The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Architecture Interior Architecture and Designed Objects department will be holding their first four day design symposium this week from March 8th – March 11th. The symposium, entitled Human Resources, is part of SAIC's spring Mitchell Lecture Series, and is organized by visiting faculty Ann Lui, Eric Ellingsen, Sam Stewart-Halevy, and Sara Huston. Over the four day period they will each be holding lectures and discussions, as well as engaging with a handful of artist and architects. Other participants include, Nico Dockx, Lydia Kallipoliti, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Joseph Grigley, Melissa Orlie, John Paananen, Stuart Sim, Bess Williamson, Aneesh Aneesh, Hannah Frank, Asha Schechter, Markus Miessen, Mitch McEwen, Mechtild Widrich, and Craig Reschke. “The title of the event Human Resources is a way of pulling together group of events that are all looking into, on one hand, the instrumentality of our resources as humans, but also the limitations of what we can accomplish with those resources.” Jonathan Solomon, director of AIADO explained to AN. Each day over the course of the week, teams will present work and discuss topics ranging from architectural pedagogy to contemporary modes of architectural production. Presentations with titles such as Globaloney: How the Sausage is Made will discuss systems of global production. Another Confessions from the Anthropocene looks at the role of design in global environmental crisis. “I see it as a continued investigation into some of the issues that were at play in the department in the fall, and have been for some time,” said Jonathan Solomon. “Around issues in design in a post-growth economy, the role of design in a closed system, as opposed to an open system, and the relationship of design to disciplinarity.” Some discussions will be in and around purpose built installations. On the final day, Chicago-based Future Firm will install “The Uncomfortableness of Getting Into Bed with Others,” an installation they describe as a “participatory” architectural intervention. Design practice The Last Attempt at Greatness will also be producing an installation for the event. “This is absolutely an experiment, just as our show in the fall Outside Design was an experiment,” Solomon explained “We will have a spring show called The Design Show, of graduate work, which will give students opportunity to participate in that kind of experimentation. Outcomes aren’t fixed, and that’s exciting.” Human Resources will be held as SAIC’s LeRoy Neiman Center at 37 S. Wabash Ave Chicago, IL from March 8th-11th.
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An expanse of sustainable timber just clinched the Chicago Architecture Biennial's Lakefront Kiosk Competition
Officials with the Chicago Architecture Biennial today announced the winners of the Lakefront Kiosk Competition, choosing a team whose stated goal was “to build the largest flat wood roof possible.” Dubbed Chicago Horizon, the design is by Rhode Island–based Ultramoderne, a collaboration between architects Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest and structural engineer Brett Schneider. Their pavilion uses cross-laminated timber, a new lumber product that some structural engineers call carbon-negative for its ability to displace virgin steel and concrete while sequester the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide during its growth. Ultramoderne's long, flat roof “aims to provide an excess of public space for the Architecture Biennial and Chicago beach-goers,” according to the project description. Their design rose above 420 other entries from designers in more than 40 countries, and will receive a $10,000 honorarium, as well as a $75,000 production budget to realize the kiosk. BP is providing those funds as part of a $2.5 million grant to the inaugural biennial. Three teams—Lekker Architects, Tru Architekten, and Kelley, Palider, Paros—were finalists for the top honor. Fala Atelier, Kollectiv Atelier, and Guillame Mazars all received an honorable mention. The Biennial has posted a selection of submissions to the Lakefront Kiosk Competition on its Pinterest page.
After the biennial, Chicago Horizon "will find a permanent home in Spring 2016, operating as a food and beverage vendor, as well as a new public space along the lakefront.During the Biennial three other kiosks will be installed along the lakefront. Details on those are due to be announced next week, but here are the preliminary project descriptions:
The Cent Pavilion, designed by Pezo von Ellrichshausen in collaboration with the Illinois Institute of Technology, is a forty-foot tower meant to convey silent and convoluted simplicity. Rock, the kiosk designed by Kunlé Adeyemi in collaboration with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a pop-up pavilion a public sculpture composed from the raw and historic limestone blocks that once protected the city’s shoreline. Summer Vault, designed by Paul Andersen of Independent Architecture and Paul Preissner of Paul Preissner Architects, in collaboration with the University of Illinois, Chicago, is a lakefront kiosk that consists of basic geometric shapes combined to create a freestanding hangout within the park.
