University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood
Chicago, IL 60637
Emmanuel Pratt’s interdisciplinary approach to regenerative placemaking on the South Side of Chicago mixes art, architecture, and community and economic development.
Radical [Re]Constructions connects the Museum space to Pratt’s ongoing work through the Sweet Water Foundation, where Pratt is co-founder and executive director, and the development of the Think-Do House and Perry Avenue Commons, a community hub and urban farm located two miles west of the Smart in a so-called “blighted” neighborhood.
The installation features a large three-dimensional representation of a formerly abandoned house which is currently under reconstruction by the Sweet Water team. Materials include salvaged wood pieces that were used to transport large glass windows for the new Campus North Residence Hall adjacent to the Museum. The wood has been treated by Pratt and youth apprentices from the Sweet Water Foundation and finished with the traditional Japanese charring technique shou sugi ban, an investment of time and labor that brings out the natural beauty of the wood. It also includes a sectional perspective drawing based on activities that currently occur in the Think-Do House.