Saturday, April 18
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (times approximate)
Museum Members $65; Public $75 Buy tickets
Note: To receive the member discount, members must log in after clicking through to the ticket purchase screen. Please place the tickets you would like to purchase in your cart and the discount will be applied when you check out. For information about Driehaus Museum memberships, please see the Join section on the website or call 312 482 8933, ext. 21.
Join us this spring for a new travel tour which takes us to Lake Bluff, Illinois to visit Crab Tree Farm, a private estate with farm buildings that display Arts and Crafts collections in settings that have been purposely designed to reflect the aesthetics of the movement. Furniture displayed includes the work of Gustav Stickley (1858–1942), a prominent figure of the American Arts and Crafts movement. In addition to furniture, the collection includes artwork (metal ware, ceramics, textiles, paintings, etc.) created by American, English, and European designers, makers, and artists. An additional stop will be made after lunch, en route back to Chicago.
Fees include guided tours, lunch, and round-trip transportation by motor coach from the Driehaus Museum. For questions about accessibility during the tours, please call 312.482.8933, ext. 31.
Thursday March 26, 2015
6:00pm reception, 7:00pm lecture
$10 per person / $8 for museum members
Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Reservations requested to 312-326-1480
This lecture will introduce three important women sculptors of the early 1900s and what their careers contributed to American sculpture, architecture, and landscape design. It considers subject matter and style within the biography of each artist. Glessner House features an Anna Hyatt Huntington bronze entitled "Rolling Bear Cub" in its collection.
This lecture is co-sponsored by Friends of Historic Second Church.
Call for Papers: Architectural Theory Review, vol. 20, no. 2
To be published August 2015
Special Issue: Corruption
Editor: Adam Jasper
The New York City 1916 Zoning Resolution was designed in order to ensure light reached the streets of Manhattan. It dictated massing at certain heights in a way that shaped the signature New York skyscraper up until the Second World War. In 1961, the successful example of the 1958 Seagram Plaza lead city authorities to rewrite the laws to encourage developers to create public places in exchange for extra height, and the form of the skyscraper changed again. Inside the building, the appearance and materials of office furniture also transformed in response to accelerations in tax depreciation. The privately owned public spaces that Seagram Plaza engendered include Zuccotti Park, that—thanks to ambiguities regarding police responsibilities—became the site of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests. According to the New York Times, in 2012 the Seagram Building had the lowest energy star rating of any structure in New York (at three out of a hundred), making it now illegal to build. Rules, whether adhered to or circumvented, shape cities.
The stories told about architecture rarely revolve around legislation, planning laws, tax rules, price fixing cartels or safety restrictions; but these forces form our designs no less than culture, landscape or style. We are interested in the way in which such restrictions both compromise the autonomy of architecture and act as a creative stimulus.
Corruption goes far beyond stories of crooked developers (although they are worth pursuing). We are interested in all perversions of due process, from the distortions of architectural competitions through to subtle conflicts of interest. As the competing demands of developers, governing bodies and insurers encroach ever further on architecture’s autonomy, pragmatists move from the manipulation of form to the manipulation of institutions, or, to use a formulation by Henry-Russell Hitchcock, the architecture of genius becomes the architecture of bureaucracy.
We are interested in the choreography of regulators, speculators and conspirators, and the subversive prestidigitation of invisible hands. We want to understand enterprise at the margins of the law. Most importantly, we want to understand how practice embodies theory, and how theory accommodates to practice.
Architectural Theory Review, founded at the University of Sydney in 1996
and now in its twentieth year, is the pre-eminent journal of architectural theory in the Australasian region. Published by Taylor & Francis in print and online, the journal is an international forum for generating, exchanging, and reflecting on theory in and of architecture. All texts are subject to a rigorous process of blind peer review.
Enquiries about this special issue theme, and possible papers, are welcome, please email the editor, Adam Jasper: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for the submission of completed manuscripts is Monday, 30 March 2015.
Please submit manuscripts via the journal’s website: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ratr
When uploading your manuscript please indicate that you are applying for this special issue, for example: vol. 20.2 – Corruption.
