39 Queens Quay East
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Nature Center on Northerly Island
Enhancing Environmental Education and Recreation
Elizabeth Lenell Davies and Barbara Lilker
The collaboration between the Chicago Architecture Foundation and No.9: Contemporary Art & the Environment has grown through both organizations’ commitment to educating today’s youth about sustainable architecture and urban planning. Over the past two years, No.9 has brought Imagining My Sustainable City, a four-day workshop that teaches sustainable architecture and planning to grade seven students, to 28 schools in Toronto.
Developed by No.9’s architectural educators in collaboration with the Toronto District School Board, Imagining My Sustainable City integrates architectural education with the existing grade seven curriculum. It brings professional architects into the classroom to educate the students about real-world scenarios and appropriate, sustainable solutions. The course brings the students’ neighbourhoods to life as students redesign and re-imagine their surroundings to become more socially and environmentally sustainable.
Building on Imagining My Sustainable City’s existing curriculum, the partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation combines No.9’s architectural programming with an organization that has established itself as a leader in architectural education. No.9 brought their Imagining My Sustainable City educators, Elizabeth Lenell Davies and Barbara Lilker, to Chicago to teach the four-day course to the city’s youth for the Urban Sculptor Design Jam at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This collaboration is the beginning for a Sister Cities Education Exchange initiative that will link Toronto to Chicago through its shared investment in architecture and architectural education.
Over the course of four days, CAF’s students designed a nature center consisting of a series of pavilions using Studio Gang’s landscape proposal for the southern portion of Notherly Island as their site. Each student’s design contributes to the newly restored ecosystems by enhancing habitats for specific indigenous wildlife and creating opportunities for people to experience nature in the city.
Pavilion programs were chosen based on learning, research and recreational opportunities in the five newly created ecological zones.
No.9: Contemporary Art & the Environment:
No.9 is an arts organization that uses art and design to bring awareness to environmental concerns. We deliver programs in schools and in the public domain designed to encourage the use of creative thinking to resolve environmental issues and to promote a sustainable lifestyle.
Chicago Architecture Foundation:
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. The Chicago Architecture Foundation presents a comprehensive program of tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events and youth education activities, all designed to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy.