Passing the Baton: The Next Generation of Design Leadership in Chicago

Page 1

Passing the Baton The Next Generation of Design Leadership in Chicago Symposium Transcript Edited by Stanley Tigerman Assisted by Cara Cantlebary Flaster

Edited by Stanley Tigerman Assisted by Cara Cantlebary Flaster Designed by Karin M. Kuzniar Additional copy editing by Virginia Voedisch Event photos by John Tweedie Transcribed by Ubiqus/Nation-Wide Reporting & Convention Coverage

Š Copyright 2008 by Archeworks 625 North Kingsbury Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610 USA Published by Archeworks, Chicago, Illinois PASSING THE BATON: The Next Generation of Design Leadership in Chicago Š Copyright by Archeworks All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by means of any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act, without written consent from Archeworks.

ISBN 0-9753405-7-3

Publication of this book was made possible in part by a CityArts Program III grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and annual contributors to Archeworks. This book is typeset in Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk + was made on a Macbook Pro.

Passing the Baton The Next Generation of Design Leadership in Chicago Symposium Transcript Edited by Stanley Tigerman Assisted by Cara Cantlebary Flaster

Table of Contents 07







Other Archeworks Publications

Co-founders + Co-directors

Eva Maddox Co-founder, Program Director 1993–2008, Archeworks

Stanley Tigerman Co-founder, Director 1993–2008, Archeworks

Sarah Dunn Co-director, Archeworks

Martin Felsen Co-director, Archeworks



Lee Bey Executive Director, Chicago Central Area Committee

Gregory K. Dreicer Vice President of Exhibitions and Programs, The Chicago Architecture Foundation

Zurich Esposito Executive Vice President, The American Institute of Architects Chicago



Sarah Herda Director, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

Hennie Reynders Chair, Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects Department, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Joseph Rosa John H. Bryan Curatorial Chair of Architecture and Design, The Art Institute of Chicago



ZoĂŤ Ryan Neville Bryan Curator of Design, The Art Institute of Chicago

Robert Somol Director, UIC College of Architecture

Moderated by: Ned Cramer Editor-in-Chief, Architect Magazine




I hope that you all see this as a challenge, all

Good evening. My name is Stanley Tigerman.

of them and all of you. This is not intended to

Eva Maddox and I are the co-founders of

be a puff evening, it’s not intended to stroke

Archeworks, as you know. This is a unique

them or you into a state of euphoria. It’s

occasion in that virtually all of the institutions

actually somewhat of a challenge, and this

connected with architecture and design have

is not a free ride. That they’re all together at

new leadership in Chicago. I can’t think of

once is more than interesting.

another circumstance, another city where that’s actually transpired. And so we’re very

The phrase, “passing the baton,” in Chicago,

glad that you’re here, and they’re all, not

in architecture, there’s a little bit of a

entirely, but mostly if you look at them, of

tradition, the generation prior to mine didn’t

the same generation more or less.

pass the baton. Actually, it did nothing for the successive generation, which is probably why I reacted contra-distinctively.

So it’s a kind of challenge for us and for them that all of this happens in a moment— within a very few years. And while there is

But the phrase “passing the baton” . . . there

change, and there will continue to be change,

is my little bag of tricks [opens up bag and

the fact that the design and architecture

pulls out a runner’s baton] and, there is a

leadership in this one city transpires at once

baton. Will they actually pass the baton to

is, frankly, remarkable.

the next generation as runners do in a relay race? So I’m going to put that on the table, hoping the floor is relatively level.

It’s being moderated by Ned Cramer, himself another leader, formerly of Chicago, of course formerly from St. Louis, who is now

There’s another kind of baton. [pulls out a

the editor of Architect magazine, who will

symphony conductor’s baton] Are they going

moderate the panel.

to orchestrate something themselves?


What are their druthers for such a thing?

say your name very clearly before you speak

And the third one, of course, is the most

because we’re actually turning this event and

threatening, that the baton is actually a

the recording into a book. So for posterity’s

knife [pulls out a dagger from the bag]

sake, introduce yourselves.

that is handed to them handle first. That the obligation is to kill the generation

And along those lines, I’m going to ask each

in front of them.

of tonight’s 10 panelists, before we hit the elimination round, to introduce themselves,

[Applause, laughter]

beginning with Lee Bey, to my left.


So those are the options there on the table, and I’m delighted to introduce Ned Cramer.

You already said who I am. I don’t have to say anything.



Oh. Sorry. But in addition to introducing

Thank you, Stanley. I was instructed to be

yourself, you might want to tell the audience

sure not to take it easy on anyone tonight.

what you’re doing now, what is this job that

So is that all right if I just hold this for the

you’ve just been handed or earned, and

course of the evening? [Mr. Cramer picks up

two or three interesting things about your

Mr. Tigerman’s knife] Gesture with it?

professional background.


We are actually recording this evening’s event. So one thing we might do is remind

All right. I’m Lee Bey, Executive Director

everyone when we get to the question-and-

of the Chicago Central Area Committee.

answer portion of the evening, be sure to

I was handed the job, along with the baton




and the knife, apparently. Before that, I was Director of Governmental Affairs

Well, you just won a big award, too,

for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and,

didn’t you, Martin?

before that, I was the Deputy Chief of Staff


to Mayor Daley for Architecture and Design, and, before that, I was Architecture Critic

Yes. We also had a daughter recently

for the Sun Times , and, beyond that,

which is more interesting.

I can’t remember. [Laughter]


So you’re lazy?

Okay. Sarah?



My name is Sarah Dunn. I’m the Research [Laughter]

Director here at Archeworks. I’m also an assistant professor at UIC. I practice with


Martin Felsen at UrbanLab. Neither one of us

Okay. Good. Thank you, Lee. Martin?

is from Chicago, actually, and I think that’s kind of interesting that we came here and


that’s what we’ve done since we’ve been

Martin Felsen. I’m here as Co-director of

here: started a firm and dug in.

Archeworks. I’m also an architect, I have a


firm with my partner here, Sarah Dunn, called UrbanLab. I’m also a studio professor at IIT.

Very good. Greg Dreicer?

That’s probably about it.



is a small, nonprofit in New York focused on

I’m Greg Dreicer. I’m Vice President of

improving the design of the public realm. So

Exhibitions and Programs at the Chicago

I’ve worked in museums with collections and

Architecture Foundation. I’ve been here

non-collecting institutions, small institutions

since January. I’m by training a historian

and large institutions.

of technology. I focus on building technology in the built environment. I’m also an

Before working at Van Alen, I worked at

exhibition developer or curator, and

the Museum of Modern Art, and, before that,

a museum manager.

I worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


Very nice. Zoë Ryan?

Thank you, Zoë. Hennie?


Thanks. I’m Zoë Ryan. I’m the Neville Bryan Curator of Design at the Art Institute of

Hi. I’m Hennie Reynders. I’m Chair and

Chicago, and my mandate is to build a

Associate Professor at the School of the

collection, with Joe Rosa, of contemporary

Art Institute in Architecture, in Interior

design from 1960 to the present and

Architecture and Design Objects.

organize exhibitions in that field. So anything

I’ve sort of been given a job that no one

from graphic design to furniture, product

else wanted using all three of those batons

design, and architecture feeds into that.

since September of last year. And I’m an associate professor teaching in design on the graduate and undergrad level.

