From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry, from the Illinois Institute of Technology to the adaptive reuse of the new Google “campus,” Chicago exemplifies Urban Theorist Jane Jacobs’ statement: “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.” While written in 1961 this quote, from Jacob’s seminal work "The Life and Death of  Great American Cities," continues to have resonance today.

Students at the Chicago Academy for the Arts will explore and question this statement through a series of site visits to both everyday and extraordinary architecture and public spaces throughout Chicago. Students will use their research to create site-specific installations throughout our school’s old building that dates from 1903. Through history, theory and practice, students will use Chicago as their “studio,” and the public spaces within their school as a collaborative “canvas” as they analyze the impact of our built environment and how architecture and urban design stifles and inspires innovation.