Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071
info@grahamfoundation.org

Research

  • The Available City
  • GRANTEE
    David Brown
    GRANT YEAR
    2011

David Brown, The Available City, building intensive development diagram, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

The Available City speculates on the urban design potential of Chicago's fifteen thousand city-owned vacant lots. In its efforts to return the land to utilization, the city of Chicago principally considers each lot individually, and as infill. The Available City proposes that this large scatter of lots, whose aggregate acreage exceeds the area of the Loop, can have greater impact on the neighborhoods and wards in which it is located, when considered as a collective set. Rather than considering the lots as fifteen thousand individual projects, each with an unspecified urban effect, The Available City situates the lots as an urban proposition comprised of fifteen thousand local effects. This project investigates an open-space system within buildings as a collective proposition, capable of providing distinct identities to the wards and neighborhoods where the lots are most prevalent.

David Brown is author of Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvisation, and Architecture (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), which researches design implications of structures that facilitate improvisation in jazz. Developing from this work, his current design research explores approaches to urban design made possible through the introduction of shifts in the organizational logics that impact metropolitan development. He is associate director and an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Architecture.