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Reverse Effect: Renewing Chicago's Waterways Hardcover – January 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Studio Gang Architects, Ltd. (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984018301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984018307
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang leads Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective of architects, designers, and thinkers. Spanning a wide variety of building types and sizes, her works are connected by their engagement with pressing contemporary issues and are informed by cross-field investigations in materials, technology, and the natural and social sciences.

Reveal, her first volume on Studio Gang's work, gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at her studio and the creative process that shapes her architecture. Reverse Effect, her second book, is an advocacy piece exploring possibilities for the Chicago River's transformation. Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, developed in conjunction with her firm's 2012-13 solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, takes a look at a dozen of her firm's most recent projects and the ideas that connect them.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Three-B on December 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A ripoff at thirty bucks a copy. What you get for those dollars is not, as you might reasonably have expected, a coherent vision of a renewed Chicago River authored by star architect and MacArthur "genius grant" recipient Jeanne Gang. Instead, the book is a mishmash of Harvard University student projects from a design-studio course Gang taught there, and a collection of quick-take perspectives by people who have wildly varying degrees of knowledge about their subject matter. (For example, I'm not sure how much to credit the views on the practicability of sewage disinfection in the essay by a young lady identified as "Rower, Lincoln Park Juniors.") The Harvard student design projects are what you might expect from talented young people who have spent too much time studying Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago ("Dream no small dreams," etc.) and too little time learning how architectural projects are done in the real world. The result is eye-candy drawings of whole neighborhoods redesigned and rebuilt, with scarcely a nod toward financing, land ownership or other practical constraints. Genius Gang contributes only a fluffy one-page introduction , three pages of substantive text and an approximately equal number of pages with simple sketches. I guess it takes a certain kind of genius (or at least chutzpa) to collect royalties on the basis of such a skimpy contribution--the book is self-published by Studio Gang Architects, so no need to share profits with a publisher. If you have higher and better uses for your thirty bucks, but want to learn about the concept of reversing the Chicago River, surf on over to [....], and download the Natural Resource Defense Council's report titled "Re-Envisioning the Chicago River," which provides a succinct, thoughtful and free analysis of the needs, problems and opportunities for re-creating Chicago's namesake river.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BDS Dispatches on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jeanne Gang is most commonly associated with the landmark 82-story Aqua building on Chicago's "New East Side." The undulating tower mirrors the river it shadows over and reflects the lake into which its views spill. Water has become a preoccupation for the MacArthur Genius; her designs not only reflect water as a form, but speak to water systems on the whole as meshing with the built environment. Nowhere is there more on display than in Gang's new book Reverse Effect, an innovative design plan that seeks to restore the natural Mississippi River and Great Lakes' watersheds, implement permeable green infrastructure, and reclaim vast swaths of underutilized land along the Chicago River for redevelopment.

The holistic approach by Gang -as evidenced throughout the book - is indicative of the mindset underfoot that is about restoration and reclamation, rather than large-scale infrastructure works that threaten the long-term health and viability of water networks. This approach reflects the City of Chicago's efforts in cleaning up the riverfront and Bubbly Creek in particular, in an effort to repurpose the river as an environmental and economic catalyst, rather than liability.

The beauty of Gang's approach is that its economic potential is manifest. Her designs create new development opportunities that reconnect the industrial lands surrounding Bubbly Creek into the urban fabric and add utility and value to the city. The mix of residential and commercial construction on the extended Chicago waterfront will provide the most stable and lucrative income streams to the city.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book for its outstanding visual images, accessible text, and (as another reviewer put it) holistic approach to Chicago-area water issues, specifically the Asian Carp problem in the Illinois River. I used this book to prepare a water quality discussion for high school students and it was a great resource for that purpose.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Podolski on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It came in the mail and I thought to open it up and read it later, when I had time, but I couldn't put it down until it was done. I would recommend it to anyone.
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