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    So much to Do, So much to See

    Matthew Messner
    Apr 1, '11 1:27 AM EST

    There is a lot happening around here lately and I am going to try and keep up with it on here.

    Last week was "Spring Break", which did not feel like spring or a break with temperatures in the 20s and low 30s and multiple 15hr work days to get ready for a pin up on Monday and a theory paper that was due on Tuesday.

    Mondays pin up was a fairly quick affair with much discussion of the integration of egress cores into the language of the building, as well as initial ideas of how we were going to model our 1/16 models for this coming Monday. Those models will be 16x16x6, so big.

    Out side of studio we finished up our second paper for Theory. The premise of these papers is that we were to take two of the figures or movements from the lectures and readings and relate them as they pertained to a specific idea that could be used as a lens for understanding our semester Visionary Chicago Project. My Visionary Chicago Project is the unbuilt National Life Insurance Building By FLLW. More on that is in this earlier post andhere. My paper was a discussion about the over arching top down planning methods of Kenzo Tange and the Metabolist as opposed to the more bottom up population defined concepts put forth by Constant and the Situationists (those crazy guys). Can I post up a 1200 word paper on here? Would anyone want to read it? I might do that. It's pretty fun.

    As mentioned in an older post, UIC is doing some hiring. The list of Candidates for the Assistant Professorship are here. And the Candidates for the Professor in Practice are..... drumroll.....
    Andrew Zago and Sam Jacob! come on down. Here is the little write up on them and the dates for their lectures/grilling....

    Andrew Zago, Thursday, April 7, 5:30pm
    Andrew Zago, principal of Zago Architecture, has over twenty years of professional experience in architecture, urbanism, and education. He began professional practice in 1987 after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Zago Architecture has offices in Detroit and Los Angeles. The firm has completed projects in the US and Korea and its work has appeared internationally in books, professional journals, and reviews. Notable among the firm’s projects are the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Fine Venture Office Tower, completed in association with Yamasaki Associates, Korea, the Greening of Detroit Pavilion and a design studio facility for Cornell University’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

    Zago currently teaches at the SCI-Arc, where he serves as coordinator of Visual Studies. He has also taught at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, UCLA and the Ohio State University, and from 2003 to 2007 he was the founding director of the Master of Architecture program at the City College of New York. Zago frequently lectures, and his work has been exhibited in Berlin, New York, Cornell University, Princeton, and Los Angeles. Zago is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a member of the National Register of Peer Professionals of the General Services Administration in Washington. He is a recipient of both an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellowship Grant from the United States Artists organization.

    Sam Jacob, Monday, April 11, 1pm
    Sam Jacob is an architect, writer, critic, and founding director of the London based architecture and design practice, FAT. Current projects include Middlehaven, a 70-unit residential building in Middlesborough, the BBC Media Village in Cardiff, and Our Lady of Essex (with Grayson Perry). Jacob was also the partner in charge of the Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid project in Holland, a park, cultural centre, and community facilities developed in collaboration with WiMBY! and shortlisted for a World Architecture Award.

    Jacob received his Diploma in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and has taught and lectured at universities in Europe and the US, most recently as the Bishop Professor in Architecture and the Louis I Kahn Professor of Architecture at Yale. Other positions include post-graduate unit master at the University of Westminster, the Architectural Association, and University of Greenwich. Jacob is a frequent contributor to public architectural debate through regular lectures and symposia. He writes and is architecture editor of Contemporary. Jacob is a columnist for the Architects Journal, and contributes to magazines and journals including Icon, Art Review, Frieze, Metropolis, and Log.

    dang, looks good.

    For the Assistant Professorship we have heard from Kelly Bair from Sci-Arc, Stewart Hicks from UI Champaign Urbana, Reto Geiser from the ETH, Luis Ortega from ETSAB in Barcelona (I actually missed this one booo) and just yesterday Branden Hookway from Cornell.

    Hicks and Geiser spent some time with our class for a pin up and then a review, respectively. Hicks in particular seemed to know the crowed he was talking to and his presentation was very UIC. Bairs work had that very Sci-Arc feel to it (or my stereotype of it) which is not alien to UIC in any means as some of our faculty hails form that institution. Reto Geiser presented some published work that he had worked on that was meant to question publishing practices/book interface/ reader experience. Also with faculty from ETH here, his work seemed to speak a language that is understood here.
    Reto Gieser at our review... reviewing

    And then there was Brandon Hookway. Perhaps there is a slight to major bias to Hookway as we have read from his book Pandemonium in a previous Theory class, but I must say I greatly enjoyed his presentation. So much so that I think I am going to write a whole post about it. This weekend (I hope).

    There has been no open discussion about which way the administration is leaning so far and we have yet to hear from Paul Andersen who will be giving his presentation on Wednesday April 6. It has been exciting to see some of the possible ideas that could come to the school in the near future.

    It is no secret that in the last few years Director Somol has turned UIC in a very new Direction from the path laid out by former directors, most notably Stanley Tigerman. This shift (to put it lightly) has come with great criticism and conversely with great results. I imagine that there will be some discussion of the choice of all of these candidates to both of those extremes. Perhaps more can be said about that in another post at another time.

    In other events, this Friday will be packed with fun. The Graduate Open House will bring in next years crop of fresh faces. (I know some of you are reading this) I have my hazing paddle ready.

    Friday UIC will also have a lecture from Thomas Leeser of Leeser Architecture, New York. at 6pm.

    At the Museum of Contemporary Art the Department of Urban Speculation (a group I am heavily involved with) will be opening an exhibit in the 12x12 space during the MCA First Friday. Much more on this event and the upcoming lecture later this month. Everyone in the Chicago/midwest should go check out this exhibit about being inside of an architectural drawing.

    Outside of school, Jeanne Gang is releasing her first book, Reveal: Studio Gang Architects, on Friday at the Stop Smiling storefront (two doors down from my gallery/home yeay!!). A lot of people are very excited about this. The book is beautiful and full of tons of awesome process stuff. I am very excited because a good friend of mine Alissa Anderson, did a great deal of work on this book as an editor among other things. read her blog, great writer.

    what else...what else...?
    Jenna Wolf, a former student/current faculty, and Lyndsay Pepple, a current Masters of Design Criticism student (MADCrit is a degree offered in our Arch school) recently got an Honorable Mention in an international design competition, "Network Reset: Rethinking the Chicago Emerald Necklace." They got a shout out on ArchDaily for that one. You can read a bit more about their project there. BING!
    Wolf and Pepple's Rethinking

    There are only four weeks left of school and then... well... sleep.

    Then Copenhagen for seven weeks... lots more on that in due time.

    wow that's a lot. thanks for reading


    • 1 Comment

    • jacobs is looking to move to chicago or would it be just a temp (1 yr) gig?

      Apr 2, 11 12:26 am  · 

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An in-depth look at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago. The People, The Happenings, The Projects, and the Discussion.

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