CAPE’s Program for the Chicago Architecture Biennial!

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 3

CAPE is returning to the closed Overton Elementary School as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial! CAPE will be teaming up for an event with Borderless Studio and DOCOMOMO-US Chicago, titled “Opening Closings: Reactivating Closed Chicago Public Schools”, which is free and open to the public on Saturday, October 7, from 11 am to 3 pm, at Overton (221 East 49th Street).  For this event, CAPE and our partners will collaborate to create participatory workshops and tours for the neighborhood and Biennial visitors. Central to the day will be Borderless Studio’s Creative Grounds conversations, which explore future uses of Chicago’s closed schools, and inside Overton, an exhibit by CAPE’s high school students from Daniel Hale Williams College Preparatory School of Medicine.

During the 2015-2016 school year, Williams Prep students in the CAPE program took on the challenge of reconceiving and repurposing spaces within the closed Overton school building. Students studied the architectural spaces of Overton from plans and photographs, and they went inside Overton to examine more closely its floor plans, use of light, and architectural details. They had extensive conversations about the building with the building’s new developer. They created 2-dimensional architectural plans for their proposals for new uses for the building, and built models accurate to their finished drawings and scaled proportionately to the building. Proposals greatly varied, but all connected to the surrounding neighborhood, through such ideas as a cooperative healthy foods store, with spaces for nutrition and cooking classes, and a shoe “library” that would allow youth to check out the latest in shoe designs for temporary use. In addition, students used their memories about school and their understanding and beliefs about school itself as the conceptual catalyst in designing large-scale installation art pieces that were put in place at Overton.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 2

This year’s Williams Prep CAPE students are working on new questions, ideas, and additions around Overton. Please join us October 7 to meet some of these students and see what they’ve created. Visit the Chicago Architecture Biennial event page for more information on the program and our partners, Borderless Studio and DOCOMOMO-US Chicago.

CAPE would like to thank the following donors and organizations for their support of our work at Overton:  Boeing, the Chicago Art Department via the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Young Audiences Arts for Learning, and many individuals. 
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