Before I came here —I’ve been here for about a year—I was Senior Curator for

Before that, I was in South Africa where I

seven years at the Van Alen Institute, which 19


originally did my first professional degree


in architecture. I was head of a program in

Joe Rosa?

architecture there and in Chicago since 2001.


Hi. I’m the John H. Bryan Curator of

Zurich Esposito?

Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago and an adjunct professor at UIC.


I’ve been in Chicago for about two and a half

Hi. I’m Zurich Esposito. I’m the Executive

years, moved here to retool the department

Vice President of AIA, Chicago. For those of

and change the collection strategy to include

you who don’t know, AIA is the professional

design and architecture, and was able to

association of architects, and I’ve had this

bring Zoë from New York, which is nice.

position now for about 18 months. Prior to

And together, we are retooling the collection,

that, I was Vice President of Development for

changing the presence of the department in

the Chicago Architecture Foundation, where

the museum and among the general public,

I worked for about 11 years doing a bunch of

and getting ready for the new wing.

different things and learning a lot of different


skills. Probably the most important one I find that I use now is fundraising, something

And you have maybe the most impressive

that comes in very handy for nonprofit

résumé of anyone I’ve ever met, so just


give us two or three other curatorial positions that you’ve had.

Before working for the Chicago Architecture


Foundation, I earned a master’s degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in

I was at the San Francisco Museum of

historic preservation.

Modern Art before I was here. Before that, 20



I was at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Before that, the National Building Museum

Fantastic. And, last but not least,

in D.C., so I know about real estate, too.

it’s Bob Somol.



Sarah Herda?

I’m Bob Somol. I’ve been the director at UIC for three or four months, although I


started teaching there from ’90 to ’95,

I’m Sarah Herda, Director of the Graham

and then went into exile for 12 years after

Foundation for Advanced Studies in the

my first period. I was indeed slipped one of

Fine Arts. I’ve been in Chicago and in this

those batons and have come back 12 years

position for a year and a half. I oversee a

later to take up another one.

grant-making program and public programs of exhibitions and talks at the Madlener

In between leaving and returning, I was

House in the Gold Coast.

teaching mostly at UCLA and also at OSU [Ohio State University] and Princeton.

I was the Director of Storefront for Art and


Architecture, an independent nonprofit space in New York City for about nine years. And

Thank you, Bob. We’re going to do one

before that, at the Monacelli Press, and,

more kind of rapid-fire, down-the-row

before that, the 2AES [The Center for Critical

question. Basically each of you has talked

Architecture/Art Exhibition Space] in San

a little bit about what you do in your job

Francisco and William Stout Publishers.

currently, but what we really want to get at is your vision for your job and how your current role can really affect the built environment in Chicago. 22

So this is your big chance to give me and

I’ve only been there four months, but

the audience three minutes of vision. Shine.

we’re beginning to get our hands on things like transportation. We’ve had dialogues


with the CTA, and they’re encouraging.

Well, as I mentioned before, I’m Executive

There is a current budget problem that it

Director of the Chicago Central Area

has, but we understand that. I guess this

Committee, which is a group of about

gets to the larger mission, that the central

70 businessmen. It’s a 50-year-old group,

area needs good design and that goes

and it’s a group of about 70 businessmen

beyond merely having pretty buildings.

who are concerned about urban planning

That good design is a well-planned and

and transportation issues downtown.

has an organic downtown where there is transportation that gets you where you need

We find ourselves at a crossroads, internally

to be, where the buildings look good, but

as well as externally. We have a mayor, of

it’s a living, breathing organism, that lives

course, who understands urban design, gets

and breathes well.

urban design, pushes for good urban design, and is able to accomplish some things that a

So our role, really, is to use what political

previous mayor would have needed a central-

and other power a board like this would

area committee to do.

have, to affect those changes, and to suggest ideas. If City Hall is doing something

The idea now —it’s a very strong board, very

that we feel isn’t good enough, we feel able

strong committee—is to reposition it so that

to say, “You know what? We suggest this,”

it knows that there is a message it has for

and, in theory, begin to apply the pressures,

City Hall and for developers, that there is an

turn the screws, pass the baton, particularly

important role that it can play.

that second one, if need be, to get it done.



So that’s the short answer to the mission

in a way, or maybe in Chicago terms, a trading

and where we see ourselves now.

floor or trading pits. Something like that.


So with this baton, we’ll really look toward

Very well said, Lee. Thank you. Martin and

expanding the scale and scope a little bit in

Sarah. I don’t know if you’re going to chair

terms of what kind of research we can do.

a team on this one. One thing that we all know is that in about


20 years, about five billion people are going to live in cities. Right now about half of us


live in cities. And so there’s this real desire,


I think, for us, everyone in this room, to really come to grips with that.

Yeah. We can take it.


One fallacy, I guess, is that we all have

Well, we’re going to begin with some of

in our minds that everyone’s going to move

the strengths of Archeworks, which is really

into mega-cities. But, really, the vast majority

understanding the fine-grain, or the smaller-

of the world is going to move into regional

scale, interventions. Kind of looking obliquely

cities more like Chicago. So the goal,

at interventions in the city.

I think, is to open up a kind of research that really questions these ideas in a couple

What we’d like to propose that we add

of ways. One is to look at the market model

up-front is this idea about the big detail in

of research in social organization. That is,

cities. The detail that really covers a lot of

the market demands something, one tries

ground that can make a big impact, and that

to fulfill that. I think that’s a little bit of the

Archeworks can work almost like a think tank

legacy of Archeworks.



The issue with that, of course, is that it leads toward a more myopic and kind of closed-in

No. It’s very critical.

understanding when they’re looking just at


problems. More of a kind of applied research.

Greg, if you could tell us a little bit about So we’re also going to look at more of a

what you’re thinking about for CAF?

speculative research, take on some kind of


responsibility of looking at problems that did exist, do exist, and will exist, that are really

Sure. The mission of the Chicago

open to experimental thinking and analysis

Architecture Foundation is to engage the

and intervention.

general public as well as professionals in exploring architecture, infrastructure, urban


planning, and landscape. And for me, those

And to that end, we’ve started by already

are really academic terms. What we’re about

renaming ourselves so that instead of a

is really looking at the relationships between

program director, we’re instituting the idea of

people and the built environment.

research director, which maybe pulls away or balances applied research with speculative

The way we’re going to do that is from, what

research. That’s at least our hope, and it’s

I call a construction angle or a construction

not to say there hasn’t been criticality at

approach. In other words, all the spaces,

Archeworks, but to push that further.

places, and structures around us are objects, but they’re really things that we are changing


continually on a daily basis. So we want to

So you’re saying it’s not critical at all?

look at the world around us as a construction site. In particular what that means is looking at the decision makers, who has made the 25



decisions and who is making the decisions, and why, that are shaping our world.

There’s more.


I would say even with all the expertise in this room, the architectural community of

There’s more. I’m just taking a little break.

Chicago, many of us don’t really know the

Now for us, this is really an exciting moment.

stories behind the world that we live in.

This passing the baton moment is really,

Looking at that, I think, is essential.

I think, historically an important moment.

Now CAF has been around for a little bit

As Martin was saying, the world is turning

over 40 years, and its fame is in part based

into a place of cities or urban regions, and

on our core of docents. We have 460

there’s a lot of concern about that. In the

volunteers, known as docents, who become

U.S., we have the infrastructure that can

interpreters of Chicago to the world, almost

support that, or we hope we do. But in

ambassadors. We are building on that.

many places in the world, there is no

We become a model worldwide for

such infrastructure.

architecture centers. In fact, our leader Lynn Osmond is regularly consulted by

At the same time, there’s a rising tide of

architecture centers. And we’re creating

anxiety about global warming, about energy

a network right now called AAO, the

consumption. People are asking “What are

Association of Architectural Organizations.

we going to do?” There’s really an explosion of interest in the built environment.

