Posts tagged with "Reed Kroloff":

Placeholder Alt Text

Reed Kroloff named new dean of IIT's College of Architecture

Reed Kroloff has been named the new dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture in Chicago. The news comes after an extensive search and two years after the school’s last permanent dean, Wiel Arets, exited his five-year term due to rumored frustrations from faculty. Kroloff is principal of jones|kroloff, an advisory practice that has helped lead architect selection processes for major design competitions, educational institutions, businesses, and nonprofits around the world. He previously served as the director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, as dean of Tulane University's School of Architecture, and as editor-in-chief of Architecture Magazine, the predecessor to ARCHITECT. Kroloff holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.  He joins an esteemed list of leaders as IIT’s newest dean—a position first held 80 years ago by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. “As an unapologetic modernist, I’m excited to be part of an institution that has been—and remains—so central to the history and practice of architecture,” said Kroloff in a statement. “There is no more significant laboratory for modern architecture than this school and its campus, nor a more auspicious moment to join Chicago’s only design- and tech-focused university than during the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus.” Kroloff will begin his deanship this fall with the 2019-2020 academic year. 
Placeholder Alt Text

Wasserman Projects holds panel discussion on the future of Detroit architecture

As a part of Detroit's Wasserman Projects exhibition, Desire Bouncing, a panel discussion addressed the future of architecture and art in Detroit. The panel was moderated by Reed Kroloff, principal of Jones Kroloff and former director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. The panel included exhibiting artist Alex Schweder, associate curator at MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design; Sean Anderson, architectural critic; Cynthia DavidsonVenice Biennale U.S. Pavilion co-curator; and Mitch McEwen, assistant professor of Architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan. Detroit is physically changing. Some of its architectural treasures and thousands more of its abandoned homes have been demolished. But now that Detroit is undergoing the slow process of rebuilding, what kind of architecture will replace it? This and other questions were discussed among an expert panel of architects and critics that gathered last Friday at Wasserman Projects, a gallery and event space in a renovated fire truck maintenance facility in Detroit's Eastern Market. Around 50 guests attended the panel discussion, called "Architecture By Any Means Necessary." Kroloff began by asking the panelists, "What are things architecture can do beyond creating a city environment?" "Structures are receptacles for stories, for meanings," said Alex Schweder, an artist who often combines performance and architecture in his work. "The structures in Washington D.C. are a manifestation of stories we tell about our country." "Buildings can perform things we never thought were possible," said Mitch McEwen, a founding partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio. Her example of Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which changed her conception of architecture, lead to an argument about the interaction between a building and its visitors. Cynthia Davidson described her distaste for Detroit's Renaissance Center, the headquarters of General Motors, often criticized for its confusing walkways and lack of synergy with downtown. "[Designer John] Portman makes you realize how controlling architecture can be," she said. In response to a question about what new architecture in Detroit should do, Schweder advocated architects and city managers give up some control. "Our roles can be collaborative with client and users," he said. "People want voice and agency in the look and use of their city." The discussion took a turn towards political issues and actual implementation of these ideas. Sean Anderson, acknowledged the difficulty Schweder's proposal. "History is often not recognized by developers that come and rebuild cities." During the audience question portion of the panel, someone mentioned that vast areas of Detroit that have no architecture, but "only the ghosts of architecture." He then wondered if this "absence" was worth preserving. "Detroit is a city of single family homes," answered McEwen. She felt that memorializing vacancy was the wrong approach. "I hope the city rebuilds, but with respect for the logic of the single family home." Desire Bouncing will be on show through April 9th at the Wasserman Projects at 3434 Russell Street, #502, Detroit, Michigan 48207.
Placeholder Alt Text

