Our final week of the design-build workshop was very productive and exciting! We embarked on the construction phase, spending the entire week at the job site. Although we faced a few minor setbacks during construction, we were able to successfully bring the vision for our project to life, presenting the final product to our client, ACE, family, and friends on Friday. Special thanks goes to the ACE Mentors and Administration, The National Public Housing Museum, ACE Technical High School, Chicago Rolled Metal Products, Cushing Co., and Clayco Corp., for their generosity in helping to make this project a reality.

The project features a total of 40 spinning acrylic panels with graphics, information about the future museum, and historical facts related to the history of the Jane Addams Homes on both sides supported by an aluminum frame and “tree-like” column structure with Polycarbonate roof panels. Take a look at the images below of the “Informational Kiosk” for the future National Public Housing Museum located at 1324 W. Taylor St. in Chicago, IL, as well as candid’s from the week and our final presentation.


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This week was a busy one for the students! After some hiccups and quick fixes, our design was officially finalized, and all materials were ordered throughout the week. The students created construction drawings and began construction of the panel components of their design. Additionally, they started the final boards for the presentation of the completed design, which will be held next Friday August 11th at the completion of the program. We are currently coordinating various material deliveries for next week, and can’t wait to get started building on site bright and early Monday morning!

Week 6

This week the students were very busy! A lot of time was spent refining the design in order to create construction documents and order materials. Although the project is now slightly behind schedule, the students’ design has improved greatly since last week. Mock ups were made of the panel construction design, as well as Sketchup and Revit 3D models.

The students were also fortunate enough to visit the offices of Cushing Co. and Chicago Metal Rolled Products, where they were given tours and information regarding their project. Everyone learned a lot, and we are optimistic that the finished product will be great for the National Public Housing Museum and for the surrounding community.


week 5

This week, the team focused on finalizing the materiality for each aspect of the project. We worked in three different groups throughout the week: Informational Panels Group, Tree Column/Roof Group, and Budget/Schedule Group. Communication between all three groups was essential to the progression of the project and for accomplishing this week’s tasks. Both the Informational Panel and Tree & Column groups produced detail drawings using Auto Cad, displaying dimensions and annotations for each component.  The Informational Panel group also created a full size mock-up of one panel, helping us to understand what type of hardware and connections are needed to properly secure them. The budget & scheduling group worked to develop a detailed budget and began reaching out to potential contractors/suppliers to receive quotes for specific project scopes of work.

Friday was a field trip day! We traveled to three different places. Our first stop was the Aqua Tower where we received a tour of the bKL Architecture Offices. Next, we walked to the Magellan Development Group’s Lakeshore East Office. There, we learned about the master planning of the Lakeshore East Development and had the opportunity to see a scaled model of the entire development. We also walked over to a construction site for one of their projects, where we met with the construction manager and discussed the project. Our last stop was to the Hull House Museum. We received a tour of the entire house and learned more about the history behind both the house itself and Jane Addams.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Week 4 was focused on completing final drawings, models, and the presentation for the client meeting at the end of the week.

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On Monday, the students went on a field trip to the 606 Trail and Skinner Park to visit and analyze similar sites and projects.

On Tuesday, they further refined the design they chose from week 4 and developed standard views of the pavilion and seating structure. On Wednesday, study models of the main design and a couple of renditions were made.

Thursday was preparation for the client meeting/presentation in Nichols Tower on Friday. The presentation on Friday went well and the clients were excited about the initial prospective designs. After talking about a couple of possibilities for improvement and refinement, the students are ready for the next step of pre-construction.



Meldrick Dizon

Design/Build 2016 Teaching Assistant







This week students worked on pavilion designs individually then came together to choose a final pavilion design for the Homan Square Farm. The next day, Jeff Levrant , from the Homan Square Foundation visited and they presented their design ideas to the client. The client gave them feedback and more information on what could be done within the space. After this meeting they  started on the physical model. Friday they met with Jason Mendoza, a construction manager, that taught them about budgeting for their final project. The students chose materials and labor necessary to clear the site and start building. They are almost ready to build!


Nia Long

Design – Build Teaching Assistant









Week 2 the students brainstormed in groups and came up with different designs for the site. They faced challenges when they tried to come up with the functionality of the site. Ultimately they came to a general consensus of which components they would be implementing. Structural Engineer, Steven Baldridge, came to visit and give a presentation on of his experiences in the field and projects he’s worked on. Steven gave the students guidance on how to properly build structures according to safety standards. Using this knowledge they modified their designs then came together to create a master site plan. They integrated major components including rainwater collection, a multipurpose outdoor classroom, an accessible entrance and a garden. They ended the week with beginning their detailed components of their designs.


Nia Long

Design-Build Teaching Assistant