A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Riverworks Chicago: An interactive transient sound mapping and community engagement

Students on the Chicago River

Riverworks Chicago is an interactive transient sound mapping and community engagement series of classes that reimagine and visualize the sustainable world above and beneath the surface of the Chicago River. Challenging engagement with water, water habitats, water conservation and water quality, this course looks for opportunities for students to activate new connections and thinking about the Chicago River as a healthy, working and recreational ecology.  Riverworks designs objects and sites, digital and virtual, as fertile grounds for creativity, innovation, and social interaction. River mapping, walking, sensing, and listening serve as immersive forums for examining the importance of the recreational and ecological aspects of contemporary working rivers and the Great Lakes as a freshwater ecosystem challenged by human neglect and intense urbanism. It explores politics of water usage, water quality, water conservation as essential to reimaging health of the city.