Manuscript submission guidelines can be found at: www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=ratr20&page=instructions
British Art Studies, which is peer reviewed, encourages submissions on British art, architecture, and visual culture from all periods in their most diverse and international contexts. The journal will reflect the dynamic and broad ranging research cultures of the Paul Mellon Centre and the Yale Center for British Art, as well as the wider field of studies in British art and architecture today.
The digital format of the journal offers new opportunities for displaying images alongside text and multimedia content. The editors are open to proposals and ideas from authors to develop innovative and visually stimulating ways to publish art-historical scholarship
We are currently soliciting submissions of scholarly articles. Texts should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length (although the editors are willing to discuss shorter and longer formats). Authors must include a list of proposed images and sources, as outlined in our style guide, available online: http://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/408/. The final number of figures and the process of sourcing and commissioning media for articles accepted for publication will be discussed with authors on an individual basis. British Art Studies will endeavour to meet all reasonable costs and deal with copyright issues for illustrative materials essential to the argument of published texts.
The Vernacular Architecture Forum’s Ambassadors Awards provide funding for student groups (undergraduate and graduate) from North American institutions, with a faculty sponsor, to attend VAF’s annual conference. The 2015 conference will be held June 3-7 in Chicago, Illinois. We hope through this program to enhance the VAF’s recruitment of students, to diversify the membership and interest in the work of the VAF, to provide support to programs that teach vernacular architecture, and to increase the VAF’s visibility on campuses. The total Award amount per institution is limited to $2500 with a maximum of $500 per student. Nominations may be submitted to email@example.com.
The deadline is February 1, 2015.
For more information about the application, please go to: http://www.vafchicago.org/ambassador-awards/
Cambridge Talks is the annual spring conference organized by the Ph.D. Program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning at Harvard University, dedicated to the exploration of interdisciplinary themes that engage issues of space. In addition to convening a group of senior scholars both interdisciplinary and international in orientation, the conference gives Harvard PhD students a chance to present and discuss their work in a formal context. The entire two-day event is free and open to the public.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s life story is intimately entwined with his home state. To Wisconsin he left a built legacy unmatched by any other area, spanning more than seven decades. He built houses there—both simple and elaborate, from the cozy Richards Bungalow in Milwaukee to his beloved Taliesin. His Usonian house concept and his House for a Family of $5,000-$6,000 Income highlighted in the September 26, 1938, LIFE magazine were first constructed in Wisconsin. He built several lakeside residences there. He built schools in Wisconsin, including the 1887 Hillside Home School and the 1956 Wyoming Valley Grammar School, not to mention his own school at Taliesin. He built religious buildings for both the Greek Orthodox and Unitarian faiths. He built commercial and industrial buildings for Albert Dell German and for the S.C. Johnson Company, and a tall building, one of only two he ever constructed. He built apartment buildings in Wisconsin—the Munkwitz (demolished in 1973) and Richards Duplex Apartments (restored) in Milwaukee, and experimented with the American System-Built Homes and the Erdman Prefabricated Homes projects. He worked out his cast concrete ornamental friezes on both the A.D. German Warehouse and the Bogk House.
And these are just some examples of the rich and varied assortment of designs he scattered around the state. Many more structures envisioned for the state remain only as dreams on paper.
This conference seeks to view Wright’s relationship with his home state through the lens of Wisconsin as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laboratory. The Conservancy seeks papers that focus on Wright’s experimental nature, particularly in regard to his home state. We are looking for papers that will help us understand the unique and unorthodox nature of Wright’s theory and architecture, or that reinterpret familiar landmarks in unfamiliar ways. Though premised on a “cause conservative,” Wright’s work was radical compared to mainstream tastes, and for a long time. Which of his architectural experiments failed, and why? In which periods of his life was he more open to experimentation?
Potential papers might address such Wisconsin-related topics as Wright’s American System-Built Homes, his designs for low-income housing, his interest in prefabrication or his apartment buildings. What do these projects say about Wright’s social vision? How did they compare to the efforts of architects with similar interests? Other topics might include the Johnson Wax company and Wright, his work in Racine, or his unexecuted projects for Wisconsin. What was Wright’s working relationship with George Mann Niedecken, the famous Milwaukee furniture designer? What was Wright’s relationship to Wisconsin politics?
