The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning


The CHICAGOLAB is an intensive summer design and research studio conducted in partnership with the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah and Archeworks that is housed in major design and planning firms in downtown Chicago, IL. Students will prepare in SLC prior to leaving for the 6-week Chicago experience where they will work on topics related to ongoing efforts in the city related to sustainability, community development, planning, and design. Additional lectures, tours, critiques, and events engaging students directly with practitioners, city officials, and community groups will be arranged to allow for further education and networking opportunities.

  • An embedded studio within Chicago’s premiere architecture and urban design firms
  • 6-week studio focused on design projects that matter to the city
  • Work under the direction of award-winning urban planners and architects
  • Engage with a spectrum of leaders: mayor’s office to activists to residents

ARCHEWORKS is a multidisciplinary design school with a social agenda. ARCHEWORKS advances design in the public interest and inspires collaborative action to shape more healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. Our public forums and partnership based education programs propose a range of socially responsible and ecologically resourceful design solutions for urban communities. More information is available at

The mission of the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah is to nurture a culture of discovery, design and innovation in our designed world rooted in an ethic of care, community and commitment. Our efforts will be the spark for positive transformation in our designed world to promote the health and well-being of our society and environment through research, community engagement and educational experiences shaped to nurture the agile, inventive minds necessary to address global challenges that are yet unknown.



May 16-June 23


Any undergraduate or graduate student
(Credit type dependent on year and major)


  • 3-4.5 university credits (credit type dependent on year and major)
  • CMP students
    • Undergraduate – 4 credit hours towards CMP 4290 or UGS 4820
    • Graduate – 3 credit hours towards CMP 6280
  • ARCH students
    • Undergraduate – 4.5 credit hours towards graduate coursework (see below)
    • Graduate – 4.5 credit hours; 3 credit hours towards an experimental studio course + 1.5 credit hours towards Visual Communications (ARCH 6050)
  • Continuing education option is available for no credit (Cost $450)
  • Undergraduate students from other disciplines could count the program as a capstone course (UGS 4820)
  • ChicagoLAB Course numbers:
    • ARCH 4965 (3 credit hours) and ARCH 4960 (2.5 credit hours)
    • CMP 4960 (4 credit hours, undergraduate) and CMP 6960 (3 credit hours, graduate)


The program fee is $1,900 and it covers housing in Pilsen (one of the coolest neighborhoods in the City), workspace downtown (at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and CannonDesign), a CTA transit pass to get around the City, group meals and other entertainment activities including, networking events, tours, visits to landmarks like the Chicago Design Museum, the Bean and many others! This fee does not include tuition, airfare, meals or entertainment expenses of your own.


  • Furnished, shared housing in La Casa
  • Office space/workstation in a private practice in Chicago at SOM and CannonDesign
  • 4-day work week to allow for time to explore the city


  • Work directly with local a+d firms and civic leaders
  • Meet and build relationships with the global leaders
  • Attend several architectural / cultural events in and around Chicago
  • Private lectures by Chicago-based practitioners
  • Attend several group lunches and dinners
  • Have free time to explore Chicago

For More Information or to Apply

Contact Ivis Garcia Zambrana at


Application forms will be available beginning on 2.10.16 and will be due on 3.15.16. Final selections will be made by March 25. Scholarships might be available for top candidates. There will be a series of team building exercises and preparatory research in April and May.



The ChicagoLAB cohort worked with the Puerto Rican Agenda, a collective of leaders in the Humboldt Park area. One group worked with West Town Bikes to help develop projects that promote safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists, while emphasizing a sense of place. Another group worked with the Division Street Business Development Association to create a brochure and a map sign, and implement other innovative ideas to highlight local art, murals, businesses, and community institutions. Finally, a group offered design alternatives to the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Childcare Center, from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, who will soon double its capacity by moving into a new building.


Promoting Paseo

Safe Passage

Childcare Center


In 2015 students collaborated with CannonDesign to focus on the repurposing of 4 CPS schools that were a part of over 50 closures. The students visited the schools, met with students, teachers, and principals, to unravel the complex conditions related to each closure and identify new ways of designing the 21st century neighborhood school. The team was led by an official from the City of Chicago’s Planning Department.

Near North Special Educaiton Center

Near North Special Educaiton Center

School Reuse Project

School Reuse Project








Repurposing Trumbull School

Repurposing Trumbull School

Visualizing Connection

Visualizing Connection









The 2014 project is focused on the physical conditions surrounding Midway Airport, which is located on the city’s southwest The Midway Study_2014 side, eight miles from the Loop. The goal of the project is to explore physical and nonphysical solutions to improve and integrate the surrounding communities with MDW and to create a sense of arrival to Chicago. Studies also question the role of zoning, the creation of affordable housing and employment opportunities to attract and retain for residents to the area.





In 2013, ChicagoLAB developed Chinatown’s Masterplan with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency of Planning, the City of Chicago, and the Chinese American Service League. Students worked closely with the leaders of SOM to test, explore and imagine the future of the area and implications of new development.

three corridorschicago chinatown






This year students also worked in collaboration with CannonDesign and GZA Environmental to develop a prototype for “the neighborhood of the future”, designing a closed looped system that was focused on energy, waste, water, and quality of life. The project was presented to the Mayor’s Chief Sustainability Officer to plant the seeds of a phased approach to more sustainable systems.



