightful project and thus the position of an architect? The studio will question the notion of ownership – the relationship between property and owner; the distinction between private, personal and public property; the rights and duties of an individual, collective and state; the resources, collaborations and exchange that come with it; the possibilities and responsibilities that come with belongings.

From the ideals of the continental territorial Land Ordinance to revivalist Federal Style urban plans, from instant suburban Levittowns to Broadacre City utopias — the US has always created unprecedented spatial paradigms that have shaped societies and their habitats within and beyond its own borders. The seemingly endless land of opportunities offered unlimited expansion and testing grounds with Chicago being one of the central hubs of resources, entrepreneurs, workforce and infrastructure. We question if productivity, corruption and greed have been the image of Chicago since it founding from 1833? Together with its center and hinterland the Illinois region introduced numerous modern day technical and intellectual devices to handle its vast expansion: the grid, the railway, the masterplan, mail-order catalogues, meat packing etc. That very eager and adamance has created a historically, financially and architecturally unique city of which its citizens could proudly relate to. This unshakeable growth has nevertheless taken place in hand with segregation, nepotism and corruption — the Windy City as they call it, that which also has become the image and culture of a place. Within the context of economical decline of the Midwest region, Chicago is facing issues and also chances in order find its goals to follow in the globally driven present.


March 22, 2017
March 23, 2017
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