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To Fix Its Aging Infrastructure, the US Could Learn a Thing or Two From Chicago

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι May 16, 2019  In its latest report card, released in 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave US infrastructure a D+. Two years on, this rating still stands—and in the seven times the association has assessed the nation’s infrastructure since the 1980s, scores have steadily declined. By infrastructure type, the best score (for rail systems) is a B. The worst, for public tr
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‘The Whole World a Bauhaus’ Reveals a Movement’s Fault Lines

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι March 13, 2019 The centenary exhibition “The Whole World a Bauhaus” is touring the globe, and is now making its only U.S. stop, through April 20, at the Elmhurst Art Museum in the western suburbs of Chicago. (The Elmhurst has earned its stripes, boasting a house on its campus designed by a Bauhaus director, Mies van der Rohe.) More than 400 objects, mostly photographs, are crammed into
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The Bauhaus in the Age of Frictionless Design

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι March 14, 2019  The Institute of Design at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) may be the most direct offspring of the Bauhaus, which was the most influential design school in the world. Founded by former Bauhaus faculty member László Moholy-Nagy in 1937, and later absorbed into IIT (whose architecture school was then led by Mies van der Rohe, himself a former Bauhaus direc
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For the Atlanta-Based Firm BLDGS, No Building Is Beyond Rescuing

Metropolis Magazine Ι March 2019  Atlanta’s west side is strewn with recycling centers, warehouses, shipping companies, abandoned rail lines, and other markers of light industry. It’s a grimy setting but one that architects Brian Bell and David Yocum felt ineluctably drawn to; there, inside a former auto-parts shop in 2006, they founded BLDGS. A comically inadequate title card above the buzzer announces the firm’s pr
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With Haus Gables, Architect Jennifer Bonner Celebrates and Critiques the American Single-Family House

Metropolis Magazine Ι March 2019  There’s an irresistible meta-critique at the heart of architect Jennifer Bonner’s Haus Gables in Atlanta, asking: What if you blurred the lines between real architecture and the media and methods used to simulate it, namely drawings and models? A professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) with a practice of her own, Bonner is fascinated by this potential interchangeability.
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Do Legacy Construction Companies Have the Inside Track on Modular Building?

Redshift Ι January 8, 2019  Fresh-faced, tech-oriented startups get most of the attention in the modular-building world, but despite their “it” factor, they’re still startups. Is there a market share in modular just waiting for companies with the approach and know-how that come with legacy experience? Chicago-based legacy construction company Skender has been researching modular construction for years and is now gett
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What Makes Us Us

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι May 2019 Since its inception, it’s been hard to find much agreement in landscape architecture over the profession’s purpose and how it should work. For some contemporary designers, landscape architecture, in theory if a bit less in practice, is most visible when ecological systems are designed and deployed to remediate the earth, water, air, and biomes, often at an infrastructural sc
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Why Architecture is Important

ACSA Ι Jan. 14, 2019 If you ever wondered why architecture is important—look up and around. You are likely surrounded by it right now. Architecture’s grasp—that is, buildings and the designed environment—ends only in extreme conditions (the bottom of the ocean, the atmosphere, and a few dwindling spots on terrestrial earth.) Unique among creative and artistic professions, architecture must always reflect the age and
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Circle of Light

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι January 2019  From the University of Chicago’s Crerar Science Quad, one can see the entire scope of the 128-year-old university’s built history. Bordered by science buildings and one medical school facility, the dominant Collegiate Gothic flavor of the university’s campus is present in the quad’s southern and southeastern edge, anchored by the dour Abbott Memorial Hall. To the north,
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The Design Media Needs to Examine Its Own Privilege

Common Edge Ι Nov. 20, 2018 Kate Wagner grew up in rural North Carolina. As a kid, her mom, who never went to college, worked in a grocery store deli and later in childcare. Her dad had a steady government job with a pension, and his time in the military meant he had the resources and benefits needed to get a college degree. Wagner describes her economic background as “one foot in the working class and one foot in th
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