The conference welcomes papers from individuals working in the areas of architectural, landscape, urban and cultural history, cultural geography, sociology, American Studies or anyone else who can contribute to a discourse about Wisconsin as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laboratory.
Proposals should present fresh material and/or interpretations. They should be submitted as an abstract of no more than one page, single-spaced, with the author’s name at the top. The text should concisely describe the focus and the scope of the presentation. The proposal should be accompanied by a one-page biography/curriculum vitae that includes the author’s full name, affiliation (if applicable), mailing address, email address, and telephone and fax numbers. Please also note anticipated audio-visual needs for your presentation (final PowerPoint presentations will be requested approximately one month before the conference).
Proposals must be received no later than March 1, 2015. Material sent electronically is preferred. Notification will be sent by March 23, 2015.
Please submit proposals and direct any questions to:
Dale Allen Gyure
College of Architecture and Design, Lawrence Tech University
21000 West Ten Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075-1058
In August 1965, Le Corbusier, recognized as the most important architect of the twentieth‐century,
passed away in the Mediterranean Sea waters. For this reason, the Architectural Design Department at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, with the support of the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris,
promotes this international conference in Valencia.
Le Corbusier was one of the most prolific architects in the creation of links between ideas and images, between visual arts and architecture, between history and modernity. The power of his ideas was continually being tested and confirmed by his architectural work. In his projects, writings, paintings and sculptures he worked out different visions of what should match architectural modernity, which drew on
a personal background built upon diverse ideological references.
If there is any outstanding feature in his career, it is the transversal condition of his creative work. This idea of transversality enables us to open this conference to artists, historians, book publishers, photographers, thinkers and, of course, architects.
The LC 2015 congress will be held on November 18‐20 2015 at the Escuela Técnica Superior de
Arquitectura de la Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), which has been recently ranked as the best technical university in Spain by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2014.
STRUCTURE OF THE CONGRESS
Main lecturers* (Tim Benton, Jean Louis Cohen, Antoine Picon, Josep Quetglas, Bruno Reichlin, Arthur
Guest lecturers* (José Ramón Alonso, Juan Calatrava, Arnaud Dercelles, Marta Llorente, Xavier Monteys,
María Cecilia O’ Byrne, Marta Sequeira, Marida Talamona)
(* waiting for confirmation)
Le Corbusier in Rusia “Paris n’est pas Moscou”
Le Corbusier's filmography
Drawings and models of Le Corbusier's work
Presentation of publications on Le Corbusier
Student's work presentation from Architecture Schools
CALL FOR PAPERS
TOPICS OF INTEREST
The program committee encourages the submission of articles that communicate and explore some of
the aspect of Le Corbusier’s work or of his life.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following topic areas:
• Le Corbusier's formation
• Le Corbusier and the Visual Arts
• Savoir habiter. The question of dwelling.
• Le Corbusier, global architect
• Le Corbusier: texts, books and writings.
• Interiors by Le Corbusier.
• Urban views: Le Corbusier and human habitat
• Le Corbusier: personal moments
• Creative work at 35 rue de Sèvres. Le Corbusier and partners.
• Le Corbusier, 1965. Last year, last work.
• Le Corbusier's legacy
Accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings, published by UPV Press, and will be provided with a DOI number and indexed in major international bibliographic databases. Authors of selected papers could be awarded and invited to submit an extended version to be published as a chapter in a book edited by the organization of the Congress.
Call for papers: January 12th ‐ March 3rd, 2015
Abstract acceptance: April 7th 2015
Submission of papers, posters, presentations of publications: June 9th 2015
Results of the review process: July 14th 2015
Final paper submission July 28th 2015
Final decision about presentation format (oral, written or poster) September 8th 2015
Printed poster submission: November 3rd 2015
Deadline for early registration: April 17th 2015
Deadline for registration: November 11th 2015
CONFERENCE: November 18th ‐ 20th 2015
Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University
will host a four-day conference entitled
"Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland"
June 3–6, 2015
As Margaret Ward has demonstrated, Irish women have been systematically "excluded and silenced" in written history, thus denying them their rightful position as agents of change. In regard to Ireland’s Great Hunger, while many contemporary depictions of the Famine have been dominated by female imagery, the involvement of women in other ways (e.g., as landowners, as relief-givers or providers for the family) has received little attention. This conference asks: how did women experience—and shape—the tragedy that unfolded in Ireland between 1845 and 1852? And how does the Great Hunger compare with the experience of women in other famines?
