Cross-Training Diversity:
Midwest Olympic - Paralympic Sport / Recreation Center

ARCH 572 | Spring 2013
Assistant Professor Carl Lewis

From ancient civilizations to the present day, sports have transformed into a social, economic and cultural phenomena; and more importantly, a significant and unique element of our society. We’re affected not just through the obvious active participation of the elite athletes, but more notably for its positive impact on our personal health. The evolution of the recreational or “weekend warrior” athlete has erupted, i.e., training/working out in recreational centers, competitive sports events (Marathon, Iron Man, adult leagues, etc.)  As a result, sports have be come the most popular cultural and nationalistic expression throughout all international societies to accommodate everyone’s interests - active or passive.

The Olympic Oath states "In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."  This is a n example of how sports have become a lexicon in the global culture as athletes aspire to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic games. For a few weeks, millions of people come together to stand, cheer and express national celebrate our common humanity. More importantly, we forget our differences and honor our sameness. The advances in science and technology have allowed people with disabilities to interact and participate in society farther than imagined just twenty-five years ago. This allowed people with disabilities, in some cases, to physically compete on an even “playing field” with their able-bodied peers. As a result, the number of athletes participating in the summer games has increased from 400 athletes from 23 countries during the 1960 Rome Olympiad, to over 14,000 athletes from 204 countries competing at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Architectural design for sport venues involves more than structure and construction, but should be seen as a reflection of our cultural and societal development. This studio will explore design principles that should reveal and describe the patterns that give life and fulfillment to the community.