Current Student: Katie Taylor (MArch 2020)

Katie Taylor, Master of Architecture '20

What factors influenced your interest to study at SAIC?

I first looked into SAIC because of its location in Chicago and its Historic Preservation program (I'm pursuing a certificate in Historic Preservation). My final decision was influenced by SAIC's collaborative art culture and especially their commitment to socially conscious design, which is something that has become integral to my practice as I've grown as a designer.

Where did you previously study and what topics did you investigate?

Portable dance floor, designed and fabricated for an after-school hip-hop program in Cincinnati, interlocking pieces inspired by MC Escher's tessellation

I got my BS in Architecture at the University of Cincinnati. I did some exploring in a few different subjects, including tectonic architecture and furniture-making. My favorite studio was a hip-hop architecture studio, where I designed a dance floor, and went on to explore poetry, spoken word, and sound through a studio in conjunction with Cincinnati's Louder Than A Bomb.

How has Chicago as a city influenced your research and practice?

I've been doing some studies of Chicago neighborhoods and learned a lot about the issues surrounding the affordable housing crisis.  I'm hoping that during my time at SAIC and after I graduate I can work towards solutions through design.

What courses within AIADO have helped shape your current work?

My studio with Ann Lui is really pushing me to explore outside of my comfort zone. My background is fairly technical but as I refine my concepts in studio I've been experimenting with collage and other more abstract methods of diagramming. It's fun!

What are you currently investigating in your work now?

I'm focusing on making design accessible to everyone. My concepts in studio are based on data I've been collecting about demographics in different neighborhoods around Chicago, and I've also been doing a lot of research on gentrification and affordable housing.

Light Bridge, library design
Light Bridge, library design
Block House, a mixed-use residential building by starting at a small scale - using 12ft blocks to create several different apartment unit arrangements, and then using those units as building blocks for the entire structure.


Read more interviews with AIADO students here