"What she [McGuire] found were the ghosts of Lake Michigan’s shoreline: giant sand deposits, old dunes, just inches below the surface but as much as 25 feet deep, hiding beneath the surface of the city.
The discovery has spurred a multifaceted research project that rethinks the materiality of cities’ surfaces. McGuire sees the asphalt and concrete layer that covers much of Chicago as a “hard scab” that obscures the area’s history and shunts water into an already overtaxed stormwater system. She wants to instead find ways to reveal, and eventually tap into, the naturally occurring soils and sand below. “We need to design at the level of the raindrop, and not be just thinking about the interceptor system,” she says. “[We need] to work back up to the surface of the city.”
- Timothy Schuler
Thank you Whet for recognizing what lies beneath:
"Being one of the world’s most prominent architects, her [Jeanne Gang] ideas have gotten a lot of attention. More under the radar is the research of University of Illinois landscape architecture professor Mary Pat McGuire, which Zach Edelson covered last year for The Architect’s Newspaper. McGuire’s ideas are similar to ones the city and Gang have been working on—replacing paved surfaces with permeable ones—but she’s identified underground sand deposits that could serve as natural reservoirs, and prioritizes the renovation of surface infrastructure where it will work best with what lies underneath."
- Whet Moser
Mary Pat McGuire wins IL-IN Sea Grant to Study Urban Flooding Solutions in the Chicago-Calumet Region.
As Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Illinois, Mary Pat McGuire has received a $175,000 grant from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant to develop geologic soils-based site and surface design research to alleviate flooding in flood-prone urban areas. As PI, McGuire leads a team including Drew Phillips and Dave Grimley from Illinois State Geological Survey, Ashlynn Stillwell from Civil & Environmental Engineering and Margaret Schneemann from Illinois Extension. The team will develop a comprehensive dataset of hydro-geologic soils in the glaciated coastal region, integrated with urban surface design research to disrupt barriers and promote rainwater infiltration. They will work with communities to integrate this research into local landscape infrastructure planning.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is part of the National Sea Grant Program under NOAA that sponsors critical research in coastal and Great Lakes communities.
Our CALL for ABSTRACTS is out for the FRESH WATER design symposium.
The FRESH WATER design symposium invites designers and researchers, across academia and practice, to convene, debate, and discuss the inland water territories of North America.
The symposium asks:
- How should design contextualize deep ecological, social, cultural and economic concerns within this large, complex scale, across real and perceived boundaries?
- What new water design partnerships will be most effective, and why is this the case?
- What new design research projects can be identified and initiated as experimental testing grounds? How should we actively engage the public in making them happen?
- What would it take to move beyond linear problem-solving, toward creative reframing and inventive design thinking for these water territories?
Abstracts (for both papers and visual essays) are due January 15, 2018.
For Full details please check the symposium website: http://conferences.illinois.edu/freshwater/index.html
Mary Pat McGuire (along with FAA fellows) will co-host a panel discussion with special guests Rachele Riley and Ben Grosser, to discuss their respective design research. The theme of the discussion will be: the Design of Data, exploring the creative appropriation, reconfiguration, visualization and questioning of data through art practices that generate new insights for design, human behavior and society.
This is the first of a series of events hosted by the Design Research Fellows of FAA.
@ College of Fine & Applied Arts, Urbana, Illinois
Mary Pat was named a 2016-2018 Design Research Fellow in the College of Fine & Applied Arts at the University of Illinois. Her urban water work will be supported by a fellowship grant, as part of a Design Research Initiative. Fellows are charged to lead a college and university level conversation about design in the research university context, and to push individual projects forward in this timeframe.
The announcement can be found here: FAA Design Research Initiative
Join us for Uncorked + On Topic, a series of faculty-led conversations on subjects of shared interest and expertise across FAA.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
5:15 p.m. in the Tryon Festival Theatre Foyer, KCPA
This month’s topic: MEGA
FAA’s Uncorked + On Topic series will conclude this year with an enlightening discussion on “Mega,” featuring Mary Pat McGuire and Marci Uihlein. These two faculty members regularly traverse the expanding range of scales at which design can impact human life. They will explore questions such as: How are architects of environments responding to the new capabilities, problems, and demands of planetary-scale design? What new challenges do mega-scale projects present in creating spaces that facilitate intimate engagement and personal connection?
Mary Pat McGuire, Department of Landscape Architecture
Marci Uihlein, School of Architecture
Moderator: Kevin Hamilton, Senior Associate Dean
Mary Pat McGuire, RLA will present design research concerning the spatialization of water as an adaptive network for urban resiliency. Mapping of the Chicago terrain relative to conditions of its urbanized water history coupled with landscape spatial research, are the basis for a network of intervention sites which respond to Chicago's hydrogeologic landscape.
The talk is part of the Illinois State Geologic Survey 2016 SEMINAR SERIES.
Held in Room 101, Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL
March 7, at 11:00 AM
Mary Pat McGuire delivered a talk 'Reconfiguring the Urban Terrain : projective mapping for uncovering Chicago's hydrogeologic landscape' on Friday 2/26 as part of an amazing Water + conference , hosted by Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. The talk was part of the Water + Research panel, with Catherine Venart and Wilma Needham. Conference information can be accessed here: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/architecture/atmosphere/2016/atmos-8.html