Working with New World Design of Chicago, Illinois, this project was a proposal for a potential DMD and DMU within the city.

[v. - in-fiks-shuhn]
To instill (a fact, idea, etc.) in the mind or memory; Impress

Chicago, Illinois has been looking to plant the seed of incorporating digital manufacturing into the everyday life in an urban environment in a Digital Manufacturing District (DMD). The region referenced in this proposal will be located on Goose Island in Chicago. Within the DMD there will be several smaller scale sites which will house a Digital Manufacturing Unit (DMU). Each unit will be comprised of a mixed-use program which may include any or all of the following sectors: Housing, Retail and Hospitality, Offices, Transportation, and Manufacturing. The first DMU being proposed will plant the seed from which the rest of the island will eventually grow. The manufacturing sector is proposed to be centered around producing aerospace parts for Formula 1 racing cars, so the designs are reflective of such.  Infixion will be a model for others to observe and interpret, and ultimately has the potential to expand beyond its existing boundaries and pop up in other cities around the world.

The Nitty Gritties

core design principles

  • Reflection of the surrounding context is important but should not restrict the design.
  • The design should be influenced by the products the manufacturing sector is exporting, as well as by the atmosphere of constant motion within the iFAB space.
  • Although separating the uses is easiest in terms of structure and functionality, it is important to remember that iFAB is all about collaboration of parts, people, and machines. This should be reflected in successful collaboration of uses.
  • Creating and encouraging a [primarily] pedestrian based district (although allowing for the use of vehicles) pushes for an environment that is friendly to live in, work in, and explore. A major challenge is attempting to successfully and functionally separate pedestrians and bicyclists from traffic to avoid injuries and congestion.
  • An urban environment calls for urban solutions, not suburban ones, but avoiding monotonous urban walls whenever possible is ideal for the most positive experience.


DMD Location: Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois


- Click on the images below to enlarge view. -


digital manufacturing unit

- Click on the images below to enlarge view. -

                                                          Manufacturing Elevator System Diagram