Report on ASLA IL Chapter's "Designing Chicago" Field Trip

by Pauline Saliga | Jan 09, 2019

With funding from the SAH American Architecture and Landscape Field Trip Program, the American Society of Landscape Architects Illinois Chapter developed a new program, “Designing Chicago – Discover Landscape Architecture.” The inaugural field trip in November 2018 was designed to inspire, encourage and educate high school students, especially girls and students of color, with a humanities-based “hands-on” experience that could lead to a career in landscape architecture. The goal was to introduce youth, particularly those whose schools may not offer opportunities for educational enrichment, to landscape history and design in Chicago through experiential learning that could inspire them to think to the future about possible secondary education in environmental and design fields.

The students who participated in the field trip, from the greater Chicagoland region, were engaged and enthusiastic about the sites visited, which included a wide variety of new interventions into historic landscapes such as Millennium Park in downtown Chicago; the Chicago River Walk, with a tour by Adam White, ASLA, of Jacobs/Ryan Associates;  Palmisano Park, the site of a former stone quarry, with a tour by its designer, Ernie Wong, FASLA, of site design group, ltd.; and Northerly Island, former site of the 1933–34 Century of Progress Exposition, which was recently redesigned as a series of different, but compatible, ecosystems by Studio Gang. In addition to visiting the sites and learning about their history and redesign considerations, the students completed written field exercises developed by Prof. Steven Sears, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Following the park visits, the students toured the studio of site design group, ltd.

Pauline Saliga
SAH Executive Director

Images (L-R): Ernie Wong lectures to students at Palmisano Park; students explore Northerly Island; and students tour Lurie Garden in Millennium Park.

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610