Re[CREATE]Ed Spaces REDUX: SWF Partners with Freedom by Design Students at IIT
Building upon the momentum of the past several years of the Sweet Water Foundation’s Re[CREATE]Ed Spaces Program in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust’s Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning, SWF has engaged in a design-build collaboration with the Freedom by Design Group at IIT. Established as a student group collaboration at IIT under the American Institute of Architecture Students, Freedom by Design offers community service opportunities for architecture students seeking real-world application of design skills being learned in the academic setting.
Last summer, youth from Chicago Architecture Foundation’s (CAF) Teen Fellows Program and Sweet Water Foundation’s (SWF) Apprenticeship and Outreach Program engaged in a 6-week project that took participants through a full design+build program that resulted in youth and community-inspired renderings of a pocket park in Washington Park. Custom, community benches inspired by the students’ designs were constructed as a first step to bring their pocket park design to life at SWF’s Perry Ave Commons.
This spring, SWF apprentices are working with the Freedom by Design team to enhance the designs initiated by teen fellows and apprentices and create custom-designed modular seating unit. The modular seating unit is also Inspired by the Living Sculpture Benches at the Perry Ave Community Garden site and the Radical [Re]Constructions of Values exhibit at the Smart Museum.
The Freedom by Design team meets weekly to refine designs and craft a conceptual strategy for the ongoing transformation of the formerly vacant parcels directly adjacent to the Work-Shop at the Perry Ave Commons. After several meetings with Eva Kulterman, Chair of the Architecture Department at IIT, Emmanuel Pratt and Blake Hageman coordinated efforts to salvage wood from 1st year architecture students “pavilion” projects so that the cedar would be deconstructed and reconstructed for the pocket park at the Perry Ave Commons.
Fabrication on the seating system is scheduled to begin later this month and will establish a foundation upon which the next group of SWF Apprentices and Chicago Architecture Foundation Tean Fellows will build this summer.
There GROWS the Neighborhood...