College of Architecture Student Wins LV Spark Award

The Louis Vuitton Spark Award, sponsored by Louis Vuitton and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, honors an outstanding student from the College of Architecture’s undergraduate and graduate Cloud Studio program reflecting the College’s focus on the City of Chicago and Rethinking Metropolis.

Ricardo Fernandez Gonzalez’s award-winning project, “Setting the Stage: The Weft,” produced for the Cloud Studio entitled Setting the Stage: Engagement and Collaboration, taught by Studio Professor Susan Conger-Austin, proposed the development of a series of programmed public spaces that encouraged alternative ways of teaching and learning, while simultaneously offering much needed public amenities for the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville. His design proposal created an east-west connection from Cellular One Stadium to the lakefront. Working with one of the area’s local high schools – IIT/Perspectives Math and Science Academy and Goodman Theatre, this project explores new settings for learning that integrates art in the public realm, where creative collaboration can occur. The project was inspired by the 2012 Cultural Plan for the City of Chicago, whereby arts education was deemed the number one priority in the City.”

Gonzalez’s project is currently on display in the Louis Vuitton Flagship store, located at 919 N. Michigan Avenue, and will be there until mid-November. The opening of the exhibit on September 29 was part of the inaugural Chicago Architectural Biennial. In addition to the exhibit, Gonzalez will be flown to Paris to present his work at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.