This conference seeks to explore the diverse—and still largely unexplored—role of women during the Great Hunger. Where appropriate, a comparative approach is encouraged. Abstracts of 300 words are invited. Please include a short biography (maximum 50 words) including your institutional affiliation and contact address. Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length with 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Proposals for specialist panels are welcome. Postgraduates also are encouraged to submit abstracts. Selected papers may be published in a collection following the conference.
Accelerating international interest and investment into ecological design is the current reality, either in the forms of environmental planning, urban storm water management or living architecture. The incorporation of green roofs and facades of fantastic scale and biodiversity is quickly gaining a forefront position in global architectural concerns, and a great many professional disciplines will find their fields affected by this change. Whether specializing in planning and design, architecture, landscape architecture, urban ecology or environmental science, informing oneself and keeping an edge on the most up-to-date research and techniques is critical for success. The 2015 International Green Roof Conference in Istanbul is an international summit of experts and leaders in this exciting new realm; a unique opportunity for exchange and discussion of the most current achievements in this field.
Noted experts include Dr. Ken Yeang (T.R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn. Bhd), Prof. Herbert Dreiseitl, Jaron Lubin (Safdie Architects), Laura Gatti (Laura Gatti Studios) and Roland Appl (IGRA).
A pair of workshops will take place on the second day of the Congress. These simultaneous workshops each address an important aspect of Green Roofing. One is practice-oriented, where focus will be laid on the installation and maintenance of Green Roofs. The other is more conceptual, addressing the current state of scientific research and policy formation in the field of Green Roofing. A diverse panel will be present to describe and discuss these two facets of the industry.
The 4th International Green Roof Congress will host important players involved in the promotion of Green Roofs worldwide, through exceptional works of architectural achievement.
Logos: (available in higher resolution from www.greenroofworld.com)
Key words/Topics: green roofs, roof garden, living roof, façade greenery, vertical greenery, urban planning, stormwater management, green buildings, sustainability, Istanbul, Turkey, IGRA,
Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry features more than 250 exemplary works of art jewelry between the late Victorian Era and the First World War, including cloak clasps, hair ornaments, pins, brooches, rings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces. This groundbreaking exhibition illuminates the international proliferation of art jewelry through the lens of woman as its maker and muse. For the first time during this period, women emerged as prominent jewelry makers in their own right, establishing independent studios amid changing social norms. In other regions, the female figure acted as a powerful muse, appearing in jewelry as audacious and novel motifs.
Drawn from the Driehaus Collection’s extensive jewelry holdings and prominent national collections, many of these stunning pieces have never been seen by the public. The exhibition upholds the same ideals of beauty as did its makers, who in the early decades of the twentieth century were inspired by broader art movements of the day to create handcrafted jewelry with dramatic forms, intricate craftsmanship, saturated colors, and semiprecious stones.
Maker & Muse explores five different areas of jewelry design and fabrication: the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, Art Nouveau in France, Jugendstil in Germany and Austria, Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and American Arts and Crafts in Chicago. Each section explores the important female figures and historic social milieu associated with these movements.
Speakers: Joan and Gary Gand
Patchwork….swirls….stripes…..bended and twisted into sculptural shapes. The art of glass-blowing was once confined and the process kept secret on the island of Murano. How did the art of glass-blowing evolve from the Italian masters to the American studio glass movement? How did blown glass change from goblets and vases to abstract sculpture? Midcentury Italian glass collectors Gary and Joan Gand will trace the fascinating history of this Midcentury collectible and how it inspired the glass artists of today.
Lecture will be held in the Annenberg Theater and will be followed by a site visit beginning at 11 a.m.
