Thursday – Ignite the discussion on Environmental Justice

Can an understanding of marginal lands and racialized topography provide an urban ecology that addresses issues of environmental justice? Inspired by recent research such as William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis and Eric Sanderson’s Manahatta, this Ignite! presentation by celebrated landscape architect Kurt Culbertson will explore the juncture of history, planning, and landscape architecture as a basis for crafting an ecology of the city.

Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, FAICP, is chairman and CEO of Design Workshop, an urban design, land planning, and landscape architecture firm with offices in Aspen, Colorado, and nine other cities.  He has received 35 national and state awards for his work, including the Pierre L’Enfant Award for International Planning from the American Planning Association and the 2013 Award of Excellence in Planning from the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2016, he was awarded the ASLA Medal.

Surfacing Natural Systems: Toward an Ecology of the City

When: Thursday, November 3, 2016 / 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Illini Center, 200 South Wacker, 19th Floor, Chicago

Due to venue regulations, walk-in registration will not be accepted. Register Now HERE

Ignite! is a series of growth and gathering events presented by Bartlett Tree Experts and Victor Stanley in collaboration with ILASLA.



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Seeking Female Architects

AIA Chicago is looking for female architects to volunteer for an upcoming youth program.

AIA Chicago has partnered with the Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for a youth and architecture event called Green Cities Green Schools Balancing Ecologies, at the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC).  Approximately 40-50 6th grade girls will be tasked to image their city and neighborhood living in balance with nature.  The program will be lead by Linda Keane, AIA, founder of and Professor of Architecture + Environmental Design at SAIC.

Volunteers should expect to day to begin at 9:00 (the program begins at 9:30) and end around 1:00.  Lunch will be provided.

Youth + Architecture Event: Green Cities Green Schools Balancing Ecologies

Sullivan Galleries at SAIC, 33 S State St #7, Chicago, IL 60603. 

November 15, 9:30am-1:00pm (program time)

If you are interested in participating, please email Allison Garwood Freedland at

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Tour: Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative


Photo Credit: Barry Rustin Photography

Tour the award-winning Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative this Saturday with project architects Catherine Baker and Josh Mings. Since winning the 2016 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award in Creating Community Connection, the project is being used as a case study for its use of arts programming, public/private partnerships, and adaptive reuse to revitalize neighborhoods. The project is currently being exhibited in Quito, Ecuador, as part of the bi-decennial UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III.

This special event will give visitors an inside look into the development, including how the project came to be and some of the challenges the architects faced in rehabilitating the once-abandoned CHA property.  The tour is limited to 20 people, so secure your spot by registering here today.

When: Saturday, October 22, 2016 / 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Where: 1456 East 70th Street, Chicago

Sponsored by the Community Interface Committee and Habitat for Humanity.

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Volunteer Opportunity with Chicago Architecture Foundation

What is it? CAF Education Guide Volunteers will be responsible for leading 90 minute education field trips for K-12 students.  These interactive, inquiry-based field trips are about the art and science at the heart of Chicago’s architecture, history, and environment.  We are looking for individuals who are interested in working directly with students during the weekday hours. An “outgoing” and “can do” personality is a plus!

The first training for this new volunteer position will take place on the following dates:

  • Saturday, September 17 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, September 21 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Wednesday, September 28, from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

All of the training will take place at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Avenue. Training will include best practices for working with youth, field trip approach, questions, and content. Volunteers will be trained to help youth SEE the built environment around them with new eyes, not to recite a script of facts. If you are interested in this new volunteer position, please complete the application that can be found at this link –  

If you have any questions or if you would like more information on the position, please reach out to Jenni Groot Mushynski at CAF at For general information on volunteering with CAF, please visit

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CIC Planning Meeting – Sept. 7, 6pm

Do you believe that design can improve the lives of individuals and communities? Are you interested in discussing pressing issues facing our city and planning events to raise awareness of these issues among design practitioners and the greater population?
Are you looking for a way to network with similarly minded professionals?

If so, please join AIA Chicago’s Community Interface Committee for our third quarter planning meeting, Wednesday, September 7 at 6pm at AIA Chicago. We will be continuing our exploration of community-based housing in the city and plotting next steps for our Architects in Schools curriculum refinement this fall and expansion in the spring.

