A major aspect of Illinois Tech’s Community Affairs and Outreach Programs is to foster a culture and climate that fosters relationships of academic suggestion and community-engaged research.
In January 2016, Illinois Tech Architecture Chicago announced a five-year commitment to the Bronzeville Dream Center (BDC). Beginning with the current spring 2016 semester, architecture students under the tutelage of Professor Eva Kultermann will design the build-out of the BDC’s future home. Established in 2014 by Bright Star Church, the BDC establishes and fosters new approaches to combat violence and to provide counseling, mentoring, and support to avert conflict.
In addition to Illinois Tech other partners in the BDC include Bright Star Community Outreach, Inc. (501c3), Northwestern Medicine, The University of Chicago Medicine, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, and more than two dozen faith leaders. The partners have engaged in two years of data gathering, implementation, oversight, and evaluation. Organizers have surveyed Bronzeville residents to identify health and behavioral issues that may contribute to violence.
Illinois Tech Architecture Chicago, located in Bronzeville, is uniquely positioned to design a space that helps the organizers offer their services to the community in a healthy, effective, and productive environment. Kultermann’s studio will complete a survey of the site. Based on a comprehensive study of the BDC’s organizational, image, functional, and economic goals, the students will work in teams to offer design solutions. The designs will be presented to BDC leadership who will then decide which of the designs best meets the needs of the community. Illinois Tech Architecture Chicago is committed to making a difference in the shared neighborhood of Bronzeville and promoting an enduring partnership that offers solutions to violence in our community.
Illinois Tech Architecture Chicago will also be providing scholarships for two Bronzeville high school students to attend Illinois Tech Architecture Chicago’s Experiment in Architecture, a summer program designed to introduce high school sophomores and juniors to the profession of architecture.