Monterey Becomes Eclectic: Lessons from the Monterey Design Conference

A weekend at the 2015 Monterey Design Conference (MDC) held at Asilomar leads to a wealth and variety of insights about architecture and design. Including a lesson in "uglyful," says Guy Horton. I learned some new things at the 2015 Monterey Design Festival. Wait. I meant to write “conference.” Monterey Design Conference. That was a true slip. Everybody knows it’s the Monterey Design Conference. Sorry. But to me it was more like a design festival. And is it just me or did MDC seem edgy and on edge this time around? It seemed to pull the 800+ crowd—the conference sold out for the first time in its history—along for a wild ride. This was in no small measure due to the natural and off-the-cuff tone set by Reed Kroloff, who emceed the whole affair. It was, to mention just a few of the many highlights, a whirlwind of poetry, Jimi Hendrix, hot rods, and light by self-styled “stray dog” Rand Elliott. It was video of Liz Taylor applying makeup, Apocalypse Now, Jimi Hendrix again, and the sublime and sometimes frightening world of the “uglyful” by Atlanta dame Merrill Elam. With her, we all went down the rabbit hole. Feel free to dig deeper into this. Later, back on solid ground, came the precision of Bernard Tschumi’s words and drawings, pulled from the codex of his experience; the urgent, sometimes funny, and always intricate art of Pae White; and Junya Ishigami’s disappearing architecture, which took the wind out of anything that tries too hard or uses too much building material. The “emerging talent” definitely emerged. Doris Kim Sung, principal of DOSU Studio Architecture, pretty much mapped out how she owns the territory of thermobiometals and it will be everybody else’s job to catch up. Using his 15 minutes to the max, Alvin Huang, principal of Synthesis Design + Architecture, posed a series of questions as design propositions that will keep him, and others working in the digital realm, busy for at least the next 15 years. The whole thing was like a carnival, with bonfires and architects in black drinking the local Syrah on Monterey's powdery white sand. I know for a fact that at least one architect went surfing every morning. There was a nice left just off the Asilomar grounds. On the beach I bumped into Takashi Yanai and Patricia Rhee (both in black) from Ehrlich Architects. The entire firm was at MDC to be honored as the 2015 AIA Firm Award winner. “It really makes you think differently,” said Rhee when asked what the conference means to her. “It’s definitely out there,” said Yanai. “It’s like being in school again.” “What was most significant to me was hearing a range of mature, truly individual voices ringing out with specificity and confidence. The individual voice in architecture is something that takes years and years and decades to establish, and for many it never solidifies, never gels,” says MDC conference chair Alice Kimm of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects. The voices were indeed individual and, like Elam’s “uglyful,” had the power to take us outside ourselves, even if only for a weekend. And it worked. It’s all a little hard to pin down in 500 words. Just look at the relentless, blow-by-blow @mdc_conf Twitter feed and you’ll get the idea. “I recommend that everyone experience MDC at least once,” said Kimm. “It has a weird but magical combination of gravitas, levity, and inspiration that stays with you for a long time.”
Placeholder Alt Text

SiTE:LAB Announces 54Jeff Competition Winners

SiTE:LAB has revealed the winners of 54Jeff, its open ideas competition pursuing compelling concepts for the future of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum in the hopes of educating the community on the unique potential of site at 54 Jefferson. The competition objective was based on repurposing the building as a public space while considering both the surviving showcases from when the museum relocated and the site’s proximity to the neighboring structure in which the museum holds the bulk of its collection. Entries were judged on innovation, quality and clarity of presentation, and sensitivity to the site and its context. First prize of $10,000 was awarded to Danielle Berwick (Vancouver, Canada) for a project entitled Reforestation. Second prize of $5,000 was awarded to Doonam Back, Architect, Yann Caclin, Architect, and Hugo Pace, Intern of ABC-STUDIO (France) for their vision titled Light Beams. The third prize of $1,000 and student winner was awarded to Peter Dumbadze (Ann Arbor, MI) of the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning for an entry titled Grand Rapids Automaton. Honorable mentions are:
  • Brito.Rodriguez  - Inês Martins de Brito & Gilberto Rodriguez  (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Progressive AE – Ned Baxter, Thom Danckaert, Robert Ferguson, Ryan Garone, Chad Gould Adam Hopkins, Bryan Koehn, Nate Meade, Dave Trost, Dan Tyrer, Jamie Wansten – (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Martin Antal (Austin, TX)
  • Vert Studio – Jeff Ponitz, Mariana Diaz, and My-Linh Pham (San Luis Obispo, CA)
  • Trampush & Gunn – Bradly Gunn & Aaron Trampush (Seattle, WA)
The jury encompassed Reed Kroloff, Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum; Eva Franch i Gilabert, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York; Stephen Zacks, an internationally recognized architecture and urbanism reporter, theorist and cultural producer; and Alois Kronschlaeger, an artist best known for site-specific installations and sculptures involving environment and light.
Placeholder Alt Text

