Re-inventing Construction: Proceedings of the Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction 2010

174 greater freedom with the design, and a stronger connection to the essence of each site and all of its constituents. Like the cook, we assembled with what we had, like the prospector, we found and extracted what was of use, and like the nomad, we sought lightness and simplicity. The discoveries made during the design of the SOS, Ford Calumet, and Lincoln Park Zoo projects could never have been achieved through the use of drawing alone. Instead, we developed unexpected and radical design solutions by imple- menting a variety of tools and methods, including innovative physical models, prototypes, material testing, and—of particular importance—collaborations. These intense working sessions with builders, engineers, and craftsmen challenged all involved to try new methods outside their traditional boundaries of expertise, and resulted in increased knowledge and additional tools for each team member to use, both on the project and into the future. This collaborative and multi-faceted way of working, contingent on an archi- tect’s willingness to leave behind the confines of software programs and expand traditional modes of practice, is critical if we are to reinvent construction. Great possibilities for innovation arise when we take cues from innovators outside ar- chitecture and attempt to see the world anew through their eyes. Architecture is a fluid profession, one that is not only evolving but radically changing. New architects hoping to reinvent construction might find more inspiration in learning from the cook, the prospector, or the nomad, than in serving as apprentices to the masters of refinement. About the author: Jeanne Gang leads Studio Gang Architects, a practice generating some of today’s most innovative and creative works of architecture. Her projects confront pressing contemporary is- sues, including climate, urbanization, and technology. Published and exhibited widely, her work has been shown at the International Venice Biennale, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Building Mu- seum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology where her studios have focused on megacities and material technologies. Jeanne Gang