Guns and Schools: Hard or Soft?

In the wake of the Parkland shootings, the NRA has called for immediate hardening of schools, while NPR responded by saying they should be softened, and architects are caught in the crosshairs of the argument. Especially architects who are involved with school design must now choose how, or whether, to address guns in schools. Guns and schools don't mix. But it is currently doubtful that the strong gun control laws needed to help curb this problem will soon be enacted. Architects, as the profess....

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"Make No Little Plans": Our proposal for a new Chicago lakefront

Daniel Burnham, the architect and urban designer responsible for the 1893 World's Fair as well as for helping preserve Chicago's lakefront as an open park free of commercial development, famously said, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-gr....

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Clinton Elementary School: Building for Community

The community of Clinton, Illinois overwhelmingly passed a bond referendum five years ago to build a new elementary school for its Unit School District 15. More than 70% of voters favored the bond proposal. The main program challenge for Clinton's new Elementary School, and the one that has also yielded the greatest benefits, was: How could Clinton's two existing, separate elementary schools be merged? Previously, elementary grades 2 and 3 were taught in a separate building from grades 4 and 5. ....

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New 41st Street bike and pedestrian bridge

City officials and members of the Bronzeville community came together yesterday to formally break ground on a new bike and pedestrian bridge at 41st Street on Chicago's South Side. The long-discussed project is finally ready to begin its reach across Lake Shore Drive and the Illinois Central rail tracks to connect the neighborhood to Chicago's lakefront trails and beaches.

Designed by Cordogan, Clark & Associates, the snaking bridge will utilize a double-curved arched mono-truss lay....

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Library Makerspaces: A New Alternative Education Environment

Since 2013 when the American Library Association (ALA) announced the formation of its Center for the Future of Libraries, it has focused much of its work on identifying new emerging trend relevant to libraries, librarians, and their communities. Though we can't predict the future, we can identify trends. Understanding these "currents" shaping society can better enable us to envision the future.

ALA's Center is itself modeled on the American Alliance of Museums' (AAM) very successful ....

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