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Illinois Institute of Technology

April 27, 2012

Adjunct Professor Terry Guen will work on the Navy Pier redesign, slated to open for the pier's centennial in 2016. Guen's design team, lead by landscape architect James Corner, was chosen by the Navy Pier board in an international competition. The board will work with the Corner team on the final design proposal over the next few months.

The James Corner team's competition design proposal included a more graceful integration of the Ferris Wheel's park with the main promenade, hanging gardens, a swimming pool with a sand beach, and a new amphitheater.

Professor Robert Krawczyk is showing two pieces from his Strange Attractor series at the Kinetic Energy exhibit at the Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, Illinois.  Strange attractors generate repeating point patterns in two-dimensional space while their coloring algorithms which represent time produce images of coherent three-dimensional forms. The third dimension is determined by the perception of the viewer coupled with the created intent. 

Adjunct Associate Professor Janet Krehbiel Pieracci's work is featured in a new exhibit at The Lutheran Center in Baltimore. The exhibit, entitled Forced Migrations: Holding Memory of People and Place, examines issues of displacement in China, Darfur, Guatemala, and Afghanistan. 

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and several members of the Illinois Institute of Technology faculty have been awarded a grant from the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) to study the energy-saving effectiveness of green wall façade systems.

The project will analyze the ability of green wall systems, such as hanging gardens and “living walls,” to improve a building’s energy performance by decreasing heat transfer through facades. The study will also quantify the potential energy savings.

“This is developing as a key topic for the building industry as designers look for new ways to reduce a building’s energy consumption without reducing the aesthetics and atmosphere,” said CTBUH research associate Payam Bahrami.

Building designers are increasingly incorporating green walls into projects in an effort to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The building industry uses 50.1 percent of all energy produced in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While glass and metal give modern building facades sleek appearances, their lower thermal resistance to heat transfer results in higher heating and cooling loads.

Green wall facades are seen as one solution to creating more sustainable buildings. Green walls consist of plants integrated into vertical building surfaces, including hanging gardens, living walls and bioshaders.

This new study will develop a green wall model to simulate thermal processes in facade-integrated vegetation systems. A separate vegetation model will be developed to account for the thermal properties of plants and thermal processes in vegetation.

The $25,000 grant from WISER’s Interdisciplinary Seed Funding Grants program will be used to leverage larger grants, Dr. Bahrami said. Based at IIT, WISER focuses on developing innovative education and research programs to promote sustainability and clean energy.

The interdisciplinary team assembled for this research project includes Professor Peter Osler, Director of the Landscape Program in IIT’s College of Architecture, Dr. Herek Clack of the IIT Armour College of Engineering, Dr. Antony Wood from IIT’s College of Architecture and CTBUH Executive Director, Dr Payam Bahrami, Research Associate for the CTBUH, IIT architecture Ph.D. candidate Irina Susorova and two graduate students will also assist on this project.

The project is part of the on-going collaboration between CTBUH and the IIT College of Architecture.  The project is expected to report its finding in May 2013.

Bachelor of Architecture students Mikie Smit and Michelle Davidson’s WorldServe Project won first place in the Un-Competition Project, sponsored by Black Spectacles and supported by the Chicago Architectural Club and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The international competition challenged architects to engage in design entrepreneurship by inventing, designing, and building a project.

Smit and Davidson’s WorldServe Project invited young architects to self-fund both a trip to Mexico and materials to build homes for the needy. Founded in 2008, the WorldServe Project has completed several projects to date.

IIT College of Architecture Graduate students have designed a studio for the non-profit Eden Place Nature Center, located in Chicago's Fuller Park neighborhood.  Nature Studio is a small (700 sq ft) classroom that has been designed to help Eden Place reinforce its role as a positive and influential force that seeks to improve the lives of South Chicago citizens. The team is now seeking both in-kind and monetary donations for construction materials for the design/build project. 

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