Off Grid Scenarios: Solutions for the endless city

Ryan Johnson (website), Darya Minosyants
University of Illinois at Chicago
Arch 567 Research studio
Brief: Chicago Rules:Inclusionary regimes within the American city

Chicago is about to gain a new addition to its skyline and its endless grid. Except this time it is different: no one can find it; it seems to be invisible amongst a crowded downtown. Slowly, an inversion occurs, skylines no longer tower to the clouds, but instead extend an astonishing 1200 feet below the surface of the earth. Alleys turn to bridges, garages to entries and what we used to know as ground turns to rooftop. The invisible off-grid moments now have a new monumental importance and have surpassed any limits of the traditional urban planning.

This is not practical research on the city; rather, it is a project preoccupied with the notion of possible realities, which intends to use these scenarios as a theoretical construct from which to build new worlds and hypothetical landscapes. The intention is to use ‘what if’ scenarios as an elaborate interpretation of what the city could become, an alternate universe based on familiar but re-envisioned narratives and possibilities.

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