Please bring your ideas about affordable and community housing, suggestions on how AIA Chicago can engage and spread knowledge about these developments, and an open mind. Refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 6:00 PM

AIA Chicago, 35 E. Wacker, Suite 250

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Archeworks New Series: Agendas 01 — August 18th, 6pm

On August 18th, 6pm, Archeworks will kick off their new series Archeworks Agendas 01 – a “platform for sharing ideas and projects that inspire change in Chicago and beyond. The event will showcase the work of emerging leaders, change-makers and critical thinkers who are challenging convention, approaching dilemmas and defining new tools and methods.” Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

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AIA Chicago Architect in Schools Pilot Program

learning-together-finalThe AIA Chicago Community Interface Committee completed a successful pilot program for a new Architect in Schools initiative for AIA Chicago! CIC Co-chairs Kaitlin Streyle of Muller+Muller and Alexis Stumpf of Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects, Maya Bird-Murphy of Landon Bone Baker Architects, Eunkyu Choi of Gensler, Matthew McGrane of FARR, Chey Hsiao Taylor of SMNG A, and Allison Garwood Freedland of AIA Chicago led a class of eighth graders at Cameron Elementary School through a series of design exercises, ranging from sketching to neighborhood analysis, culminating in student-led proposals for design interventions in their community. With additional assistance from their dedicated teacher, Ms. Lahnna Addington, the program introduced students to design thinking, and sought to inspire them to look critically at the world around them and to empower them to effect positive change. For their final presentations, the Cameron Elementary School students prepared thoughtful statements about their Humboldt Park neighborhood and presented their proposals for desired safe study and play places to Alderman Roberto Maldonado and Principal Stephen Harden. Their ideas sparked an impassioned conversation about neighborhood safety and a commitment from the Alderman to facilitate community communication with the Chicago Police Department.

See photos from the 6 week program on CIC Picasa!

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Place Lab – Public Convening on Ethical Redevelopment – June 22, 2-5pm

What does ethical redevelopment in Chicago look like to you? Join Place Lab’s first convening on the subject to hear and participate in the discussion Wednesday, June 22 from 2-5pm at Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 915 E 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois. Co-hosted by Theaster Gates and Steve Edwards and featuring Charlene Carruthers (National Director, Black Youth Project 100), Lisa Yun Lee (Director, UIC Department of Art and Art History), Kerwin Charles (Deputy Dean, UChicago Harris School of Public Policy), Mabel O. Wilson (Senior Fellow, Institute for Research in African American Studies in GSAS), Cathy Cohen (author, Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics) and more, this convening is sure to draw a crowd.

RSVP and more information here.

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Archeworks Postgraduate Certificate in Public Interest Design

Archeworks is now accepting applications to the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Interest Design – a 12 week multidisciplinary design studio beginning in Fall 2016. Students will join a design team working on one of two projects: SELF <> CITY, a design studio to transform underutilized public plazas into cultural and economic catalysts in partnership with Latent Design and the Chicago Department of Transportation, or SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION, a design/build project exploring the conditions of urban disinvestment: housing foreclosures, building demolitions, loss of jobs, crime and violence in partnership with the National Public Housing Museum.

See the Archeworks website for more information and application materials.

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June 8: Books And… : How Librarians and Architects are Designing the 21st Century Public Library

What’s new at the public library in 2016? Are libraries still an essential community resource? What is the same and what has changed? How are library professionals and designers creating or adapting these facilities to meet today’s community needs?

Join this discussion on the 21st century library, sponsored by the Community Interface Committee

Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 5:30 – 7pm

CPL Chinatown Branch Library, 2100 S Wentworth Avenue, Chicago


—  Brian Bannon, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library

—  Julianne Scherer, AIA (Nagle Hartray)

—  Paul Steinbrecher, AIA (Interactive Design)

—  Brian Lee, FAIA (Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP; designer of the Chinatown branch Library)

— Arthur Del Muro, AIA, Chicago Public Building Commission – moderator

Register here!

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