Joan and Gary Gand, also known as the Gand Band, are musicians by trade, but they are also collectors with an avid appreciation of all things Midcentury. Experts on vintage furniture, art, architecture, they created and maintain the only definitive information website for Italian Glass collectors. Their collection of over 250 pieces of Italian glass from 1927-1975 resides at their Illinois home.
Speaker: Leo Marmol, Marmol Radziner Architects
Uneven surfaces, poor circulation, leaks, lack of a sense of purpose. Despite increased recognition of Modern architecture’s cultural significance, our midcentury heritage seems to have reached that all too familiar midlife crisis. Leo Marmol, FAIA, will present the conservation strategies and particular challenges that arise when restoring these architectural icons. How do we determine what to preserve, while providing for current lifestyle needs and expectations?
Lecture will be held in the Annenberg Theater and will be followed by a site visit beginning at 11 a.m.
Leo Marmol, Managing Principal of Marmol Radziner, established the Los Angeles-based architectural firm with his business partner Ron Radziner in 1989. Marmol Radziner is a unique design-build practice that includes architecture, construction, landscape, interiors, furniture, and jewelry. The firm has completed restorations of important buildings in the Coachella Valley and beyond, including Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House (1946), Erle Webster and Adrian Wilson’s Ship of the Desert (1937), Albert Frey’s Loewy House (1946), and Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan Association (1961), now the site of the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.
Speaker: Michael Kimmelman, Architecture Critic, New York Times
Kimmelman will share his thoughts on issues related to urban space. His lecture will focus on the need for public space in urban centers and how it is essential to a city’s architecture.
Lecture will be held in the Annenberg Theater followed by a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Marcuse Sculpture Garden.
Three Thursdays: 10-11:30 a.m., January 29, February 19, and March 19, 2015
Join The New York Botanical Garden as French garden designers and stewards Louis Benech, Alexandre de Vogüé, and Robert Mallet share how they are reinterpreting classic and contemporary landscapes across France and beyond with a sensibility and sense of style that is decidedly French. $32 NYBG Member, $35 Non-Member. Each lecture is approved for 1.5 LA CES, AIA, and APLD credit hours.
Register at nybg.org/adulted/lectures.php
The International Sculpture Center (ISC) is seeking panel proposals for the 25th International Sculpture Conference: New Frontiers in Sculpture in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 300 sculpture enthusiasts from around the world will gather this November 4-7, 2015 for engaging panel discussions, peer networking, and exciting cultural events surrounding topics in contemporary sculpture.
Friends of Fairsted 2015 Beveridge Research Fellowship This fellowship supports research in the Olmsted archives at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. It provides a $1,500 stipend that may be used to defray living or travel expenses. Students, developing Olmsted scholars, and emerging professionals are encouraged to apply. Applications are due April 1, 2015; research must be completed within one year. For more information, including past recipients and the application form and guidelines, please visit www.friendsoffairsted.org.
Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today considers the important contributions of women to modernism in postwar visual culture. In the 1950s and 60s, an era when painting, sculpture, and architecture were dominated by men, women had considerable impact in alternative materials such as textiles, ceramics, and metals. Largely unexamined in major art historical surveys, either due to their gender or choice of materials, these pioneering women achieved success and international recognition, laying the ground for the feminist movement that followed.
Featuring more than 80 works, Pathmakers focuses on a core cadre of women—including Ruth Asawa, Edith Heath, Sheila Hicks, Karen Karnes, Dorothy Liebes, Alice Kagawa Parrott, Lenore Tawney, and Eva Zeisel—who had impact and influence as designers, artists, and teachers, using materials such as clay, fiber, and metals in innovative ways. Significantly, the group came to maturity along with the Museum of Arts and Design itself, which was founded in 1956 as the center of the emerging American modern craft movement.
The exhibition also highlights contributions of European émigrés, including Anni Albers and Maija Grotell, who brought with them a conviction that craft could serve as a pathway to modernist innovation. Parallels between women creating work in Scandinavia and the United States are emphasized by the inclusion of important Scandinavian designers such as Rut Bryk, Vuokko Nurmesniemi, Mariana Richter and Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe.
