Browsing All posts tagged under »Intuitive Building Techniques«

Five Upcoming Opportunities To Build Fantastic Structures + Re-Imagine Possibility.

September 14, 2011


Want to come build fantastic structures that challenge people’s sense of possibility? Sure you do, who doesn’t? In the coming weeks, in three different cities, we will be leading a variety of building workshops with our Build It! Disks. The focus of each workshop and the reason for using the Disks is varied: In Austin, our […]

Public Workshop Leading Design-Build Workshops On North Philly Vacant Lots For Local Teens.

August 5, 2011


Depending on how you count them, Philadelphia has 30,000 to 40,000 vacant lots. Next week–August 8th-11th—Public Workshop will be setting up shop on one of them in North Philadelphia and working with neighborhood #teendesignheroes from the Village For Arts and Humanities to prototype ideas, and structures that could start to fill up some of these […]

Images From Our #teendesignheroes Workshop At Taliesin In Rural Wisconsin.

July 6, 2011

Our Work

Six super talented Chicago Public School students from diverse backgrounds. Two superstar Teaching Fellows. A rich architectural legacy that exudes experimentation and ‘doing’. Seven days and seventeen hours of relentless testing, building, experimentation, failure and play- challenging all assumptions about how learning and design occur. It’s a summer design camp on steroids- a ‘doing’ camp […]

Check Out What Our Chicago #teendesignheroes Are Building + Learning In Rural Wisconsin.

June 28, 2011

News, Our Work

Spending sixteen to eighteen hours a day building things in rural Wisconsin with my #teendesignheroes from the Chicago Public School system leaves little time to share all of the amazing things that are happening with the outside world. This design-build workshop for teens is one of my most important laboratories for testing the limits of […]

The Design Process Flipped Backwards- By Jeisson, One Of Our #teendesignheroes.

June 27, 2011

Our Work

Prepare yourself to build, tear down, build, tear down, and build again, so that finally, you can have what you may call your first draft. Sound tough? You’re telling me! Thankfully, while it is challenging, it’s also one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. During our third day at Taliesin, we were happily joined […]

Things We Like:What Happens When Children Build Their Own Three-Story Playgrounds?

June 20, 2011

Things We Like

A travesty? Wheelchair and crutch bound children everywhere, and lawsuits galore? An unappealing jumble of bent nails and ill cut wood? A blight on the neighborhood? Certainly not. Balderdash. No way. Quite the contrary. The Kolle 37 bauspielplatz in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Berlin is a wonderland. A place of imagination and exploration that […]

Only 5 Days Until Our Teen-Led Design Lab At Taliesin: Redefining Learning + Possibility!

June 19, 2011

News, Our Work

Only five days until our favorite week of the year! Taliesin was Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural playground. An ever evolving place, he and his apprentices were constantly experimenting with the structure, space and building materials of existing buildings on the property- adjusting, tearing things down and starting anew. They did this to better meet the […]

News:We’re Presenting Our Unique Participatory Design + Learning Tools In Chicago-May 28th.

May 19, 2011

Events, News

A Longitudinal Study of Shared Space Street Improvements And Older People’s Quality Of Life– Catharine Ward Thompson, Susana Alves, Peter Aspinall, Jenny Roe and Affonso Zuin Examining The Spatial And Temporal Patterns In Children’s Neighborhood-Based Activity And Mobility Using Personal Monitoring Technology –Jason Gilliand and Janet Loebach The Effects Of Casino Design, Restorative Images And […]

Prototyping Adventure Courses + A Shade Structure In Four Hours At UCDavis, Oh My!

April 21, 2011

Events, Our Work

When is a tree not a tree? When you give a bunch of landscape architecture students and teachers the task of making a tree from scrap pieces of 1″ x 2″. In this case a tree becomes a lean-to, a passage way, a vertical lattice, the beginnings of an innovative sub-structure, a shed and goodness […]

In The Meantime, Here Are A Lot Of Awesome Pictures + The Merits Of Making Design Public.

March 24, 2011

Our Work

Originally, I had hoped to write a little bit each day about the design and intention behind each intuitive building exercise, and the many structures that you I’m sure you have now seen. In short, the resulting structures, although gorgeous, are not about form. Behind each structure is an exercise that is designed to test […]

Workshop #1: The Merits Of Absurdly Large, Impossible Challenges.