So we’re going to become a resource, and we’re going to work together with

Now what’s interesting about that is right now

groups around the world.

art museums—Zoë and Joe are going to be looking at—architecture as an art form. That’s 26


certainly a rich topic. But there’s really a whole sphere of other subjects to cover, and what

Thanks, Greg. Zoë?

I find interesting is that in London or D.C.,


places that used to have institutions that explored the environment, don’t do it anymore.

I think that Joe and I probably have some of the best jobs in the world right now.

In places like New York, there never even

We’re at such an exciting moment at the

was an institution that looks at the built

Art Institute with the development of the new

environment in a broad way. So we at CAF

wing. Obviously we’re going to expand the

are planning now to take the baton and

Architecture and Design Department, and

really assume a leadership role in getting the

we’ll have 8,000 square feet in the new

public and professionals to learn about the

wing, so it’s a very fantastic time.

environment. Just getting people to see the environment, understand what’s there, is a

One of the things that particularly

challenging task.

interested me about working at the Art Institute was returning to a museum which

Perhaps by getting people and professionals

has this encyclopedic collection. I think my

to talk, to learn about the environment,

utmost goal for the Art Institute is to make

we can even hope that people will then

it internationally recognized for its

participate in building a better world. By

Architecture and Design Departments but

better, I mean a sustainable, diverse society.

also that people really come to the museum

So basically that’s our vision. We’re now in

knowing that they’re going to see great

a process of implementing a strategic plan

architecture and design. And obviously

that is going to help us expand our facilities

that they recognize it for its collection and

as well as the depth and breadth of the

exhibitions, but also that the Architecture

programs that we offer.

and Design Department is as recognized 27


as any of the other departments in

Our work picks up from where the

the museum.

Decorative Arts Department leaves off. There is a substantial Decorative Arts

Obviously the collection is very important,

Department in the museum. We are picking

and we are building the collection almost in

up to continue telling the story.

reverse chronology. So we’re starting with very contemporary work from very recent

For me, the most important thing is that the

years. One of the most important things for

department is recognized for what it’s going

us is identifying key talent, whether that’s

to become in 2009 when we open.

young or established talent. Identifying key


works that they have produced and seeing how we can bring those into the collection.

That’s great. Thanks. Hennie?


My interest is making the Art Institute’s collection very unique from other museums

You know, we sort of sit on two chairs,

or other institutions, obviously building on

but we’re part of this really big institution

its context. This is a fantastic city that takes

with such a powerful traditional and history

great pride in its architecture and design, so

behind it. And by introducing the new

we have a lot to draw on here.

degrees in design on the graduate level, I think that the School of the Art Institute

Chicago has always been a place where you

was really forced to look at itself in a mirror,

can see great architecture, and now, hopefully

which, for a shocking moment, reflected a

in a few years, you’ll be able to see some

lot of art and scientific explorations but very

fantastic works of design. We want to continue

little design and understanding of its role in

the legacy of Chicago, bringing international

an institution teaching design, crossing those

work here and showing local talent.

boundaries between architecture, objects,


and so forth. I think that the new programs

And it’s a collective kind of leadership,

really forced us to not just introduce them

which I think is the good thing about the Art

but actually ask the tougher question of

Institute. Everyone on the team adds to that.

“Why do we do that and what will that

The non-hierarchical nature of the school

content really be?” The nature of those

is unique, and we’re very excited about

graduate programs, and the nature of what

the possibilities of finding that intersection

we say design is about, is really what we

between art and design through exploration

are asking. If one enlarges that mirror you’re

that’s asking difficult questions. It’s not

looking into in this kind of panel, you see the

scared of failure, not scared of risk. Trying

kind of white sound that you may not like

to ask questions other people may not

that—the white sound of what media is saying

want to ask. That’s the exciting part, I think.

about design. We’re trying to make sense of


what we should add in terms of significant value. We’re trying to understand what kind

Thank you, Hennie. Zurich?

of explorations one should do when you say


you study architecture or design.

Thanks, Ned. From my perspective, in a I think essentially we’re trying to make sense

huge generality, architects often tend to be

of that intersection between art, design, and

introverted, and, in many ways, the AIA, or

science, and we do not try to pick out what’s

AIA Chicago had become introverted as

happening at other architecture schools.

well. There was a lot of dialogue between

We’re trying to ask questions that might not

architects about architecture, but it didn’t

have been asked before, trying to frame or

often involve other allied disciplines or the

understand issues that may yet be defined.

public. At least that had become the general tendency of the organization in more recent years, and it was certainly my experience



during my time at the Chicago Architecture

We don’t check IDs, we don’t check dues

Foundation. Not to say that we had not

notices, and we don’t look at who are

collaborated with AIA, but it was usually

advertisers are, either.

on a very surface level. It’s really looking at what’s relevant to The organization took a look at itself about

architecture professionals in the city, whether

two years ago, talked to lots of its members,

it’s happening in our own city and about our

and decided that change had to take place

own practitioners and designers, or if it’s

because the members were more interested

happening elsewhere and how it affects

in looking at architecture, being more public

our own community.

in their approach, and more embracing of other allied disciplines as well as the public.

The public, of course, is very different in Chicago than the public that existed, say,

So a lot of that the organization will try to

25 years ago. The public is interested in

accomplish with communications, as a start.

these topics on a level that they haven’t been

For example, we’ve established a new

before. It would be hugely remiss of our

publication called Chicago Architect . We’ve

organization to pretend that those people

only published two issues, so I can’t say how

don’t exist. And we are bringing them into

successful an effort it’s been, but I can say that

the fold and finding there is interest for

we did have significant interest from publishers

information that used to be relegated to a

and the publishing industry to publish our

more professional audience.

magazine. In fact, McGraw-Hill is the publisher. I think our organization is known primarily in It’s not meant to be a publication about

the public realm, and even professionally, for

AIA members; you don’t have to be a

all the awards we bestow on our members,

member to have us do a story about you.

and we do that a lot. Recognizing excellence



among the design community is actually a

It’s astounding to me how generous the spirit

very important thing for us to be doing locally,

of Chicago architects is. I had no idea how

nationally, and internationally.

involved in the community Chicago architects were until I took this position.

There is tremendous talent, not just in


this room but in this city, in this country. Promoting that talent and recognizing it,

Thanks, Zurich. Joe?

communicating it is a very important


function, and our organization does try to address that.

When I took this position in Chicago, it was in part for what John [Zukowsky] and

That’s just a small part of what we do. If

Martha [Thorne] had established with the

you look closely at our programs, we offer

collection. Having worked in a variety of

hundreds of education programs for design

museums, I know how hard it has been for

professionals throughout the year, and I would

those institutions to make their departments.

say that’s probably our most important activity.

And what John did was pretty much a radical

Architecture professionals are required to fulfill

thing. He grew out of the library and the

continuing education on a biannual basis, and

horseshoe gallery, which will be closing in

we’re happy to provide relevant programming

June, that was the Burnham Gallery. He had

for them, always with the direction of

the kind of chutzpah to say, “Let’s take this

architects. We don’t come up with the

vast holdings that we have in the museum,

programming in a vacuum, so we’re constantly

and make a department out of it.”

communicating with our members and getting feedback as well as finding opportunities to

Out of the museum’s holdings, 250,000

mobilize our members, to provide service to

of them, the majority is our department.

the community whenever that’s possible.

