Proximity of Cemeteries in the Chicago Area

My gut feeling about our western paradigms on death seems to have some merit. As a first pass, I chose to take a look at the Downtown Chicago area to see how the cemeteries of the metro area were organized. In taking a closer look, it appears that there is a marked void of cemeteries in the urban fabric. This leads me to believe that the notion of placing a program that relates to death may, in fact, have potential. The closest cemetery the the Downtown Chicago area is Graceland Cemetery approximately 6.5 miles or a 15 minute car ride to the north of downtown. So, the question arises, where might be the best location for a program addressing human passing be in the Chicago area?

RAW : investigations of materiality + matter

These investigations begin to break down the vast array of materials available to designers and too arrange these materials according to their proximal or potential relationships with the "RAW". The first organizes the materials by category and then breaks down the many sub-materials within each category. The second diagram begins to get at the sensory or haptic relationships these materials embody. Each of the materials was given a number characterizing its raw sensory stimuli. The diagrams show which materials might be used and in what ways they might be implemented.


Potential Program

In thinking about notions of time and its relation to the "RAW" and technology, I have been thinking a lot about time's signifigance and a human experience or condition that might bring further awareness to entropy, lifecycles, and the core ideas of my thesis research. This thinking has steered me toward thoughts of human death and passing. I think a program like this is a good fit for its symmetry of temporality. Our human passing makes us extremely aware of the temporal notions of our human existence. Similarly, these notions resonate in the material world, most commonly found in nature. Could a tomb further the implications of the "RAW"?


RAW : TECH_time + architecture + matter

Here, I am trying to reconcile the relationships between the many factors arising in my thesis research. Fundamentally, and of most concern is an architecture of time. Everything we do happens in a continuous thread of passing pasts, presents, and futures. If notions of material alchemy, entropy, and life cycles are of importance then it makes sense that time would become of monumental importance. Therefore, I have tried to equate other notions about RAW : TECH to time. It seems that the idea of the RAW harks back to the past, while notions of TECH or ecological hi-tech draw connotations to the future. This places ourselves, the human element, smack dab in the middle of it all. How might our human existence in the present begin to bind RAW : TECH? Might the thesis be RAW : HUMAN : TECH? Each piece relating to the difference phases of time?

These are just fantastically early thoughts about relationships, but I'm feeling pretty good about the general direction of things.