Marshall Brown is a registered architect in Chicago and Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has a broad range of experience working with a diverse body of organizations including the New York City Council, U.S. Department of Energy, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Municipal Art Society of New York, and the Smithsonian Institute. He was selected among America’s top designers to represent the United States at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Western Exhibitions in Chicago. His works and writing have appeared in several books and journals, including Architectural Record, Metropolis Magazine, The New York Daily News, Art Papers, The Believer, and New Directions in Sustainable Design. He has also lectured nationally and internationally on 21st century architecture, urban design and public space.

Lili Du is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. degree in Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems with a minor in Operations Research and Statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. Dr. Du’s research is characterized by applying operations research, network modeling and statistical methods into transportation system analysis and network modeling. Dr. Du’s current research covers several interdisciplinary research areas in Transportation Engineering, such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Infrastructure System Modeling, Sustainable Multimodal Transportation Systems, Real-Time Traffic Sensing, and so on. Dr. Du’s research articles have appeared in several top transportation journals, including Transportation Research Part B, Transportation Research Part C, Networks and Spatial Economics. Dr. Du is currently a member of Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation Network Modeling (ADB30) and serves on the editorial board for this committee. She is also on the editorial board of International Journal of Business Analytics.

Laura Forlano is an Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design. She is a Fulbright award-winning and National Science Foundation funded scholar, a social scientist and design researcher who has been researching the intersection between emerging technologies and the future of cities for the past ten years in the US, Canada, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Australia and Japan. Forlano is a frequent speaker on topics related to smart cities and the ‘internet of things’ on invited panels at academic and professional institutions, conferences and events including The Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University and The Architecture League of New York. Most recently, she was a keynote speaker at a workshop on “Predicting the City” (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and, in 2011, she was a speaker at the SmartCity Expo World Congress (Barcelona, Spain). Forlano has worked with and advised a range of non-profit organizations, foundations and international organizations including the Institute for the Future, the Social Science Research Council, New America Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and the World Bank. She is regularly interviewed by the mainstream media; she has been quoted in the New York Times, New York Post, New York Press and New York Observer among other venues. Forlano has testified before the New York City Council and represented the public on the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee.

Ron Henderson is Professor and Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a landscape architect and architect with nationally and internationally recognized projects that investigate urban ecology at the territorial scale such as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Forest Park, Tongzhou Ecological Park, and Yinzhou Central Park. At the site specific scale, he recently completed award-winning gardens at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and collaborated on the Memorial for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Nantes, France. He is an activist designer who has worked with neighborhoods to redesign transportation rights of way for more diverse uses – most recently with City Walk, a seven mile route that connects eight neighborhoods in Providence, Rhode Island. He is Professor and Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at Illinois Institute of Technology and has held prior appointments at Harvard University, The Pennsylvania State University, Tsinghua University, Rhode Island School of Design and Roger Williams University. He is the author of “The Gardens of Suzhou” published by The University of Pennsylvania Press as well as over forty book chapters, articles, and proceedings. He has been invited to lecture in North America, Asia, and Europe on topics of landscape architecture and urbanism.

Jack Guthman’s practice encompasses a wide range of activity before state and local boards, commissions, the Illinois General Assembly and the Congress of the United States. During his career, he has represented clients in hundreds of negotiations with and public hearings before government bodies. His experience includes 17 years as a member of the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, the last 12 of those years as its Chairman. The scope of Mr. Guthman’s activities also includes landmarks, vacation, dedication and easement, traffic and transportation, water and sewer, aviation and legislative matters as they relate to development in every sector of Chicago and in municipalities throughout the metropolitan area. Further, Mr. Guthman has been responsible for the representation of public bodies, including the Chicago World’s Fair – 1992 Corporation and later the Chicago World’s Fair – 1992 Authority, the City of Chicago, Cook County, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and the Chicago Park District. Mr. Guthman lectures widely before professional groups and at law schools on the administrative and regulatory process.

Additional Project Credits

Research Associates: Siyuan Gong, Sarah Hanson, Maryam Heidaripour, Nilay Mistry, Conor O’Shea, Stephen Ulman

Book Design: Thirst /

Industrial Design: Martin Kastner / Crucial Detail



Our team is extremely grateful to the Nayar Family Foundation for their generous financial support of this project. We would also like to thank the Illinois Institute of Technology, The College of Architecture, The Institute of Design, and The Armour College of Engineering for contributing support that helped move these visions of the future toward reality.

Illinois Institute of Technology’s Nayar Prize is a $1 million-plus prize package established to encourage and challenge Illinois Tech faculty, staff, and students to develop breakthrough, innovative projects that will, within three years, produce meaningful results with a societal impact.