Young-Tack Oh – EXTRA-ORDINARY

The studio explored the widely varying forms and practices of subcultures. For generations they have been characterized as vagabonds and criminals. Marx deemed them ‘lumpenproletariat’ and Henry Mayhew viewed them as ’those that will not work.’ Subcultures are always in some way non-conforming or dissenting. We investigated the histories of such endeavors and explicated why being extra-ordinary causes societies to monitor, rationalize, regulate or legislate against certain subcultures. This allowed the studio to recount the social logics and practices of chosen subjects in a different light. The studio ultimately commissioned students to develop a particular subcultural center. We delved deeper to understand their association with concepts of territory rather than property and how subcultures inhabit places in particular ways, their investment in them being as much imaginary and real, and sometimes, utopian. Note that concepts of ethnicity, religion, gender, political leanings, and such alone are not what we define as subcultures. Also note that we were not interested in making, “safe” spaces; subcultures never needed such things. We stived to generate spaces of celebration and membership. As we found out, every narrative by or of a subculture is never neutral- it is always a matter of position-taking.

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Student Work

Connor Hogan – “NEO-SCOUTS”

Connor Hogan – “NEO-SCOUTS”

NEO-SCOUTS is a response to recent revisions in the Scouts of America’s core principles and the various allegations of misconduct throughout the organization’s turbulent history. The project seeks to redefine the ideals and activities of the Scouts through a landscape of programs that encourage modern skillsets and social interaction through the timeless scout tradition of camping. Located near Chicago’s Cabrini Green the site will exemplify a new age of scouts that isn’t as concerned with bugling ability, but rather modern skill sets for a new age of scouting to fit into our rapidly evolving world.

Jamie Johnson – “Celestial Commuter Hub”

Jamie Johnson – “Celestial Commuter Hub”

Contemporary western astrology has become increasingly popular as a secular means for people to find faith and guidance, and is a ritual of daily self reflection. This complex intertwines meditative spaces of reflection with transit center program that is embedded in the daily commutes of many who work in downtown Chicago, while reintroducing transit accessibility back into the historically underserved Cabrini Green neighborhood. Each buildings’ design is inspired by the personality traits of each of the (twelve) astrological signs, and spatially oriented to create framed views that reference the compatibilities between signs, encouraging the public to reflect on their place within the greater cosmos.

Peyton Stimac – “Pipe Dream”

Pipe Dream works to reconstruct the way skateboarders interact with the city, both physically and relationally. Every surface is skateable in this multi-level, mixed-use park that accomodates skaters and pedestrians alike. While the street level is accessable to both skateboarders and non-skateboarders, the lower level is only reachable by those on four wheels. This underground skater sanctuary contains the most extreme terrain and provides spaces for skaters to be concealed from the public view. The street level acts as a public park, filled with skatable terrain and perforated with moments of interaction with the underground, allowing the public to get a glimpse of skaters in their element.

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