logo

Month

October 2015

Building with Light and Shadow: An Interview with Barbara Kasten

AIA Architect Ι Oct. 30, 2015  Good art, and architecture, can look into the future. There’s French Surrealist Yves Tanguy’s paintings, which would be dead ringers for early computer animation had they not been painted in 1945. There’s the seminal 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower competition, which produced designs that could settle into any contemporary skyline. And there’s pioneering photography artist Barbara Kasten, wh
Read More

A New National Public Housing Museum Begins in the Gap Between “House” and “Housing”

Architectural Record Ι Oct. 27, 2015  For its first home, the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago fittingly chose a local public housing architect—not a globetrotting museum designer. After funding is secured, Landon Bone Baker Architects (LBBA) will adaptively reuse the last standing Jane Addams Home—one of the first public housing projects built in the city, named after a Progressive-era reformer—for the fled
Read More

Besting Venice

Architect Magazine Ι Oct. 2015  In 1977, deep into architecture’s sectarian manifesto wars in the run-up to Postmodernism, the Graham Foundation invited architects from the avant-garde establishment to Chicago to participate in “The State of the Art of Architecture,” a conference organized by Stanley Tigerman, FAIA, and his Chicago Seven (not to be confused with Abbie Hoffman’s Chicago Seven). The speakers, which inc
Read More

From the Epicenter of Modern Architecture, the Chicago Architecture Biennial Expands Outward

  AIA Architect Ι Oct. 16, 2015 In Chicago, size matters. It’s been host to the tallest skyscraper in the world (more than once), the biggest building in the world, and grand visions that reverse the flow of rivers. So the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial was bound to be a behemoth, featuring more than 100 firms from over 30 nations. “It’s the largest exposition of contemporary architecture in the history of N
Read More

Curling Iron: How Thermobimetal Could Change Architecture

Line/Shape/Space Ι Oct. 13, 2015 Ever since the Industrial Revolution gave architects a smorgasbord of new factory-made materials to create buildings with, certain designers have based their identity and designs around signature elements. For Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, it was brawny steel beams and glass. Frank Gehry chose billowing waves of titanium. Mario Botta indulges his postmodern influences with brick. And dram
Read More

Crow Island School: Why Don’t All Schools Look Like this One?

CityLab Ι Oct. 9, 2015 Crow Island School, in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, Illinois, is a beloved icon of progressive school design. With bright and airy L-shaped classrooms, exquisite material details, and kiddie-scaled everything, Crow Island is something like the Seagram Building of elementary schools. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the school’s influence has reached far and wide. But if that’s the
Read More

10 Highlights from the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Metropolis Ι Oct. 6, 2015  Any architecture biennial worth its salt is a sprawling, unruly beast, with size enough for surreal thought experiments, art devoid of function, and slick, concise building models alike. The Chicago Architecture Biennial is no different, and its main exhibition in the Chicago Cultural Center gathers the majority of the event’s 100-plus participating firms under one intricately coffere
Read More

Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye

Architect Magazine Ι October 2015  The stock in trade of David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA, is to start with a material-kit-of-parts influenced by things old and hand-crafted (fabric weaving, early decorative metal works, mud-brick construction) and end with public spaces that still read as Modern. Adjaye’s first mid-career retrospective focuses on his firm Adjaye Associates‘ spate of African and developing world project
Read More

WBEZ Chicago Architecture Biennial Preview

I had the awesome experience of chatting with WBEZ Morning Shift host Jason Marck about the Chicago Architecture Biennial. I complimented his Italian, and got to hang out in the green room with Chicago rapper Rhymefest, who was on before me, which sorta makes him my opening act. He was plugging a documentary about reuniting with his estranged father. You can listen to my spot here. 
Read More