Martin Felsen is, with Sarah Dunn, cofounder of UrbanLab, a collaborative office practicing architecture and urbanism. Based in Chicago, UrbanLab has received numerous honors, and developed a reputation for its innovative solutions to the problems of both public and private communities. UrbanLab undertakes work of different sizes and scales, from urban interventions to small residences, but its primary interest is in forward-looking projects that speculate on a more sustainable and resourceful tomorrow. A new project, chil.us, examines Chicago’s status as a global city. On the website www.chil.us, the current condition of the Chicago Megalopolis is revealed with maps, diagrams and statistics. The project charts comparative states of Chicago’s land use, growth, population densities, energy/natural resources, infrastructural networks, and economic/leisure activities. The research project is an effort to document a broad informational context for those currently working on and/or thinking about the design and planning of Chicago specifically and American style urbanism in general.
Martin was recently appointed the director of Archeworks, Chicago’s alternative design school, where students create design solutions for social and cultural concerns. He also teaches city design and theory as an Associate Studio Professor in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.