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On the afternoon of January 31st, 2014, Sweet Water Foundation hosted a graduate architecture class from the School of the Art Institute at the Perry Avenue Farm’s Think-Do house.
Mr. Orrin Williams, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Transformation and SWF collaborative partner, directed a wide-ranging discussion that addressed the mission and scope of the Perry Avenue Farm project, the role of urban agriculture in community development, the history of the neighborhood, and creative approaches to economic development in the Greater Englewood area. The meeting at the SWF Think-Do House was the first in a series for the students, and their professor, Ellen Grimes.
The students, and their professor, Ellen Grimes, are creating a series of drawings and photographs which document the Junction Grove area in preparation for a semester long design project exploring the architecture of urban agriculture districts.
The students will also be developing a mixed-use design proposal located in Junction Grove in response to the mission and initiatives of the Perry Avenue Farm. Their projects will integrate housing, light manufacturing, and commercial uses with the Perry Avenue farm and other neighborhood assets.
The SAIC students and faculty are working in collaboration with a larger group of students and faculty from the Illinois Institute of Technology, the City Colleges of New York, and Harvard University, on a series of projects on Chicago’s South Side that seek to develop innovative urban design and architecture strategies that focus on incremental, integrated approaches to neighborhood development.