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December 1, 2010

ZeroZero external


This Communication Design Workshop tackle the problem of “placemaking” from a specific point of view – that of the Chicago Loop. The Loop is an interesting “place” because it can be deconstructed into a complex array of historic artifacts, personal memories, political engagements, tales of businesses that succeed, stories of dreams that fail, and so on. On top of this evolving sensing, actuation, and interactive technologies provide us with new ways of constructing place – both spatial and connective. Chicago Loop Alliance worked with IIT Institute of Design to design a unique placemaking experience for ZeroZero.


People have many significant places in their lives, and reflection about where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going is an act of personal recentering. Zero is the embodiment of 0,0 State & Madison. It is the anchor point and icon for the origin of Chicago’s grid.


Chicago’s origin is not at the geographic city center or associated with a particularly significant place. The intersection of State and Madison is the center of the addressing scheme for the city of Chicago and has been so since 1909 when the system was implemented. State and Madison at one time used to be the busiest intersection in the world and even today has heavy pedestrian traffic.

Proposed User Experience

Information about Zero and how the Chicago grid works. Here you will also find a link to the website to extend the recentering story.

twitter @zerozerochi


By prototyping, the team want to learn about how people orient themselves to a city and the patterns behind their behaviors.




Joseph Shields
Eugene Limb
Sally Wong
Elise Metzger
Brian Strawn