Career Direction for Students in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering

Team 4 + Week 4

In ACE Team 4 on 11.25.2014 at .

Team 4 kicked of Site Selection and Planning this week. The group met at Thornton Tomasetti where we reviewed our site and the mentors described some elements often considered in site selection and design: amenities, aesthetics and transportation.

The team broke into 5 groups to conduct a thorough assessment of the site and surrounding area. Four of the small groups walked different paths from TT to the Team 4 project site and the 5th group conducted an electronic review of the site. With their maps and sketch books in hand, the students set about identifying restaurants, retail and mixed-use developments as well as the variety of transportation modes and networks available in the area.

My group walked through the Trump Tower site and discussed the development’s proximity to the river and public plaza. The students noticed the ways in which some areas are made to feel more private and compared them to well-populated areas like Michigan Avenue. Taking a break from the cold, our group explored the pedway along Michigan Avenue, noting this unique transportation network and the differences in amenities available when compared to more public and tourist-oriented pedestrian paths. The students observed that stores in the pedway likely appeal to the business population of the city and are not as dependent upon tourists.

As we got closer to our project site, the students considered the scale and style of surrounding buildings. They noted the first floor retail and restaurants and learned that many of the upper floors of neighboring buildings are office space.

Once back at TT’s office, each group transferred their observations onto large-scale maps of the site. This will enable the large group to visualize concentrations of amenities, transportation networks, and potentially what is missing from this area of Chicago. Each group then presented their findings and the students began brainstorming what they might want to see on the Team 4 site.

Next week, Team 4 will continue the site planning exercise at TT.

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Team 7 – Week 3

In ACE Team 7 on 11.22.2014 at .

We began this week with some brain teasers. You’ve got nine dots set up in a 3×3 square. Using 4 straight lines and without picking up your pencil, can you connect all the dots? How about using 3 straight lines?

While frustrating at first, the group really came together to tackle the problems. There were a lot of creative solutions, as well. It’s always good to get the brain juices flowing outside of the box!

After the brain teasers, it was college night!

The mentors went through a quick presentation that covered the differences in college experiences for architects, engineers, and contractors. Some of the key takeaways – a bachelors degree is absolutely necessary, but how you get a bachelors degree can take on many different paths. We showed percentages of mentors who took classes from community colleges, received scholarships, and had internships, among a few other facts.

Following the presentation, we broke out into small groups to discuss personal stories. The mentors shared their personal path to where they are now with a quick flow chart (and proved who can actually draw!). A few of these are attached below.


NEXT MEETING: 12/3 at AS+GG, as usual.

ACE Mentor Diagram Architect 1

ACE Mentor Diagram Architect 2

ACE Mentor Diagram Engineer

Team 3 Week 2-Site Visit

In Uncategorized on 11.20.2014 at .

It was a crisp chilly evening on November 17th, when students and mentors of Team 3 put on their hardhats and bright green vests to embark on a journey to a construction site. The site was a short walk away: right next door to Lend Lease. Students will be working with this plot of land this year for their final projects.

We learned a little bit about the construction process, and the structure of a building. For some, this was the first time exploring an in-progress building, so it provided great insight and inspiration.  See some pictures below!

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