Critical Infrastructures: Archeworks

Weds 16 March 2011 6.30pm

Martin Felsen, Archeworks (Chicago), in conversation. Chaired by Lucy Musgrave, Publica

Doors and drinks 6.30pm
Presentations 7.00pm

Archeworks is an unconventional Chicago-based alternative design school with a difference. In place of a traditional curriculum, students work in multidisciplinary teams with nonprofit partners to create urban design solutions to affect social and environmental change. Founded in 1993, Archeworks has worked with over 100 partners and have completed more than 50 design projects. Student teams have addressed subjects ranging from community economic development, elementary school education, and universal design to micro-enterprise, sustainable food systems, and green urban infrastructure. Students are supervised by faculty from Chicago's architecture design community. 

Archeworks was founded on the premise that good design should serve everyone. Today, Archeworks is taking an expanded mission to the streets, literally, by re-thinking the design of urban infrastructure. Archeworks cares about infrastructure because it comprises more than a third of our cities and communities, and because we own it collectively. Infrastructure is big, serious and pervasive, and is the material and moral bedrock of the city. Infrastructure is the organizational framework that underpins our cities, the physical and social networks that connect everything to everything. Infrastructure drives and shapes the way we live, and underlies the durability and growth of communities.

Martin Felsen, AIA,is Co-director, Archeworks and founder principal of UrbanLab. UrbanLab is an award-winning Chicago-based firm specializing in resourceful civic, commercial, residential, and infrastructure projects. Felsen is a licensed architect and has worked for Peter Eisenman Architects. He teaches architecture studios at the Illinois Institute of Technology on future-thinking design, smart urban growth, and environmental and ecological professional responsibility. In 2007, Felsen was the recipient of the AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect Award. In 2009, Archeworks and UrbanLab were jointly awarded the AIA Latrobe Prize for their Growing Energy proposal. 

Image: Still from Archeworks' Mobile Food Collective film Give, Gather, Grow, screened in the US Pavilion for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale di Venezia. Thirst Inc. & Hedrich Blessing Photographers.