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13 Oct 22

At its best, architecture is a means to create a world where humans not only coexist but also actively support one another as part of the planet’s greater network of living things. To do so demands an ecological approach to design, one that considers buildings not simply as individual elements but as existing in relation to living things, habitats, cities, and the planet. This expanded framework can help architects see the potential in each site and project, and to shape better relationships among individuals, communities, and the shared natural environment. Through an exploration of Studio Gang’s portfolio of work, Jeanne Gang will demonstrate how her practice uses the motto of “start with what’s there” to reveal the often-hidden potential of existing sites or buildings to generate new connections and foster greater appreciation for — and stewardship of — our shared natural resources. These approaches include adapting existing buildings, such as the Beloit College Powerhouse, in ways that limit embody carbon and diversify use; new civic projects, such as the Chicago River Boathouses, which better connect people with nature; and expanding existing institutions, such as the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, which welcome community and connect to the surrounding city.

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