March 22, 2011

Our Work

I particularly relish giving people, especially youth, ridiculously hard challenges that directly engage them in finding and solving some of the most pressing design problems in their everyday lives. Whether they are redesigning and rebuilding their own physically and emotionally decrepit K-12 schools; making high and low tech sensors to gather the environmental data, and […]

Come Help Redefine Possibility! Your Opportunity To Help Explore + Build March 20-24th.

March 18, 2011

Events, Our Work

A Week Of Building Experiments And Adventures Interested in helping test the limits of learning, design and collaboration while making gorgeous structures in a fantastic space? Starting this Sunday I will be leading six days of fantastic building experiments at the National Building Museum and I would love for you, and your friends to come […]

National Building Museum Fellowship Update #6: Yeah,I Couldn’t Wait Any Longer. Some Images.

March 10, 2011

Our Work

Okay, so my intuitive building and making-as-a-tool-for-dialogue experiments aren’t officially going to happen until the week of March 21st. However, when my newly fabricated, never before tested disks happened to arrive on the same day I was visiting the National Building Museum for a couple of days last week, could you blame me for not […]

National Building Museum Fellowship Update #3: The Lone Ranger,Design Educator + Instigator?

January 7, 2011

News, Writing

One portion of the National Building Museum’s impressive building toy collection that I have been particularly interested in during my Field Fellowship at the Museum, are the instruction manuals. How do toy manufacturers describe design and what do they do to help others build great things? How can we learn from this to teach better […]

National Building Museum Fellowship Update #2: The Merits Of Missing Pieces.

December 9, 2010

Things We Like, Writing

Truscale Blocks with 1 distinct piece, 1948 Artificial stone Elland Company, England [1695] Let’s get one thing straight, despite the manufacturer’s claims that their Truscale Blocks are amusing, interesting, attractive and absolutely bubbling over with unlimited possibilities for building, they are not. For many reasons, Truscale Blocks are truly remarkable but aesthetically and functionally, they […]

National Building Museum Fellowship Update #1: Construction Toys Make Better Boys?

December 8, 2010

News, Writing

The Constructioneer Metal Building Set No. 4 with 19 distinct pieces, 1947 Metal and rubber Urbana Manufacturing Company, Urbana, OH [1521] Construction Toys Make Better Boys. And girls, learning, buildings and cities? I think they do. Every year the National Building Museum (here) in Washington, DC offers one accomplished practitioner or researcher the opportunity to […]

News: Public Workshop Wins DIY Playground Design Competition!

November 22, 2010


Holy cow. We couldn’t be more pleased to learn that we won the DIY division of the Playable International Playground Design Competition. Apparently the judges really liked our entry even though it is much more of a how-to for developing a youth-led culture of civic ‘doing’; public space testing, exploration and innovation; and playground building […]

Things We Like: A Veritable Playground Made Out Of Packing Tape.

November 4, 2010

Things We Like

Sure, it’s a lot of plastic and packing tape can be remarkably expensive but really, how can you not stand in drooling awe when presented with For Use‘s gorgeous packing tape structure/playground? Why the fawning? Well on the most basic level, as previously stated, it’s gorgeous. However we also find it compelling because it is […]

Project: A Design-Build Lab For Redefining How We Engage Young Adults In Design Processes.

September 16, 2010

Our Work

Project: Design Build Workshop for the Chicago Architecture Foundation Location: Chicago Project Director: Alex Gilliam for the Chicago Architecture Foundation Year: Summer 2010 Forty seven mosquito bites on one person, in the span of an hour? Sleeping in Stalin’s daughter’s bedroom? Visiting dignitaries, torrential thunderstorms, lots of post-hole digging, hand sawing and a pretty incredible […]

Project: Chicago Teens Weave Landscape Prosthetics To Help Re-Imagine A Schoolyard.

July 22, 2010

Our Work

Project: Landscape Prosthetics Location: Chicago Project Director: Alex Gilliam Year: Summer 2010 Honestly, this super short project (one afternoon) was simply intended to be a device for quickly engaging my brand new crop of teen apprentices, forcing them to collaborate, bond and quickly feel empowered to change the world around them. Given that I have […]