Since the Chicago Home Insurance building was unveiled in 1885, its new typology – the skyscraper – has fascinated the human imagination. Skyscrapers are both the product necessity, as the global population shifted towards cities beginning in the Industrial Age, and desire, as architects sought explore the latent possibilities brought about by technological advances.With an increasing majority of people worldwide living in cities, the future is urban. As land becomes scarcer, communities will economize space by going vertical. Advancements in construction and technology continue to raise the limit of how high we can build. In the relentless craze to reach new heights, driven by real estate speculation resulting from decreased land availability and bragging rights over can make ‘the tallest’ we have overlooked one question: should we? As buildings tower, upwards the social fabric of a community is stretched thinner, effectively enclosing people within vertical suburbs. Thus, the question posed by developers, builders, and architects should not be “can we build higher?” but rather, “how can space be manipulated and connected to create truly vertical communities?”Tatiana Bilbao Estudio’s proposal attempts to reconcile vertical urbanization within a tower typology capable of fostering a city’s civic character. Since cities are not the product of a singular vision, but patchworks of spatialized historical layers, the project attempts to emulate this process by subdividing the tower into 192 plots and collaborating with fourteen collaborators – each responsible for designing their own plot while maintaining a connection to neighboring sections. Each piece puts forth a vision for the design of the tower and the construction of a city, realizing a three-dimensional matrix of possibilities.Collaborators statements and short biographiesMax Von WerzThis proposal recombines diverse patterns of vertical circulation in form of a monolithic stair that transcends its simple function of connecting, generating a varied architectural promenade that encourages leisurely exploration and contemplation.Max von Werz founded his practice in 2012, working in the field of architecture at a variety of scales with a particular interest in urban planning as well as projects related to the contemporary arts field.T–OT–O’s Housing raise the question of how can we provide a flexible system that allow multiple families to co-exist and expand within vertical limitations.T–O’s FabLab is a self-quote to Tatiana's Tower: A mini Model Tower surrounded by a scaffold that invites the visitor to climb, work and peep in a vertical workshop.T–O is the architectural workshop established in Mexico City leaded by José Amozurrutia and Carlos Facio. The alliance between the T and the O is born from the faith in dialogue, between architects and citizens, between complementary ideas and collective work.GSAPPColumbia GSAPP’s students are no strangers to frantic, super-dense urban conditions. We have no choice but to collaborate with our colleagues on whom we are, often literally, vertically stacked. Our entries for (Not) Another Tower pay tribute to these delirious delights of New York City: where extremely diverse scenes and programs are allowed to coexist shoulder-to-shoulder, where epic monuments and industries become background scenery for the normal everyday hustle, where bleeding-edge innovation is so saturated as to be taken for granted.The Fabrication Lab is Columbia GSAPP’s analog/digital production facility, as well as a classroom and laboratory for the student body. The Fab Lab supports all making endeavors from design inception to final production, as well as serving as a clearinghouse for the ideas that may not have the space, equipment, or capacity for mess available in studio. The Fab Lab has one faculty manager and is otherwise run and maintained by over thirty student crew.Only-IfWhat is a contemporary monument? Our proposal is an inversion of the circulation space found in the base of Trajan’s Column. The monument becomes not a fixed urban object, but rather an unfolding sequence of movement and public space. Only If is a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism founded in 2013. When approaching any project, the studio focuses on fundamental questions and potentials. The ambition of this process is to envision simple gestures and forms that impose structure, coherence, and identity.MMXGeometry and structure are the main elements defining space. Systems of aggregation where the simplest repetition of a structural component yields a great variety of spatial conditions and hierarchies.MMX was established in 2010 by Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Río, Emmanuel Ramírez and Diego Ricalde. Its practice, a collaborative multi-disciplinary team based in Mexico City, focuses on design processes across a diverse range of scales. Javier Sánchez ArquitectosTaking advantage of the vertical urbanization we extracted spaces that conform a traditional house, interpreting them in terms of needs and goods to turn them into common services that allow them to best fill these needs in collective ways.JSa works with collective processes to achieve communal strategies at distinct scales. We learn from context, work pragmatically and adapt to social, environmental and urban changes. Since 1996 the studio has built a vision to reconvert, rehabilitate, restore, reinsert, and re-densify cities. We consider JSa to be part of a continuous learning process of investigation, working with clients, and developing projects.Taller TornelThe project responds to the necessity to make an atypical space within a totality – a type of rebellion in this spatial experiment. This place of colored walls and half-moon shapes plays out in our imaginations. Chromatic lines give the sensation of entering a minimalist gallery from the 70s.Taller Tornel is an art and architecture production workspace established in 2012 which creates works across a variety of mediums that express complex ideas through simple formal moves and material honesty.Fernanda CanalesHow to Live in a Tower puts into question standard types of vertical housing which don’t address the fluid nature that exists between different floor levels and between the inside and the outside; what is personal and what is collective.Fernanda Canales earned a PhD in architecture from the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid as well as a master’s degree from the Escuela Técnica of Barcelona. Her work has received numerous awards and she is the author of several books on architecture.[RAW] DesignTowers have not been designed for our inner child... or our actual children. This Kinder-Grid echoes the structure of the larger tower yet at a child’s scale. It introduces spontaneous play, learning and interaction to this new, vertical environment.[RAW]Design is a collaboration between Rebekah and Adam Wagoner. The firm was founded in 2009 to realize a new restaurant concept in the middle of Kansas.RAW Design works within all scales and typologies and strives to create meaningful space that is rooted in a larger architectural narrative. The firm is currently based in Denver, Colorado.Solomonoff Arhcitecutre StudioArt is not a privilege for a few, but a constant common and popular search to transcend our finite lives.The integration of artistic expression is not a luxury, but rather, an integral proposition that allows us to live closer and better together.Proactive Investments in housing, culture, art, education and sports offer better financial returns than reactionary measures in policing, hospitalization, remediation or incarceration.SAS/Solomonoff Architecture Studio is a New York based award-winning design firm lead by Galia Solomonoff. The firm straddles art and architecture and has collaborated with over 50 international artists. The work ranges in scope from adaptive reuse to new construction, and in scale from art installations, to homes, to large museums. SAS works to integrate design concepts with clear construction detailing to deliver projects that are precise and poised.Escobedo SolizThis proposal recombines diverse patterns of vertical circulation in form of a monolithic stair that transcends its simple function of connecting, generating a varied architectural promenade that encourages leisurely exploration and contemplation.Escobedo Soliz is an architecture studio established in Mexico City in 2011. Its practice is based off the search for a continuous aesthetic-ethic, where design processes are as important as the final result.