Chicago’s top art school announced big changes in its design department this morning. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Thursday announced their selection of Jonathan Solomon as the new Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO). Solomon, who comes from his position as associate professor and associate dean at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, assumes the job officially on August 1. In 2010 Solomon, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture and Certificate in Media and Modernity from Princeton University, helped curate Workshopping: An American Model of Architectural Practice at the Venice Architecture Biennial. He is the co-founder of 306090, a nonprofit arts stewardship organization. He previously taught design at the City College of New York, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Hong Kong, where he led the Department of Architecture as Acting Head from 2009 to 2012. He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois. Solomon recently spoke on a Chicago Architecture Foundation panel discussing Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin’s series on Chicago designers in China. He is related to Lou Solomon, who helped found Chicago design firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB).
Wellington “Duke” Reiter, the president of the School of the Art Institute, has announced he is stepping down and returning to Phoenix, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. Reiter, an architect and former Dean of the College of Design at Arizona State University, arrived at SAIC in 2008. In his brief presidency, he oversaw the opening of the new Sullivan Center Galleries in the old Carson Pirie Scott building as well as curricular reorganization in a sluggish economy. In an email to students and faculty Reiter said he wanted to return to his practice: “I have decided to return to my ongoing work linking the fields of art, design and sustainable urbanism. These issues have always been my passion and I look forward to devoting my full attention to the creation of sustainable city models on a global basis.”
Crain's Chicago Business reports that big-box retailer Target is negotiating with the developers Joseph Freed and Associates for space at the venerable Carson Pirie Scott & Co. building, now named the Sullivan Center. Formerly home of the department store Carson Pirie Scott, the building, designed by Louis Sullivan, has remained largely vacant following a recent substantial rehab effort. The upper floors house the School of the Art Institute Chicago’s departments of architecture, interior architecture, and designed objects and the architectural mega-firm Gensler. The building anchors the slightly more downtrodden southern end of State Street within the Loop. Chicago Business reports that Target has been scouting downtown real estate for months and that serious talks are underway between the retailer and Freed. They note it would be a significant victory for Freed, whose nearby Block 37 development has been tangled in foreclosure suits over the past few months. This would be the second Target store for the downtown area, as a another opened in recent years about one mile away in the South Loop. Perhaps the design savvy retailer will find their next Michael Graves upstairs.
Friend of AN Ryan Lafollette sends this dispatch from the Windy City. Recent graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) architecture and design programs are facing a challenging job market. For those employers looking for new talent, as well as for enthusiasts of design who couldn’t make it to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, SAIC’s department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects is currently showing its graduate design exhibition, Making Modern. While the scope of the projects vary greatly, each promotes sustainable design and living practices, and includes student work featured in Milan. Aiming to reduce costs associated with building air conditioning by up to 20%, Matthew Stewart designed and developed a system of precisely oriented brise-soleil using waste wood from lumber processing and building construction. Slightly more whimsical but with broad implications in the developing world, Taikkun Li created Tibetan prayer wheel generators, fashioned using old bike tires and fan motors, allowing tourists to lessen their impact on an already strained electrical grid. Daniel Sommer attempts to eliminate excuses about cycling to the office. He designed a compact folding hanger and garment bag system that easily slips into your existing messenger bag or carryall. In a competitive market, these innovative, cost-cutting, and energy-efficient designs may give these young practitioners that much needed leg up. Making Modern will be on display in SAIC‘s Sullivan Galleries, located in the Louis Sullivan designed Carson Pirie Scott & Co. Building, 33 South State Street, Seventh Floor, Chicago, through July 25.