Designing Transformative Architecture
Founded by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang in 1997, Studio Gang Architects is a Chicago-based collective of architects, designers, and thinkers whose work engages pressing contemporary issues and their impact on human experience. Honored with the 2013 National Design Award for Architecture from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Studio acts as a laboratory—testing ideas on various scales, from cities and environments to material and physical properties. Cross-field research, collaboration, and iterative experimentation using both digital and analog technologies are integral to the Studio’s process. Each project is designed to resonate with its specific site and culture while addressing global themes such as reuse and sustainability. This innovative approach has resulted in works such as Aqua Tower, whose façade encourages building community in the vertical dimension; Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, where fourteen acres of biodiverse habitat are designed to double as storm water infrastructure and engaging public space; and WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, which creates a new access point along the Chicago River. In addition to creating transformative architecture, Studio Gang is dedicated to employing the tools, methods, and visionary capability of design to catalyze positive change through public engagement and advocacy.
The Studio’s work has been published and exhibited widely, including at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Building Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Reveal, Studio Gang’s first volume on its work and process, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011. That same year, the Studio self-published Reverse Effect: Renewing Chicago’s Waterways, a collaborative effort with the Natural Resources Defense Council that explores a radically greener future for the Chicago River and the Great Lakes. The Studio’s first solo exhibition, Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, set record attendance during its run at the Art Institute of Chicago from September 2012 to February 2013, and was accompanied by an exhibition catalogue copublished by Yale University Press and the Art Institute of Chicago.