Cultural heritage and gentrification: live-work spaces in a transit oriented neighborhoodDSC_0002

Chicago is a key reference for urban scholarship. The city has been historically an epicenter urban sociology, and urban planning practices; it is also well known for its racial segregation patterns, machine-style politics, and pioneer modern architecture. As a city of migrants, Chicago has received Puerto Rican migration for over 60 years. For many decades the Puerto Rican population has been pushed further west, displaced from neighborhood to neighborhood by urban renewal projects and market-based gentrification.

About two decades ago, in response to threats of displacement, Paseo Boricua, a mile-long segment commercial corridor on Division Street, was envisioned through a participatory planning process to become the cultural, political, and economic hub for Chicago’s Puerto Rican community and, most importantly, halt the gentrification coming east. Nowadays, this ethnic enclave has increased the proportion of non-Latino white population and land prices have estanciagrown, constituting clear signs of an on-going gentrification process. In this context, the
CHICAGOLAB seeks to unravel the Puerto Rican diaspora spatial practices that characterize
their struggle for belonging and their resistance to displacement.
Participants will work along with the Archeworks, the University of Utah, and the Puerto Rican Agenda to devise proposal for two live-work spaces (at the moment two abandoned portions of urban fabric) and analyze their potential significance and role in their wider context. The Puerto Rican Agenda is a non-incorporated community organization, which for more than two decades has sought to develop a vision for the Humboldt Park Area – where most Puerto Ricans in Chicago live – pursuing the overarching goal of the Puerto Rican community’s self-determination. In their vision, the live-work spaces (at the moment projects for an Arts Building and a Teachers’ Village are being discussed) represent necessary spatial anchors that would allow the community to specialize their right to be in the area and to state their cultural identity – allowing them to stay in place and employ innovative practices for their collective emancipation as a historically marginalized group in the city of Chicago.
The CHICAGOLAB will extend for 6 weeks in which participants will engage in city visits, intense team work, and thought provoking discussion with partners. During this time we will:
  • Visit the highlights of the city to understand Humboldt Park relationship with the city as a whole.
  • Fully explore the site and having conversations with partners and neighbors in order to percolate existing spatial narratives and actors dynamics.
  • Define the scope our design/planning challenge based on the lectures on the gentrification process in Chicago by local scholars, practitioners, and community leaders.
  • Focus on the collective production of strategies using the feedback of the previous weeks and will prepare the final posters/boards to have final meeting and debriefing with the community and partners.
Von Humboldt Elementary School Site for Teacher's Village

Von Humboldt Elementary School Site for Teacher’s Village

Former Ashland Sausage Factory Site for Arts Building

Former Ashland Sausage Factory Site for Arts Building








paseo borica map


chicagolabSubmit one combined PDF file containing this form, your statement and work samples to Ivis Garcia Zambrana at on March 15, 2016 by 5 p.m. Selections will be announced on or prior to March 25th. There will be a series of teambuilding exercises and preparatory research in April and May. If the number of desired participants for the CHICAGOLAB is not met, we reserves the right to cancel the course.  For more info contact Ivis Garcia Zambrana at or 801-833-4073.

Download Application


Applications are being accepted for scholarships to offset expenses related to travel for the ChicagoLAB program for summer 2016. Only students who have been accepted into the program are eligible for scholarship funding. The committee reserves the right to allocate the available funding as they see fit in one or more scholarship awards. Please fill out the application below and attach a brief statement of need and merit and return both in a combined PDF to Ivis Garcia Zambrana at by 5pm on Friday, April 8th 2015. Selections will be announced on or prior to April 15th 2015.
* Scholarship amount will depend on grant funding.

Download Scholarship Application

Apply for an Ivory Homes Capstone Initiative Fund Form

The Ivory Homes Capstone Initiative Fund offers University of Utah undergraduate students enrolled in a Capstone course the opportunity to apply for up to $1,000 of support for their Capstone project. Funds can be used for tools, materials, travel expenses, and other expenses* needed to support their projects.
* Funds cannot be used as a stipend for students participating in Capstone courses.

To apply for an Ivory Homes Capstone Grant, please fill out this form and submit online. Although applications are accepted on a rolling basis and can be submitted at anytime, we encourage you to submit an application by: March 15, 2016.

Submit Online Form

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides undergraduate students and faculty members the opportunity to work together on research or creative projects.
UROP provides assistantships up to $1,200 for any first-time student who assists with a faculty member’s research or creative project, or who carries out a project of his or her own under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may apply for an assistantship any semester (summer included), and may be eligible for a one-semester renewal. UROP recipients are hired by the Office of Undergraduate Research and are paid $10/hour for up to 120 hours of work during the semester. Application is due March 25, 2016.

UROP Instructions



Please take a moment to leave us an expression of interest. For more info contact Ivis Garcia Zambrana at or 801-833-4073


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