Friday, October 19, 2007


Archicenter volunteer shift
Originally uploaded by katherine of chicago

Not everyone's as excited about it as I appear to be here.
This photo's from my Oct. 1 shift. It's misleading because I don't actually have anything to do with the exhibits other than standing in the store and pointing people towards the gallery areas. I was very happy to see this show coming, despite the name being a little silly. The show has a section about a major fatal bridge collapse, and got put up right around the time of the Minneapolis bridge collapse--eerie but timely. I'm trying to get to the related programs (there's a talk this week about Naperville! Exclamation point because I like reading books about the history of suburbs!).

I need to know more about how cities work (or don't) and given my new exploration hobby/vice, I need to know what the things I'm seeing actually are called. I know a moderate amount about architecture (enough to constantly point out quoins to people) but when it comes to what you'll find in an industrial corridor, on a waterfront, or in an abandoned factory, I'm tired of feeling all Malibu-Stacy-"don't ask me, I'm just a girl!"-ish and calling everything a "structure," "device," "machine," or "thingy." I want to know the difference between bascule bridges and...the other kinds of bridges. (Suspension?)

This Wed. I went to a talk by Soliman Khudeira, Project Director at the Chicago Department of Transportation, called "Loop Lighting Program: Wabash Avenue Improvement" because I was curious what's going on on Wabash (it's been a mess of construction). Man, I LOVE this city, a big roomful of people showed up to hear a talk about LIGHTING--I honestly didn't think it'd be that crowded. We learned about the various lights and structures they're putting on Wabash and which other streets they'll be working on (if there's funding). The speaker decided to take one last question: a man asked why Chicago is putting up all this Victorian/1890s-style stuff instead of something modern. I've wondered that too, though I don't dislike the 1890s style. He didn't have much of an answer...

On the way out I picked up a copy of the bulletin for the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois. I'm sorry to say I totally missed commemorating Engineering Licensure Month (August). (Recently declared as such in Illinois by the governor.) Oh well, start planning for next year.

1 comment:

Noah said...

Have you seen the book Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape? If it's not your bible yet, it will be once you look at it. It's helped me with the "naming stuff you find at abandoned industrial sites" problem.