The legacy of these women is conveyed through a section of the exhibition that presents works by contemporary female artists and designers that reflect and expand upon the work of the earlier generation. International and United States-based artists and designers featured in this section include Polly Apfelbaum, Vivian Beer, Front Design, Hella Jongerius, and Magdalene Odundo, among others.
Pathmakers is organized by guest curators Jennifer Scanlan and Ezra Shales, along with Barbara Paris Gifford, Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager. The exhibition will be accompanied by a special issue of the Journal of Modern Craft, guest edited by MAD’s Windgate Research Curator Elissa Auther. The issue will serve as an in-depth exploration of subjects raised in the exhibition, and will feature articles by international scholars including Helena Kaberg, Professor and Curator at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden; Dr. Sarah Lichtman, Assistant Professor of Art & Design Studies and Director of the Cooper Hewitt’s Masters in Decorative Arts and Design; and Dr. Simon Olding, Professor and Director of the Crafts Study Centre at the University of Creative Arts in Surrey, UK.
Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today is supported by Hans and Jayne Hufschmid, the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation, and the Consulate General of Finland in New York. Research was supported by a Craft Research Fund grant from The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Inc.
In the sixty years that have passed since Victor Gruen and Elsie Krummeck first published their essay ‘Shopping Center’ in Architectural Forum, much has been written about this peculiar commercial typology; commonly depicting the shopping centre as a capitalist, consumerist shopping machine, depleted of any of the social or communal rewards that Gruen and Krummeck had originally envisioned. As a result, shopping centres have rarely entered the canonical histories of architecture, while the North American dumbbell mall has become the paradigmatic pars pro toto. This symposium aims for a more fine-grained, region-specific reading of the shopping centre, as well for a reassessment of its vital characteristics and crucial contributions to post-war built environments and architectural culture. We invite contributions that focus on one of the following four themes:
> From Node to Stitch: Shopping centres and urban (re-)development
Victor Gruen’s initial shopping centre proposals had clear urban ambitions. He envisaged the shopping centre to become a ‘suburban crystallization point’ or ‘satellite downtown’, which would not only conserve the viability of the (traditional) city centres by reducing the pressure inflicted by increased motorized traffic, but which would – when combined on a large scale – also develop into a network of nodes, able to protect the American population in the event of nuclear attack. Conversely, when the shopping centre was introduced to Western Europe in the post-war period, it was not only used as an urban expansion model (or a model for structuring suburbanisation), but it was also employed as a tool to stitch war-torn urban fabrics back together – as exemplified in De Lijnbaan by van den Broek and Bakema in the Netherlands. This theme invites papers that address the role that the shopping centre has played in urban planning from 1943 to today; connecting its development to urban reconstruction and revitalization efforts on the one hand and exploring the role that this commercial typology assumed in (post-war) urban expansion and structured suburbanization on the other.
> Acculturating the Shopping Centre: Timeless global phenomenon or local (time- and place bound) idiom?
Shopping centres vary enormously; from small urban entities made up of a cluster of retail stores to intensely fortified suburban big-box leviathans. However, despite their differences, scholars have qualified shopping centres as if they are essentially the same: enclosed spaces characterized by comprehensive surveillance, security and social segregation. Much of the literature seems to suggest that this typology of the shopping centre has hovered over geographies and cultures, without losing its prime characteristics. Can shopping centres therefore be treated as a global phenomenon? Or should they rather be understood as geographically-bound expressions of a negotiation between mall developers (representatives of a global logic of capitalist accumulation) on the one hand and local actors (architects/ governments/ citizens) on the other? The question then becomes: Did ‘hybrids’ develop as the shopping centre concept encountered radically different socio-cultural climates, and if so, what region-specific typologies of this assumed ‘ubiquitous’ commercial paradigm can be identified? Finally, as societies changed over the course of six decades, did the concept – in a true Darwinistic fashion – also evolve over time?
