VOA architects lead IIT studio

Cloud Studios “Reforesting the City” looks at urban development from an ecological perspective

This year, Chris Groesbeck and I lead an upper level research and design studio at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture in Chicago. The studio is part of a new program, Cloud Studios, which invites practicing professionals to team with the IIT faculty and develop a practice-based approach to bridge the academic and professional worlds. Professionals from related industries are invited to present on subjects relating to particular themes of the studio or emerging trends. This aligns with the IIT College of Architecture’s overall vision of “re-inventing metropolis,” creating a model for the future urban experience. Today, this research-based approach is not only practiced in universities around the world, it’s an integral component of design practices internationally. Both VOA and SOM are leading Cloud Studios this year.


Our studio proposes the idea of “Reforesting the City – Inverted Urbanism” as both an ecological methodology and a metaphor for future urban development. The studio focuses on the evolutionary nature of urban growth.The “Reforesting the City” studio provides a platform for investigating and questioning today’s cities, discussing designs that merge architecture with environment and demonstrating a new method for arranging urban spaces to harmoniously integrate nature with the urban fabric. It develops principles and strategies of design inspired by natural phenomenon to achieve balanced and sustainable approaches.


Cloud Studios “Reforesting the City” at IIT



Cloud Studios “Reforesting the City” at VOA

Students will be exposed to multiple viewpoints from guest speakers representing science, real estate and forward-thinking companies.


Fall semester in the studio focuses on research and documentation. Students will critically investigate and assess the complex layers necessary to transform urban living. Spring semester concerns planning and program design. The studio culminates in a competition for the best and most comprehensive approach to innovative urban thinking.

Keep an eye on the VOA blog for coverage of “Reforesting City” as it develops. Visit http://arch.iit.edu/ for more information on the Cloud Studios.

Leave a Comment

Write your comment