So there it is, we have the largest holdings


and the least amount of visual exposure

Decorative Arts Departments.

within the building itself.

My department collaborates with them to fill in the gaps, so to speak, from 1900

So when Jim [Cuno, Art Institute director]

to the ‘60s. Then it picks up solely from the

contacted me and said, “Wouldn’t it be

‘60s to the present, and that’s where Zoë

nice if this department could be as equal

and I specialize in the collection.

as all the others?” To hear that coming from a director is an anomaly, considering

I play scrimmage with the other department

most contemporary art museums are run

heads so Zoë can have fun.

by boards that are filled with art collectors who often commission marginal architecture

In about a year and a half, before the

to show their fab art in. So you’re kind of

new wing opens, we’ll be hiring a new

held hostage by what you can and cannot

architecture curator. That person is going to

do. So to have that brought to me as a

handle the 1850s, the earliest piece that we

possibility, I said, “Well, this is a great

have in the collection, to the ‘20s. We’ll have

opportunity.” Because of the holdings that

three people in place handling the whole

were already there, that you could take

framework of the collection to be able to

Chicago and say, “Well, now let’s show

present it correctly.

how good Chicago is by contextualizing Chicago to the world.”

The objective is once you expand the collection this way with the new galleries

That’s only a win-win for Chicago.

that we’re going to have, while we’re

So with the holdings that we have and

breaking away from Chicago, we’re still

then by establishing the design department

bringing in people from Chicago. It’s

component, this is an ideal situation.

important for us to show what’s going on

The museum has American and European

in the art world of architecture and design.



We are a museum. We look at things as

was taken by a really good photographer and

aesthetics. Design architecture is about

illustrating the decrepitude of the building,

the aesthetics of evolution. That’s how

we shouldn’t put it there, because there’s no

museums operate.

art. It’s just illustrating it. That’s a wonderful essay, but there’s no art on the walls.”

There is a general history that takes place

So now everything that goes up on our

even most recently. So for us, for Zoë and

walls is made by somebody, whether it’s a

myself, it’s important that we show what’s

photographer, the artist who designed the

going on in the universe and hopefully

building, or someone who worked for that

influence young kids or mature people

person. Always returning to whatever appears

to think that architecture is not just one

on our walls as art, and explaining that art.

aesthetic and educate them as contemporary

The inversion is it’s visceral. People should

art or medieval art does.

either like it or hate it. They don’t have to know all about it. That’s what art is. It’s an experience. You’re either engaged or you’re not.

That’s really our role as stewards of a collection, to bring in things that make that narrative as tight as possible and make those

I’d like to think that in the next year and a

issues as accessible as possible.

half, when the new wing opens, we will write the department building on what John and

Prior to my arrival, I think some of the shows

Martha did and make it where anyone can

the department did looked at narratives that

come through there and be enlightened or

looked at conditions. There might have been

revolted by what we show. But that’s what’s

one or two pieces up that were art, but they

going on in the universe.

were just good examples of marginal—a


photograph of a building looking quite crappy. I said, “Well, that’s terrible. Unless that photo

Thank you, Joe. Sarah Herda?



It’s a kind of history of risk taking in

Well, for over 50 years, the Graham

architecture. So we may give a grant to

Foundation has been supporting diverse

someone now that’s unknown, but all of

and challenging ideas in architecture

these other projects and people were

through an international grant-making

unknown quantities throughout this 50 years.

program. In the last year and a half that I’ve been in this position, we’ve really been

To that end, we’ve also been doing

delving into the archive to understand the

something that is really unique, which is

extent of what we’ve done.

funding individuals for 50 years. There is a trend now with a lot of different foundations

If the AIA is known for giving awards, the

that are, especially in the art world,

Graham Foundation is probably known for

supporting individuals. There are Creative

writing checks. But it’s been much more than

Capital in New York and United States

that. People tend to have a relationship with

Artists in Los Angeles. We’ve been funding

the Graham if they’re a grantee, or, if you’re in

individuals consistently for 50 years, and we

Chicago, you enter the history when you start

don’t make a very big deal about that. We

to develop your relationship. There’s very little

need to, because our endowment, though

available on the full extent of our activities or

good and it makes a lot of projects happen,

the fact that we have had a public program

is not enough for the field.

in Chicago for 50 years. So we’re doing a lot to try to make that more visible and to

There are more people producing projects

contextualize every grant that we make in this

and more architecture organizations that

incredible legacy of projects that includes

need funding than we can possibly cover.

things like Complexity and Contradiction

So I think an important role for the

in Architecture by Venturi Scott Brown and

Graham Foundation is also to be an

Rem Koolhaas’s Delirious New York .

advocate for more funding for our field.




When I was here about a year ago, I said I had one of the nicest offices in town, and,

Great. Thank you, Sarah. And last again,

now a year and a half later, I think that we

but not least again, is Bob Somol.

have one of the great architectural galleries


in the country. We just opened an exhibition with Bjarke Ingels’s group from Copenhagen,

You know, I picked this spot because I like

a big Copenhagen experiment, which will be

blackjack and I always like the seat that’s

up through March 1. It’s a really exciting time

right before the dealer. So, it’s actually not

in the Graham, because we are kind of re-

working out so well tonight.

investing in our public programs. Actually Sarah, that’s great plugging. We have our first Saturday hours in the last

I have to learn from you. That’s got the

40 years, so please come see us Wednesday

whole programming thing in there. It was

through Saturday, 11:00 to 6:00. And

good. Think programming.

when we open the Cecil Balmond show in April, we’ll have about 3,500 square feet of

I guess I want to start by taking a little bit

dedicated public space to show architecture.

of issue with the question or the format

I would just like to steal a line from another

of the question.

great institution in Chicago, the Renaissance Society, which says that part of their mission

I don’t think that the obligation of a school

is to bring the best of the world to Chicago

is to be true to its city. I think that the site

and the best of Chicago to the world.

of a school is the site of the discipline of architecture that’s actually distinct from its

I could only aspire that for the Graham

locale. The context for what we do is the

as well.

field of architecture nationally, internationally, and globally, and our context is other 36

schools of architecture. Even though we

In a moment when schools seem to

want to do something different, we also have

need to take on more and more obligations

to pay attention to what’s happening in the

and more and more fields of information

rest of the field in terms of our expertise.

and more and more kinds of facts and expertise, it’s basically pushing out the

So I would always advise thesis students

discipline. We just imagine that we’re going

when they were doing a thesis project that

to solve the problem by adding more years,

it’s not about the site and not about the

but education is not a question of acquiring

program, it’s not what you as an architect

information and facts. It’s a question of

are doing for the site and the program,

how you format and frame arguments with

but what is the site and the program doing

cultural and disciplinary significance. It’s not

for architecture?

a question of if the glass isn’t big enough, let’s make a bigger glass.

I think that you have to be obligated to keep that double set of books. So at the risk of

It’s actually the shape of the glass. It’s not

sounding institutionally selfish and politically

a content question. Education is a medium,

incorrect as a member of a state institution,

not a content.