> Building Collectives and Communities: Shopping centres and the reform of the masses
When the American-born shopping centre concept washed ashore in Western Europe, it encountered a peculiar socio-political climate. In the decades following the Second World War, and in part in response to the Cold War, governments across Western Europe had set out ambitious programmes for social welfare that aimed at improving the everyday lives of their citizens, thus facilitating the formation of a modern, socially responsible, culturally educated and politically responsive community. The construction of schools, cultural centres, sports facilities, holiday infrastructure, etc. was an important building block of this project. All these facilities provided spatial centrality, public focus and human density; characteristic that the shopping centre typology also possessed. This theme departs from the hypothesis that when Gruen’s commercial typology – the quintessential modern environment – was introduced to Western Europe, its underlying design principles were often consciously oriented towards eliciting a specific type of modern behaviour and building a modern community. Contrary to common belief – also in mid-century America, the shopping centre succeeded in creating such a reformative, modern environment. In an article published in June 2014, the Guardian posited that ‘for mid-century Americans, these gleaming marketplaces provided an almost utopian alternative to the urban commercial district, an artificial downtown with less crime and fewer vermin … they were a place to see and be seen, something shoppers have craved since the days of the Greek agora .… it used to be where [the] young, middle-class[es] …, wearing their Sunday best, would come for weekend outings.’ This theme invites contributions that study the reformist underpinnings (or reality?) and socio-cultural ambitions (or functioning?) of shopping centres. It aims to question the role of shopping centres as new figures of collectivity in the post-war urban realm.
> The Afterlife of Post-war Shopping Centres: From tumorous growth to the dawn of the dead
In 1977, George A. Romero shot sequences of ‘Dawn of the Dead’, a film that would soon become one of the great cult horror zombie movie, in a deserted mall. Shorn of life and light, the shopping centre’s great echoing chambers of commerce took on a very eerie tone. Curiously, Romero’s set design has much in common with the steadily growing number of photographs of abandoned malls strewn across the United States. As Americans return downtown and online shopping popularizes, they leave behind well over a hundred lifeless concrete and steel leviathans; relics of the post-war era, when Americans with cars and fat wallets fled to the suburbs. Thus far, this phenomenon oddly enough seems limited to the United States alone. The situation that many shopping centres (built in the 1960s and 1970s) appear to be facing elsewhere, is tumorous growth. The need to compete has led many shopping centres to expand beyond recognition, adding wings, floors, entries and exits without much consideration for the overall legibility of the complex. The result: an amorphous shopping maze. This theme seeks to set out strategies for (contemporary) shopping centre redevelopment, identify ‘best practices’ and explore if for the American shopping centres – like for the zombies in Romero’s film – there is (a new) life after death?
The buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright are not immune to the social and environmental forces that affect all architecture. Because of the popular recognition and historical significance of his work, however, the stakes are unusually high when his buildings are modified in any way. Any additions or changes must meet the highest standards; how exactly this can be achieved is an ongoing debate. Daniel Bluestone, Professor and Director of Historic Preservation Program, University of Virginia and Richard Longstreth, Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, George Washington University, will discuss the challenges and rewards of restoring Wright’s historic buildings.
About the speakers
Daniel Bluestone is a specialist in 19th century American architecture and urbanism. Mr. Bluestone’s Buildings, Landscapes, and Memory: Case Studies in Historic Preservation (W.W. Norton, 2011) received the Society of Architectural Historians 2013 Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award for “the most outstanding publication devoted to historical topics in the preservation field that enhances the understanding and protection of the built environment.” The book surveys the changing history, nature and politics of historic preservation in the United States between the early 19th century and today. Mr. Bluestone’s book, Constructing Chicago (1991), was awarded the American Institute of Architects International Book Award and the National Historic Preservation book prize.
Richard Longstreth has served as president of the Society of Architectural Historians (1998-2000); first vice president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum (1989-91); trustee of the National Building Museum (1988-94); board member of Preservation Action (1980-95), Adirondack Architectural Heritage (1998-2010) and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (1994-98); and a member of the National Historic Landmarks Advisory Group (1989-1994). Currently he chairs the Maryland Governor's Consulting Committee on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a member of the boards of the Fort Ticonderoga Association and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.
Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015
Time: 7 pm
Location: Unity Temple, 875 Lake St, Oak Park, IL
Admission: Free to members and volunteers, $8 general public