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Architecture

The Brilliant Artist That Chicago, and the World, Nearly Forgot

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι June 18, 2018  Edgar Miller was a virtuoso in any medium he chose: painting, sculpture, stained glass, architecture, interior design, printmaking, metalwork, cutlery, graphic design. He put those prodigious skills toward building a creative community on Chicago’s near-north side in the 1920s and beyond. Miller’s handful of architecture projects (a series of live-work lofts) stretched th
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At the Venice Biennale, Jeanne Gang Uses Memphis’s Cobblestones to Reflect on Monuments and Messy Civic Histories

Metropolis Magazine Ι May 23, 2018 “How do you make the stones talk?” asks the architect Jeanne Gang. It’s not a philosophical posture, but an earnest question and one at the center of Studio Gang’s soon-to-open 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale installation at the U.S. Pavilion. The stones Gang refers to were plucked out of storage, but they were originally lodged at Memphis Landing, also called Cobblestone Landing,
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Chicago Exhibit Spotlights Charlotte Perriand’s Alpine Ski Resort

Metropolis Magazine Ι May 23, 2018  The most impressive item depicted at Matthew Rachman’s exhibit of Charlotte Perriand–designed furniture is conspicuously absent from his Chicago gallery—it was too big to fit. The object in question, a gleaming red and white prefab bathroom produced for the designer’s Les Arcs ski resort in the French Alps, was an inch too big to slide inside the Ukrainian Village space, even with
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Blue Light Special: The Chicago-Area High School in an Old Kmart

CityLab Ι May 8, 2017 Belvidere Road is an unremarkable stretch of suburbia in Waukegan, Ill., north of Chicago, lined with highway-sign staples: gas stations, car washes, fast-food joints, and a low-rent motel. It was only after a previous deal to move his private high school into a converted office building fell through that Preston Kendall came up with the idea to slide into the abandoned Kmart here. Kendall saw t
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The Invasive Species Exhibit Wriggles Into the Art World Using Augmented Reality

Redshift Ι April 12, 2018 Site-specific and speculating on a possible future, surreally biomorphic and also digital, artist Felice Grodin’s Terrafish installation is proudly in-betwixt and in-between. This digital model, part of the Invasive Species exhibit at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), doesn’t exist in real space: It uses augmented reality (AR) as a new medium at the fore of art and architecture. The show of
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Interview with Yesomi Umolu

Architectural Record Ι March 19, 2018 Yesomi Umolu is interested in applying her multi-disciplinary expertise (with stops in architecture school, practice, and the elite contemporary art curatorial class) and globe-trotting personal and professional background to a biennial that speaks to an equally wide range of public audiences. “The biennial is for and of the city of Chicago, as well as being a big international p
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Carol Ross Barney is Chicago’s New Daniel Burnham

Metropolis Magazine Ι January 2018 As a lifelong Chicagoan, Carol Ross Barney has seen the Chicago River transition from an effluent-filled cargo highway to a vibrant recreational spot, one where her grandsons go fishing. “They can throw their line in and pull out two- to three-inch fish immediately,” she says. It has even become a habitat for otters. As for people, the river has become an alternative commuting path:
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At this Montreal school, big sounds come in small packages

Doggerel Ι November 14, 2017  The design for La Musique Aux Enfants began with one key question: “How can we make a basement sound more like a concert hall?” said Willem Boning, an acoustic consultant with Arup. The brainchild of Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal director Kent Nagano, the Musique Aux Enfants program is a collaborative initiative by the orchestra, the Université de Montréal, and the Commission scolair
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Photo by Lee Bey.

Architecture Beyond the A-List

October 12, 2017 Ι CityLab Away from the main exhibit of the Chicago Architecture Biennial—the country’s biggest architecture festival, on show through January—there are a half-dozen smaller “anchor” shows, hosted by neighborhood arts organizations far from downtown. These reveal a different side to Chicago’s architectural legacy, famed for the White City of 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the rational Modernism of Mie
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Frank Lloyd Wright Was a Proto-Algorithmic Architect

Metropolis Ι Oct. 12, 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright’s field of influence is so wide, it’s hard to tell where it starts and ends. As America’s foremost architect, he helped popularize design concepts that are held up as evidence of progressive values and progressive architecture. His notion of building with natural landscapes takes on new meaning in the era of low-carbon energy efficiency. His penchant for incorporating loc
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