I do think it’s about what the city can do for the discipline of architecture as much as it is

If we want to get Chicago off the map,

what we can do for the city.

how do you take geography out of the equation? We are in a context where

I think that there are necessary and sufficient

the professional culture is very strong.

conditions for architecture, and I think we’re

The city culture and the political City Hall

obligated to establish not just the necessary

culture is very strong. Communities are

ones but the sufficient conditions for what

very strong.

architecture is.



I think that cultural institutions have tended

globally, and those are the techniques and

to be reactive to those three constituencies,

procedures we’re interested in.

and we need to make a fourth estate, which is certainly the Graham and the Art

So Chicago really not as a specific

Institute, and Archeworks, and IIT and Donna

monument but as a series of generic

[Robertson]. There’s got to be a counter-

inventions that spread through the world,

well in force, which is not simply a service

we can study Chicago just as well in Dubai

industry. That is our job.

and Shanghai as we can here. And viceversa, people from other places can come

I think that we can pose alternatives in

here and tell us something about ourselves

a certain way. The job of architecture is

that we don’t know. So that’s what I mean

ultimately political. How do you invent new

by getting Chicago off the map, or getting

audiences that don’t simply confirm the

it out of its sort of special, unique,

existing constituencies? It’s too easy in a city

pre-NAFTA bubble.

with very strong constituencies to flicker from


one to another and forget about the fact that you’re obligated to your own expertise and

I was waiting for someone to mention

discipline at the same time.

NAFTA. Thank you. That’s a really interesting point to begin our conversation, people coming to Chicago and making observations.

So when I say get Chicago off the map and do a favor for it, part of the favor is to say, “Don’t fixate on your monuments.” Actually,

How many people here by show of hands

there’s a whole series of inventions that

grew up in Chicago? Two. Okay. So I

this city was part of: the kind of small “c”

think I’m just going to dive in by asking

Chicago, Chicago as a system of operations.

what Chicago is like from an outsider’s

Those inventions spread around the world

perspective. You’ve been here in Chicago


for different periods of time. Bob, you’re

The Graham Foundation exists in the

probably the most recent arrival?

discipline of architecture. So, the challenge before me was “What is the Graham


Foundation doing and what has it done for the last 50 years?”

Yeah. Summer.


A lot of people asked me, being from New York, what I thought of Chicago.

Summer. Okay. I think you beat everybody else.

And I’ve resisted answering that question.


But I was here for 10 years at one point.

Just as you are right now. That’s okay.


But let me ask you this in a different way.

I’m going to ask a New Yorker, Sarah.


Culture shock when you got here? When you arrive at a job with the kind of weight that the

I think the Graham Foundation has always

directorship of the Graham Foundation has in

had a national and international program

this community, did you look around and say,

from the very, very beginning, but it has been

Scheisse ? Or did you think, “I have my work

based in Chicago, and that is significant.

cut out for me?”

It has enjoyed a very special and long relationship with a lot of the institutions here,


a lot of the individuals here.

In all honesty, I’d been to Chicago two times before I moved here to take this position.

So on one hand, I came to a city where a lot

It was: “Where can I get my coffee?” and

of people had a very close relationship to

“What neighborhood do I want to go to?”

an institution and a lot of knowledge about



it that I’ve been accumulating. I’ve done that

What fascinates me about Chicago, which

through spending a lot of time with people,

was a bit of a shock to me, was the little bit

developing relationships with a lot of the

of Wild West interaction in terms of dialogue

great institutions in the city. I think that the

where the person that says the first correct

Graham does have a very special relationship

sentence wins the argument. You can’t go

to Chicago.

back to that.


Where I come from, a context where

Hennie, as someone who’s in a leadership

there’s a capacity for reflection that I still

position, do you feel like you’ve heard a lot

find in Europe as well, there’s a huge

of people talk about bridging relationships

capacity for reflection. I’m very interested in

between Chicago and the rest of the world.

understanding design, to discuss design and

Do you see that as part of your mandate? As

develop design arguments that do not lose

someone who runs an educational program,

efficiency of process or protocol but also

do you see the issue in the same light that

allow for time to reflect or a space

Bob does?

of reflection.



I don’t think that one can think about design

So the whole kind of “shut up and build”

and the responsibilities that carries with your

motto here, not so much for you?

head in the sand or under the bubble of a


city’s image. I think it’s absolutely socially, politically, and economically an issue that one

I think it’s a part the legacy of Chicago and

needs to understand in a much more holistic

that’s what I like about Chicago, too. When

and global way.

people say they will do something, they will do it before you’ve finished your sentence.


I like the idea that one can do that and reflect

last few years, and especially now in this

through that process.

position, a shifting relationship between developers and our community, and those


potentially conflicting sets of priorities?

Maybe no one knows the power structure in

Are you going to make them do the

Chicago better than Lee. In fact, you teach

right thing?

a course now on architecture and politics at


UIC, right?

As I see it, I hope so. If I do my job right,


they will do the right thing. And it isn’t just developers, these are bankers, lawyers,

Well, I used to until Bob came along.

financial people who all devote their time


to the group.

Oh my god. Fired you! But I don’t know if I see as much your [Laughter]

question as I see something else. Since 1989 we’ve had consistent city leadership


in the form of a mayor. And there’s a

No, I got the new job.

tendency from the business community

There’s no need to do that.

now, I’ve noticed, to just let the mayor drive. He’s got us down the road a bit so far, let


him drive a little more. And that’s good,

Gotcha. You effectively represent a

but, having worked with City Hall, we need

group of developers who have a significant

an active business community that can

sort of relationship to and investment in

challenge City Hall.

downtown. Have you noticed over the



Not necessarily obstructionist, unless there’s

if we agree that public transportation

a need to be, but there has to be a debate.

that runs on time and speaks to the city,

There has to be this give and take in order

that befits the city is a good thing.” If he’s

for good things to happen. This notion of

saying, “Look, I’ve done all I can do.

a benevolent dictator that will ultimately fix

This is as far as I can carry the ball,”

everything for everyone, I’m not sure the

it’s up to the business community to say,

mayor would want us to ascribe to that.

“Well then let us try to carry it a

I think he wants that give and take between

little further.”

the two. I see there’s a tendency to let City Hall do I was in a meeting last year in which the

its thing, and it’ll all work out in the end. And

mayor spoke. A question was asked of him

that isn’t the case. We have to look beyond,

regarding transportation and the funding of

and I mean all of us. We have to look beyond

it. He said basically he didn’t hold out much

Daley, certainly enjoy him while he’s here.

hope that he’d get enough money from


Springfield to do what he wants to do. Not much hope that he’d get money from

And we do.

the federal government for what he wanted


to do. And this room of people, all very powerful individuals, sat silent.

And we do. But we have to have a larger vision, a longer vision, a vision that goes beyond. That’s what I’m not seeing.

Afterward they said, “Well, what a surprise he said that. Why did he say that?” And I said, “What did you say?” “I didn’t

Lastly, I think the architects need to be,

say anything.” Well, you were supposed

the community needs to be, more

to say, “Well then we have to turn this group,

politically sophisticated.


I think there was a reference to being a

Can you mobilize your committee on the

service provider. I think that in this town, you

environment for the city to develop strategies

have to know the politics, you have to know

for carbon reduction? Well, yes, but how

the secret wiggles and handshakes and

much of the personal and professional

winks that make things happen in this town.

resources of those professionals can the

Otherwise, the construction managers know,

organization put out there for the city’s use?

the lawyers certainly know.

You have to balance that. There are benefits to participation, absolutely. But you can’t give it all away.

The architects sometimes don’t know. You are in a position to know and to do good


things when you do know. And you have to be there at the table.

