Graduate design studio explores Chicago’s skyscrapers



Chicago, America’s first metropolis was the selected location to host a Master’s Project design studio lead by FIU Architecture Professor Malik Benjamin. For five days, February 19-24 2013, 10 graduate students from the department of Architecture had the opportunity to explore Chicago’s skyscrapers in relation to the development and growth of the Greater Miami area.

Professor Benjamin explained that “Miami’s increased relevance in a hyper mobile, super-connected, multi-lingual world is unavoidable and Chicago’s development is very similar to that of Miami.” Considering that Greater Miami is a relatively nascent city, there are a plethora of resources and opportunities that have yet to be realized. Therefore, studying a metropolis would help the students predict the evolution of Miami, which is part of their case study when they return to Miami.

During their stay, students were guided by FIU Professor Benjamin and Amanda Williams from Illinois Institute of Technology. The graduate class learned about the history of the skyscraper from 1850 to present day and visited many cultural landmarks, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, AW Gallery Studio, Illinois Institute of Technology. The snow was also something the students enjoyed, since, for a few of them, it was the first time witnessing snowfall.

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