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“It’s been six months, why haven’t you updated your blog?”

October 23rd, 2017

Because I’ve been busy! Work is going well (I think!), life is going okay (but it’s stressful, trying to balance everything), and sometimes you just need to put your hobbies away for a while.

That being said, while I was away I managed to do a few super-cool things (both through Legat)!

- BETWEEN STATES I was part of a two-person design team with Loren Johnson, a fellow alum of Judson University a few years ahead of me and co-worker at Legat (with a three-person advisory/directing board from Legat, who gave invaluable feedback and support to us both inside and outside of the firm). 

Legat was invited to participate in the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s ongoing exhibit, BETWEEN STATES, which examines the fifty wards within the city of Chicago, and asked fifty of the most prominent design firms in the city to respond to a random ward’s unique challenges and potential for future growth. 

We selected Ward 37, home of the Austin and West Garfield Park neighborhoods, as the site for a new urban micro-city that would reinvigorate the local economy while re-utilizing the existing asset of the ward’s old freight rail network to create urban green spaces in some of Chicago’s most troubled neighborhoods. 

BETWEEN STATES is now on display at the Chicago Architecture Foundation until January 2018, as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s ongoing exhibits. You can visit the exhibit online here, and you can see Legat’s entry here. Hopefully, there will be a new page for it right here at justinbanda.us early next month. 

- NOVA SANCTA Earlier this month, Legat invited designers to contribute new works of art to auction away, to benefit the Beacon Place Community Center in southern Waukegan. Over thirty people contributed digital art, photography, sketches, watercolors, and even lamps and home-brewed beer to auction off. 

I was thrilled to produce a new series of digital double-exposure pieces entitled NOVA SANCTA. The text for the submission reads: The New Saints is a reflection on the paradigm shift in power from belief to sight, over the course of the last two millennia. The juxtaposition of classical heroes, saints, and personifications of antiquity against modern-day urban imagery asks the question: what does power look like today? Does it corrode with time? Is it temporal? Or is power simply a reflection of the zeitgeist? These images are a gestalt that combines photography of classical statues from Rome, Florence, and San Juan with gritty imagery from New York and Tokyo, forcing the viewer to re-examine the world with new eyes. 

All six NOVA SANCTA pieces can be viewed on my website, here. To learn more about Beacon Place and how their organization benefits children in the northern Illinois region, check out this link

- BEAUTY IN THE COMMON The 2016 Beauty in the Common journals are finally coming to life in a brand-new book. More info coming soon, but it’s exciting to have contributed to such an incredible project! Many thanks to Ian Simkins and the other amazing contributors who I am honored to stand next to. 

- JUDSON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE 20th ANNIVERSARY In the middle of all of this chaos, I was thrilled to be featured in the Judson University School of Architecture’s 20th Anniversary alumni show, among such a stellar lineup of talent from the school’s many years. My portfolio, which you can view online here, was featured as a standard for what the Judson program can produce. The show ran through the month of September at the Draewell Gallery in the Harm A. Weber Academic Center at Judson University. 

- KAIRA LOORO Unfortunately, the mosque I designed with Jacob Patterson and Tyler Wade did not place in the Kaira Looro competition. However, I’m extremely proud of the product we produced, and it was an honor just to participate. You can view our entry here (and also view the supporting document I created to learn more about the project here), and you can learn more about the competition’s purpose and relief aid here

- COMING SOON There’s always more coming down the pipeline. I’ve just entered a new competition (solo, for the first time!), and there’s always stuff going on regardless. As always, thanks for visiting!