During week 3 of the summer design build program, the team focused on finalizing the design of the project and creating a presentation for the client meeting. Students worked together to produce final hand drawings, a digital model using Sketchup, and two physical models. Towards the end of the week, students began developing the project budget and schedule. Jason Perez , a Senior Project Manager, came and provided us with insight about developing a budget and schedule, sharing a few examples with us.



On Friday, we met with the client and community members to present our design. We had a great presentation and received positive feedback about the overall design. Following the presentation, the team discussed the revisions that we need to make to the design based on the client’s feedback as well as the direction that we want to take moving forward as far as scheduling, budgeting, and material selection.

  • Presentation Slides:
  • Client Meeting:


This week, students visited the site of our design/build project, and the future site of the National Public Housing Museum. Located at the corner of Ada and Taylor streets, this site is situated between Little Italy and University Village, and minutes away from the UIC campus. The students got to measure the actual dimensions of the site to get a better idea of where they want to place our design/build object, and get specifics on the size of our structure. We then explored the neighborhood, including the community garden across the street.

week 2 collage 1

After the site visit, we continued developing the design and have come to a decision on a final concept for the project. On Friday, we began to explore using the laser cutter and 3D printer to create models for our designs. Architect Phil Tu presented a tutorial to our team, teaching us how to properly operate the 3D printer. In addition, we created a scale model of one of the proposed designs using the laser cutter.

week 2 collage 2


As the students continue designing and adding detail to their concept, the project will continue to grow and evolve. We are eagerly preparing for our meeting with the Client next week!

We have officially kicked off our first week into this summer’s design build program! On Tuesday, June 27th, students had the opportunity to engage in a design Charrette with representatives from the ACE Mentor Program, National Public Housing Museum, and Chicago Public Schools. Faced with the challenge to develop a creative solution for a project to increase awareness of the National Public Housing Museum, students developed and presented a multitude of ideas addressing the design problem. Charrette participants worked together in teams to complete a site analysis of the museum as well as a proposed design concept.

collage 01

For the rest of the week, the team worked to narrow down our ideas. We created a list of the concepts, themes, and elements to incorporate in the design. In addition, we had a Sketch Up tutorial, researched precedents, and created a variety of sketches illustrating new concepts based on the feedback from Tuesday’s Charrette.

  • Concepts: Kiosk, Interactive fence, Sound Booth, Information Kiosk, tree, 3D Letters, Digital Storyboard, Convenience Store, Informational Structure (zig zag panels), Digital Face Cube, Canopy Structure, Bus Stop, Slideshow Fence
  • Themes: Roots, history, home, culture, relationships, society, family, humanization
  • Design Elements to Include & Consider: Provide/Collect information, audio/visual/engaging components, tell multiple stories, Be honest, Constructability, Mobility, Local Partnerships, Materiality, Digital, Interactive Components



Students sketched their ideas for this summer’s T-shirt design!

collage 03


Student Thoughts:

“I learned new ways to use Sketch Up, which was cool and very helpful. I also learned about kiosks during the program and what it is. I also learned more about public housing.”

  • Carlos S.

“I enjoyed getting revisions, working with people, and getting to know others. It has been a fun experience and environment. I love having something to do over the summer!”

  • Trinidad R.

“One thing I learned from the charrette is that clients don’t always have a clear idea going into a project but its our jobs to guide them through the process and create something that satisfies them.”

  • Darshan A.

Stay tuned for more updates!

These 2 weeks demonstrated the hard work of the students to finalize their ideas for the high school they’ve designed, branded the Chi H.U.B. School of Technology. Hosted at the CannonDesign office, students and mentors finished developing the designs of the school as well as the structural calculations, construction planning and landscape design. Groups working in Revit coordinated rendering images to provide the best snapshots of the school as they related to adjacent spaces. The branding team finalized the school’s objectives, logo & school name and layout of each slide.

Coordination was key in these weeks as the information of each of the groups was compiled into the presentation. As a group students and mentors decided on the order and flow of the presentation, the number of slides each group would have, and speaker order. The team began reviewing the presentation for the final in order to best describe the project they have worked so diligently to produce in a concise amount of time. After 2 pass-throughs as a team the time to present shortened greatly as the students became more comfortable with presenting their information. By the end of week 14 all of the content was finalized and placed into the presentation — all that remained was continuous practice on the verbal portion of the presentation to bring everything together. Also, a group photo was taken of Team 4! This included mentors from CannonDesign, Mortenson & Thornton Tomasetti, as well as the students that represent 14 schools in Illinois & Indiana.

PowerPoint - Pics2


These weeks of ACE were busy in production. Meeting at CannonDesign’s office both weeks, students further developed plans and ideas in Revit for the each of the program types. Additionally, new groups were arranged to address Sustainability, Logistics, Structure, Landscape & Branding/Presentation. Each group (program & additional groups) consisted of 3-4 students with 1-2 mentors each.

The biggest developments of these weeks involved each team working in a variety of platforms: Revit, RAM (structural software), post-it note pull planning, bubble diagramming, sketching, and Adobe design software. Mentors from Mortenson & Thornton Tomasetti lead groups in structural calculations, logistics, phase planning and site development. Additionally, the branding/presentation team developed bubble diagrams to narrow in on the objectives of the school as well as the sequence of slides for the final presentation.

PowerPoint - Pics

For weeks 16 and 17, we have continued to work away within our respective groups. We are still revising our schemes while understanding more and more how important collaboration, communication and team work really are for a successful project. We are able to articulate, with greater confidence, our design and opinions when it comes to the aesthetic choices we have made and the rationale which has brought about design decisions. We are getting excited for the final presentation and hope that you can join us to see the final result in the not too distant future. Parents are definitely welcome at the final presentation.

This week we continued to work within our groups to develop the design, structure and mechanics of the building. We sketched our ideas out, continually revising what we had to correlate with interior schemes, engineering designs and the exterior facade. We are starting to see how different components of the building can be either tightly interdependent on each other or can, possibly, function as stand along systems.















This week, we continued the exploration and evolution of our designs within our respective groups. We talked about how to express and describe the drivers of our design concepts. We learned more about to integrate different sub teams within the project to develop aspects of the design that immediately effect each other. While we spent most of the night working to tangibly develop our design, we did so through growing our Revit, drawing and computational skills.






This week, in the architecture group, we continued the development of the building’s massing (form). We arrived at three different options which we will continue to develop and narrow down in week 13. The engineering and construction groups met to discuss various systems which could be used in the building. They also talked about the possible cost of these systems. Towards the end of the night, all groups came together to give everyone an update on their respective portions of the project. While many of the following weeks will be working weeks, we continue to grow our understanding around the steps needed to design and actualize the combination of architecture and engineering.














This week, we got to have a Q&A session with the mentors about their college experiences and what we can look for when it comes to different public and private colleges, various university experiences and majors. After that, we broke out into our groups where we progressed each portion of the project. Each team talked with mentors about how to improve aspects of the project they were responsible for. We looked at example projects as a starting point for our designs.