So Martin and Sarah, you as the co-founders of UrbanLab, am I right in reporting that


you’re actually working on a city-funded piece of research?

So Zurich, is AIA Chicago going to hire a lobbyist, are you going to start taking


advocacy positions on major issues in town?



Most of our lobbying takes place on a state and national level. But locally I think what Lee

That’s a leading question, but, as a body, are

is saying is absolutely correct, but you really

they operating in any kind of client role?

do, reflecting on what Bob said, have to


weigh the cost benefit of the situations that you’re pulled into and asked to help with.

Yeah. We’re working on essentially implementing an idea that we had to radically



adjust Chicago’s infrastructure over the next

they have some vision of how a city should

100 years. We’ve been working through the

perform over a long period of time.

mayor’s office and, most importantly, through the Chicago Department of Transportation to

I think that what we need to do as a basic

essentially take a long view of how can you

disciplinary move is to work toward shifting

intervene and create change.

that around a little bit, so that the city is following a set of mandates that we produce

What we’re finding about the long view is

as thinkers, not necessarily following a

that we can pretty much all be assured that

market-based model that just tries to solve

everything is going to be rebuilt in 100 years.

problems as they come up.

You name it.

MR. CRAMER: So there is X number of billions of dollars

So, Sarah, is that a role that you hope

available for that if one can intervene in

Archeworks in conducting this research is

it. One thing I was thinking about when

going to take? More of a proactive, problem-

Lee was talking is that my understanding

solving role in Chicago.

of, in terms of politics, the ruling class in


the United States as lawyers, rulemakers, policymakers, lobbyists who study law. If we

Definitely. I think Archeworks students

take China as an example, their ruling class is

already have a tendency to do this on their

engineers. Architects fall under the engineer.

own. They are given a problem by a client partner, a problem they determine to be say

Where they work first from a vision or a set

too narrowly focused, and then they step

of ideas, (sometimes their ideals are based

back and offer some critical distance, actually

upon American urbanism, so it doesn’t

critiquing the institution itself. They end up

necessarily turn out to be cutting-edge)

actually proposing systemic change when



they were asked to, for example, design an exhibit. They redesign the building because

A little.

the building isn’t correct, so how could


anybody make an exhibit in the building if it’s not correct?

What about curriculum for you, Bob?



Does that become Sisyphean at some point?

What? What’s that?

Do you create problems by pulling back so far instead of solving the discrete problem, is


there wheel spinning that starts to happen?


We’re doing some things. One or two.

Well, possibly, but specifically for

We’re going to get Lee back.

Archeworks, we imagine, instead of having three separate problems, have one


problem and have all of the brain power


in Archeworks focused on one critical examination of one issue, and see where

Well, I think it goes along the lines of

that goes.

what I started to say, which is the issue of the three-year master’s, a four-year


bachelor of science, and a three-year

Interesting. So kind of reworking the

professional degree. We also have a

curriculum a little bit.

couple of post-professional programs. In the post-professional programs, you could specialize in an M.S. in health design. 47


One that we’re hoping to start in the next

Archeworks. Although I also want to make

year is an M.S. in criticism or an M.A.

an argument quickly in terms of curriculum

and then, of course, the one-year post-

against research.

professional degree, which is more design


oriented. But in terms of the three-year M.Arch., one could say the bread and butter,


the accredited program.

MR. SOMOL: Over the course of three years, the first year

We killed off thesis with research and that

would instill issues of discipline, and the

was a good enough thing to do. But the

second year would test them against issues

problem with research is this, the recent

of the city, urbanism, and technology.

cult of research is partially one of the things that we need to get out of, the idea of

The two second-year studios address

architecture as a science or architectural

the issue of how one’s discipline works

education as a science. It’s a politics in the

through issues of the urban context and

sense that it’s not about science and truth

how you communicate to public audiences,

and facts but power and argument and

and issues of technology and tectonics

cultural position.

and how to communicate to the people


who do the architecture, let’s say, contractors and fabricators.

Is that why you’re launching a criticism degree?

And then the last year is one learns how to


push the envelope of what the discipline is in terms of research studios. Along the lines

Yeah. Part of it is what Lee and other people

of the kinds of things that would happen at

have been saying, which is that Chicago



can throw up facts so quickly that there’s no thought about what their significances are.


And so it has the high speed of the virtual in


real life, that’s what Chicago is. So the issue is, where do you set the agenda or start to

No? Be a while?

edit and make those differentiations?

MS. RYAN: I think that the research cult has certainly

A little while.

strong aspects to it, but I think when it results


in data farming and mapping you start to believe your own myth of it as a science and

A little while? One of the things that I find

as a social science or hard science. We see

very exciting about the job that the two of

the world a certain way; it doesn’t have to be

you have is that you’re shopping and you’re

that way. We can reconfigure it another way,

shopping hard, right?

and we should basically be using the facts to get us to that other world.




It’s a starting point, not an end in and of

Sort of.

itself. Zoë, Joe? Building bridges. You’re


actually kind of building one, literally building a bridge that’s kind of exciting. We’re all

Sort of? What’s the coolest thing you’ve

excited. Is that done, actually?

bought lately?




Hmm. Lots. 49



If Chicago is part of it, fab. But if it’s not, we have to be true to the collection and

Lots? Pick one thing.

the evolution of thinking.


A paper chair by Tokujin Yoshioka,


from Japan.



So in that sense, there are things in

Not a Chicago work?

Chicago that are going to come into our


collection, and, of course, go on show once we do open up, but it’s more so the


bigger narrative.


No? So how are you going to balance that? Historically, the department has

Zoë, you referred to the artist who is in an

focused on Chicago very much. Moving

encyclopedic institution, right?

forward, is it your goal to continue that


but broaden it to encompass other cities?

Well, we’re like a world within a city. I find it


very funny when people keep asking me how

So while we have things that are in our

are we going to focus on Chicago? I doubt

collection, which is the most important thing we

that they go to the Asian Department and

have, our role is to bring art into the museum,

say, “Well, are there any Asians here that are

show it, acquire it, or acquire it and show it in

doing work in Chicago?” I mean, it’s not that

a way that is emblematic of a way of thinking.

we aren’t going to be focusing on superb



people here. We’re definitely not going to

Chicago will always play a strong role in

turn them away.

that because that’s where the Art Institute is based. But with 8,000 square feet, we’ve

That’s not the point. I think one of the things

got a lot more to do than just run around in

with design and architecture is that it’s

our own community trying to fit in people that

not just a Chicago problem. It’s a world

are here. There are fantastic designers that

problem that the level of critical dialogue

are working in several of these institutions.

about architecture and design needs to

Obviously we do ask for ideas from them.

be raised astronomically. If you just look at


the design and architecture publications that are surviving (Architect is fantastic),

In getting ready for the new wave, and since

it’s come to the field. But you see that so

I’ve arrived and we have Zoë now with us, it’s

many magazines are folding, or they’re being

been a strategic way of taking a department

rapidly reduced.

that was doing X and building on that. So first, we put forward a small book series, with a 2x4 design template to expedite it.

Just go out and look at how many real critical books there are on design. It’s very few that are coming out each year, and I feel that

So a 2x4 design template, and we’re

the biggest role that we can play is to add

producing these small, affordable books.

to that, getting out of our own world as it

We did this for a show on Doug Garofalo.

is in the Art Institute and bridging that gap,

His work is natural to be shown to the

broadening and strengthening the scope of

general public as a progressive thinker.

what we do in an effort to influence a much

Then the following show was on young

larger dialogue.

