2020 ACE Design Build Workshop – Week 1

This year we are doing our best to make the ACE Mentor Chicago Design Build Workshop just as engaging, ambitious, and fun as past years. We have a great group of students, TA’s, and volunteers, as well as a great client in Blackstone Bicycle Works.

This week’s field trip took us on a site visit to Blackstone Bikes in Woodlawn, just south of the UChicago campus. We took turns taking notes and measurements at the site and going on sketch walks in the area.

Most of our work was remotely and we did several activities to practice collaborating remotely.

Our first guest speaker this week was Paola Aguirre of Borderless Studio. Paola spoke to us about her work designing with (not for) communities by being thoughtful about the questions we ask, listening carefully to needs and asks of local stakeholders, and above all, including community members in the design process.

This week culminated in a virtual design charrette with students and staff at Blackstone Bikes. During this charrette we learned more about our project: building an outdoor shelter which would serve as a space for outdoor classes and hangouts as well as a form of way finding to bring people into the bike shop. In small groups, ACE students and professionals, TA’s, and Blackstone youth and staff collaborated to design proposals for how that space could be used.

The 4 hours went by quickly and we came away with a better understanding of the design possibilities in store and a lot of great ideas to develop in the weeks ahead.