Kroloff Leaves Full-Time Post at Cranbrook

Reed Kroloff will leave his full-time position as director of Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum for a part-time role, the academy announced Tuesday. In his stead, Cranbrook Trustee and Academy Governor Allan Rothfeder will serve as a special advisor to assist Cranbrook President Dominic DiMarco during the transition period. Kroloff, who left New Orleans in 2007 to become the director of Cranbrook, presided over the construction of a new wing during his time as director. He also founded the academy’s first National Advisory Council and oversaw the formulation of a new strategic plan for the Bloomfield Hills, Mich. institution. Kroloff was previously head of Architecture magazine and served as dean of architecture at Tulane University post-Katrina. He currently serves as an editorial advisor to The Architect's Newspaper. Cranbrook is the country’s top ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design, and fine art, retaining just 150 students each year. Its iconic Eero and Eliel Saarinen-designed campus was a favorite subject of modernist photographer Balthazar Korab. “We’re sad that Reed will be leaving us next year,” DiMarco said in a statement, “but are confident that Reed and Allan will be a great working team during this transition of leadership.”

Only in Venice, kids, only in Venice!

From our roving correspondent Alex Gorlin, who was party-hopping the other night:
Among the guests at Aaron Betsky's 50th birthday celebration on Thursday were Henry Urbach, curator of Architecture at SFMOMA, Laurie Beckelman, UCLA's Sylvia Lavin (who was complaining to Jeff Kipnis about the mosquitoes), Susan Grant Lewin the PR Queen—she barely made the "haj" to the party—the Modern's Barry Bergdoll with Bill Ryall, his partner, Reed Kroloff and Casey Jones. Last and certainly not least was Katherine Gustafson, the Zaha of landscape design, who appeared in a regally flowing white toga-like gown. The setting was her "Garden of Paradise" at the Arsenale,  a coyly-renamed installation in the Garden of Virgins, with vegetables and flowers culminating in a swirling ridge of grassy mounds above which floated giant white ballons and what looked like the remains of a parachute. All in all, an elegant evening, although with no lights on, it was pitch black and so far away that one can only imagine half the guests, a little tipsy perhaps, falling into canals on the trek home.
Robert and Holly Ivy hosted their annual Architectural Record party at the same time as Aaron's fete, causing high anxiety and handwringing among the smart set who wanted to attend both. Many cleverly thought they could go to the Garden of the Virgins and then sprint over to the Accademia Bridge where Bob's soiree was held, not knowing of the tremendous distance between the two. Bergdoll, Kroloff  and Jones, and David Rockwell showed up late in the evening exhausted by the trek. Hans Hollein was already there, looking somewhat fearsome, as were Joseph and Mrs. Rykwert, Charles Jencks, and AN's own Bill Menking and Diana Darling."
—Alex Gorlin
Placeholder Alt Text

Writer's Block

Obviously when we saw that the first event of the first panel discussion on the first day was titled “Writing Building” and was billed as going beyond criticism and academic writing in an effort to recapture a lost audience (Are you still with me here?), we pricked up our ears. 

As it was 10 am in Venice only about a dozen people were in the audience nearly outnumbering the panel itself of international design luminati, including Map Office, French designers crossbreeding writing, video, and design media in Hong Kong, Reed Kroloff, former mastermind of Architecture turned Cranbrook dean, Shumon Basac, a critic to watch from the Architectural Association and writer for Tank magazine, and Yehuda Safran, a distinguished philsopher-critic and founding member of the Architecture Foundation.

 Map talked about the parallel lives of texts & drawings, words & lines and the adventures in China of their fictional creation, Pixel, whose epiphany involving workers at a Venice theme park in  China wearing Santa Claus hats is a fine example of a theme that has been much bandied about at this Biennale: Architects trying too hard to be what they are not—In this instance, Borges or writers.

 Next up was our esteemed colleague Kroloff who did not disappoint with his comment that architecture publishing needs to get sexed up. In the age-old modernist conflict between word and image, Kroloff came down squarely oin the glossy side, saying “If you don’t want to lick the page then something is missing.”

 On the side of the well-written word, TK reminded the audience (now swelled to at least 32) that Nietzche had supplied much of the written foundations for Mies, Corbusier, Loos. Faust, he said, debated which came first the word or the deed and, in an odd segue, Steven Holl at his 50th birthday office party featured magnets all over the wall of the key words motivating his work. So that settles it, I guess.

 But it was Bazar asked the question which really haunts us: Why does architecture produce such bad writing? He suggested that it might have to do with a “plague of bad philosophy” foisted on impressionable architecture students in the 80s by Peter Eisenman et al and pondered whether it might just be better to head for pure fiction, or at least travel writing. His most memorable quote was actually something Rem Koolhaas said: Journalism is the regime of curiosity.