Chicago, the community. Young was maybe the wrong term; it got at progressive thinkers.



as Chicagoans, we just see them as talented people in our community. That’s great.

Youngish? Okay.




A lot of them were not young, but their thinking was fresh. But that set the stage


for us to go to the next level with doing Figuration in Contemporary Design , which

Versus like when I lived in Pittsburgh,

has nothing to do with Chicago, but IIT is

we imported everybody because there

in it because of 2x4. And that’s a natural.

was no one there to really play with.

It’s not that they were put in there because


they should have been put in there.

Right. With the Young Chicago show, the


museum did bring people into the collection that would have never been in a design

So that’s kind of how we see our city.

collection before. So we have Jason

It’s not separating.

[Pickleman] in the collection, Ross Wimer


is coming into the collection. We’re bringing graphic design and industrial

Greg, your situation is quite different.

designers who were never in the collection.

It strikes me that you’re very much focused

So we are looking at the community.

on Chicago, but Zoë mentioned raising the level of sophistication among the public.

Zoë recently spoke with Scott Wilson.

Right? And that strikes me that public

There are people here that are naturals for

engagement is really how CAF defines

us to be interacting with. We don’t see them

its role. Is that right?




that to their own homes. So I don’t think

I think that’s central. I think raising

it’s really an either/or, I think focusing on

public and professional knowledge of our

Chicago is critical. I think we also need to

built environment is essential, and doing

and we will be looking at other places in

that through Chicago is ideal, really an

the world, because by looking at other

ideal position.

places, we can understand our own hometown better.

You asked Sarah what she thought of


Chicago when she got here, and, for me when I got here, the thing I noticed right away

So is there a sea change? Is the fact that

was that people here were really engaged

all of these amazing new people in these

and interested in their environment. This was

new positions sitting here talking about

a big contrast, for example, to New York

building bridges between Chicago and

where you don’t get that feeling at all. Here

other cities representative of a sea change?

I think the public, the general public is really

Is Chicago emerging out of a stint of

interested, and the media here is much more

provincialism and embracing globalism

interested than in New York City. In addition,

again? Sarah?

Chicago has this incredibly rich history and


heritage in architecture, in engineering, and that’s something that we can use to explain

I think that, intrinsic to so many of our

to the world not only why Chicago is the

missions, has changed. So all of these

way it is but also learning about their own

institutions should be changing all of the

environments. The themes are universal.

time. Maybe I don’t know enough about what Chicago was before I came here and

They can learn about Chicago, why things

started participating in this community. But

are the way they are, and they can apply

I’m very excited by what’s happening here



now, and I think that it’s happening on a level that’s similar to what’s happening in

The point is how do you understand it?

other cities around the world.

It’s like the Roman Empire. It didn’t die, it was just translated in a different way to the


world. In other words, there was no fall

When I got here in 2002, just the year

of the Roman Empire, we just all became

before, I think UIC had held a symposium

Romans. And in a certain sense, the world is

called “Chicago Is History,” the double

Chicago, but again with a small “c” Chicago.

entendre being, I think, very deliberate.

That it’s, you just have to see perhaps the

People in this room were involved in that

dark side of the history of Chicago that you

symposium, and it didn’t really speak well

don’t want to see is really what the world

of a city that could say that about itself

has become. And maybe there are more

and its design community and the state of

intensive moments of it now in other places,

architecture and design.

but I think you can recognize the genetics of Chicago in other places.

Could today UIC hold that same program? So in that sense, it’s an operating system


whose versions may have changed, but it’s

Would we? No. But meaning that we’re

still the system of modernization everywhere.

interested in marketing its history or basically

That is actually a part that’s not history, it’s

saying that its day is over?

just a kind of continuous running failure.



The latter.

MR. CRAMER: How well do you think the 10 of you 55


are going to play together? Greg, Zoë,

to see other places doing other things that

and Joe, and Sarah, you all have public

are changing the behavior of what I think

exhibition programs. Any of you see overlap

Chicago thinks it is.

or redundancy in what you do, given the existence of the other two?

Because it’s a place to be and be active, not just be historical.


I don’t think there’s any redundancy. I think one of the positive things about Chicago is


there’s such a diverse group of environments


to go see things and that’s what makes Chicago an anomaly among other cities.

Yeah. I just want to reinforce what Joe is saying. I think that we have great

And I think we all know each other from other

opportunity if we collaborate and work

universes, so it’s kind of a nice situation

together. Overlap is great. I think we each

where there’s a similar way of thinking about

have our own perspectives, and, that

what is going on, what one needs in one’s

working together, it will strengthen all

environment, and collaborative support.

of us.

I have an auxiliary, the A&D Society which has been around as long as the department

So I look forward to working with the others.

and does programs and lectures, and they


have their own universe, which is important so we’d make sure that stays. So there’s

And the Graham Foundation works with

only certain things we could do with other

everybody, so it’s kind of a way, way different

institutions, but collectively, I think it’s a

situation. But for instance, Bjarke Ingels

good thing for everybody because it’s great

[Group] is going to come speak at UIC.


Right now there’s an incredible group of

of the finished building or the research

students at IIT at this very moment building

document or the object you buy, an exhibit,

a model for Cecil Balmond.

and trying to find and make visible those things which are in process or those things

So I think that there are all kinds of

that engage the community. A lot of the work

opportunities that we are already engaging

that Archeworks has been doing is really very

in. Joe and I were talking last night that we

difficult to show, but it’s extremely important

can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get to

work. And a lot of the explorations that one

work at Archeworks.

tried to establish between art and design is not that easy to exhibit, because it’s not a


finished product.

Challenge? Threat? Or promise? So is there going to be a new kind of smoky back-

So to challenge those production protocols

room club of young leaders in Chicago?

or to challenge the kinds of ideas about

Are you guys getting together on the sly?

research and talk about explorations, how

Making plans?

does one show that? I think that’s where the collaborative project between all of the


institutions in the city becomes important. Because then suddenly when there’s a kind

Isn’t there?

of teamwork and a collective voice, then it


becomes visible.

I didn’t get the invite if there is.


I think we’ll open up to questions from the

I’m sort of keen to know how the group

audience, and we’ve asked Linda Searl who

can actually expose this, the problems

is Chair of the Board here at Archeworks



and also a distinguished designer in the

I think the other interesting comments

community, to ask the first question.

that were made were about design having a new definition and therefore design can


create a new aesthetic because we have

I was going to do a little bit of a response

new challenges that we didn’t have before.

to what I thought I heard, and then maybe

We have urban growth and the way it

other people could go on with the questions.

will grow in our cities and the way we

What I think is very exciting and interesting

live in them. We have sustainability, and

and important is that tonight is actually the

we have even issues in terms of health and

beginning of, I think, a new way of the City

the idea of neurosciences, what they are

of Chicago and the institutions in Chicago

understanding now about the brain, and

really working together in understanding

how that will influence design and the way

how they can collaborate, how there may

we look at it. What we consider a new

be this opportunity to become a collective

aesthetic comes out of many of those

leadership as Hennie put so well.

technologies and those ideas.

