University of Illinois at Chicago
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Semilattice City

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posted on 2011-04-13, 00:00 authored by Nora Shader
My research identifies a current scape of the contemporary city and then projects a potential design intervention. Contemporary cities implement a series of building extrusions on the grid. The result is a sectional figure/void completely dependent on the plan and completely autonomous from the section. The effect is a lack of connectivity of built mass in the contemporary city, and the sectional voids or sectional gaps become lost opportunity for levels of networks to exist. My designed solution is a Semilattice City. Christopher Alexander writes in A City is not a Tree, “The semilattice axiom goes like this: A collection of sets forms a semi lattice if and only if, when two overlapping sets belong to the collection, the set of the elements common to both also belongs to the collection.” I proposed creating an Elastic Section which would allow movement up and down, side by side such that the built mass of the city no longer resembles mere building extrusions on the grid, wholly contained, but rather sectional pushes and pulls. This Semilattice City provides overlapping sets of networks and layers producing community while bringing a new urbanism to greater heights. Through Photoshop, I blended and diffused the semilattice structure of vegetation on top of the Chicago grid to portray an impression of the city which is characterized by overlapping networks in the x, y, and z direction such that the resulting figure is that of the conceptual Semilattice City.


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Finalist in 2009 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library and the Library of the Health Sciences, April 16-May 12, 2009.

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