A selection of GSD events posters has been acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago for its permanent collection...Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design, described the acquisition as "an invaluable addition to the department's holdings." — Harvard GSD News
In the archives of the Architecture and Design department of the Art Institute of Chicago are one-of-a-kind drawings and models. These are artifacts of built and unbuilt projects documenting the process and ideas of architects from Adler and Sullivan to Jeanne Gang and Diller + Scofidio. There are also architectural fragments, design objects, and furniture pieces which make up the museum's robust collection. The most recent acquisition to the department's holdings, however might simply be stored in a tube or a modest flat file drawer.
Students and faculty at any architecture school are used to receiving a folded copy of the semester's visiting lecturers in their mailbox. These seasonal posters become ubiquitous around campus as they are taped, pinned, and posted along the hallways also. So what has inspired the elevation of such event posters to become archived by the Art Institute of Chicago?
Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design, described the acquisition as "an invaluable addition to the department's holdings."
As design objects, they are an opportunity for the school to distribute a branded, aesthetic take-away. The equivalent of a concert poster within the world of academia, they can also live on as momentos. Remember that talk that so-and-so gave on such-and-such topic? Yeah, I was there.
In terms of content, the featured speakers and titles of the talks reflect the pedagogical field where school operates. It highlights the set of key figures within the academic realm which in turn illuminates the larger cultural context. The types of lectures point to the theoretical ideas that form the foundation of academic discourse as well as the current concerns which stir amongst the students.
A collection of lecture posters will be just as telling of the culture of a school as a catalog of student work.