I think that’s very historic, that we can

So I hope that this group will continue

consider that idea right now. That there is

the dialogue because I think there’s

a new generation, as Stanley said, coming

architects and designers and institutions

together. I think that we do, as everyone

will make that dialogue happen in a really

here said, have to look at the opportunity to

good way. I think what we have here is

be on the international stage as the leaders

very interesting, a very American group.

in design. Chicago could be the leader, and

We have 8 out of 10 of these people

that’s what I think this is an opportunity that

who are not even from Chicago, and

could happen.

here we are, all coming together and really starting to begin to spring off into new


ideas and new ways of looking at design

what’s going to happen to this term

in Chicago.



So I’ll end there. I’m not sure there’s a question in there, but . . .




I think that really kind of frames the last

As an architect, a person trained as

45 minutes or so of conversation beautifully

an architect, and as a person teaching

and is a good point for us to begin asking

architecture now, I’m really used to this

other people.

ethos, this architectural ethos that is really curricularly embodied in a lot of, let’s say,


nostalgia models that are really not functional

I’m Victor Margolin from over at the

any longer, given technologies that are at

UIC Art History Department. You go to

work today. Ideas that are lagging behind

the Archeworks web site, and you see

for just lots of reasons.

that Archeworks is built as an alternative design school. Will that change? At least

I think that Archeworks doesn’t though

it was until today.

have that challenge because it doesn’t actually have to satisfy curricular components

So I wonder, I put this to anyone on the

like an architecture school or some other

panel, does this term “alternative design”

kind of school might have, some discipline

mean anything to you? I haven’t heard

might also have that educational problem.

much about it this evening, and I’ve been involved in Archeworks since the beginning

So the words “alternate,” “alternative,”

in one way or another. And I’m wondering

or “alternate” will certainly continue, but



I think every single time they’re used and

looking at. Pulling them out as thematics,

every single person who uses them will have

say we’re suddenly going to look at

a different definition for what they might

environmental design, is not something

mean. It’s hard to talk about it outside of

that’s particularly interesting to me. In every

the context of a specific concept or project

one of the projects that we’re looking at,

or something. Because hopefully there’s

these issues are already so much a part of

going to be a kind of pragmatics continuing

the making, the process, the ideological

at Archeworks that there’s always been and

approach behind them. That’s why we’re

hopefully will be, that really looks seriously at

choosing or selecting them.

what’s happening on the ground today and with its partners today. And then thinks about

I think that Archeworks stands above a lot of

what the future of that condition could be in

university programs, because it is highlighting

different ways.

this. For design, Archeworks is one of the only places that I know where people are actually


working with people in the field or people that have a lot of interest or experience in these

Can I add a point?

sort of alternative practices. My interest


lies in seeing the kind of projects that Archeworks actually develops at the end.



But I think when I’m shopping, as it’s so

In my role, the alternative has already become

called . . .

mainstream, because if you think about


socially responsible design or environmental consciousness or sustainability, these go

Sorry. I didn’t mean to minimize it.

hand in hand with everything that we’re

I’m actually quite jealous.




the institutions are never going to, let’s just

. . . that it’s part and parcel to the merit or

face it, the institutions may never get to

the success of a piece of work that we’re

do it. It’s going to take a bomb thrower,

bringing in.

a radical.


Let me just back up a little bit. Metaphorically . . .

Lee, I think you had something to add?



Well, just a bit, although I think Zoë


mentioned everything. To answer Victor’s question, I think that there has to be room

. . . a bomb thrower or radical to get that done.

in the works for the radical, the radical

So that’s what I think, and I want there always

individual or the institution that is radical.

to be room for that in what we do today.


Much of what was radical 10 years ago when I started writing about architecture

Great. Thank you, Lee. We had a question

is the mainstream now, but there’s something

over here?

else out there that isn’t that ought to be.


So in this construct of how things get built in the city, we have to be careful that we

Yes. Hello. I’m Samar Hechaime from

don’t just say, “Well, you know, we’re doing

Perkins and Will Eva Maddox Branded

things now that we didn’t do five years

Environments. I’ve been involved in

ago,” all on the soft [phonetic]. But there’s

Archeworks for two years, this is my

something else out there, some other

second year facilitating.

things out there that we’re not doing that 62

In response to the question here,

aspects. How is the new Archeworks

Archeworks’s strength is not about just

going to respond to that?

being alternative, it’s being multidisciplinary and very collaborative, and looking at the

The strength of it, is it going to be lost

world through different eyes. The strength

through losing that multidisciplinary and

of the teams is that they’re multidisciplinary

collaborative aspect, or what?

and most of them are not from the traditional


architectural role.

Multidisciplinary collaboration is about a But what I’m seeing here are all of you are

form of leadership that moves in and out as

architects, and . . .

a project is underway. It’s not necessarily about dissolving expertise, necessarily.

[Mr. Bey shakes his head] What I think is really important is that


each discipline hold very tightly to their expertise and develop it collectively within

Oh, sorry. You are not an architect.

that discipline, because they’re the experts.


They’re the ones that know exactly what they’re doing, what they’re talking about.

Not even close.

And I think that if one dilutes that process,


that point of being very personal, then I don’t think that’s to anyone’s benefit.

But you’re all talking in architectural terms. You’re all talking in traditional architectural viewpoints. And the future of the city and

My understanding, and I’ll let Sarah answer,

the built environment is to link all the

too, is that the strength of multidisciplinary

disciplines and all the human factors and

projects is simply that there is a network



that can form when necessary. It’s not

naïveté, which then leads to, as Lee

mandatory to do something.

mentioned, the radical, the bomb thrower. The misunderstanding or the “under-

To answer the question, the way that I

understanding” of a problem, considered

approach it is as an architect for sure.

in a new light brings about really brilliant

But that’s a probably presumptuous take

proposals, sometimes not. And with some

on the fact that I think that architects have

direction, maybe more brilliant ones.

actually undervalued their expertise to the

I don’t think that changes.

point that they can do a lot more than


they’re allowed to do.

Joe, you had something to add? And there are so many reasons for that, that


it’s hard to get into. To summarize, it’s more about when an Archeworks student that is in

I would say that the people that are up here,

a discipline other than architecture takes a

even though we might talk particular ways—

leadership role and really plugs away at that

some are trained in architecture or history or

within their discipline, not giving up anything

other universes—understand that the best

at the same time.

way to make change is by getting into the system and altering it instead of sitting on the


sidelines and making noise.

I think one of the strengths of Archeworks has been the mix of students. They’re not

I think what Eva and Stanley have done is

all from architecture—maybe a third are

they thought, “Well, you know what? I don’t

from design backgrounds. The conversation

particularly like the way things are going,”

is very interesting, and the whole group

and they decided to make their own

takes on a project with this really interesting

environment, which has become very


successful, because it’s building on a

So I would just be careful of certain

tradition of thinking and intelligence,

terms of getting into a system and changing

and knowledge.

it. It’s the best thing, because none of us could be doing what we’re doing if we

You have to be careful of thinking that

didn’t have it as part of our agendas and

just because you’re in the corner over

were hired to do that.

here and you’re not what you consider


the standard behavior, you’re going to be anything more than what you hate. One

Hennie, you had something to add as well.

does have to be careful of the collaborative

Is that right?

to understand authorship, because Walter


Gropius was a lovely teacher. He couldn’t put a door on a building to save his life,

I fully agree with what Martin and Joe

and the architect’s collaborative didn’t really

have been saying. I think the reason why

help anybody in there.

architecture lost a lot of ground and a lot of credibility over the past year was because

So one has to think of one’s own existence.

of that self-referential role and the inability

An artist, a designer, as a group of people

to collaborate.

that’s great. But you know what? When you put them all together, someone has to

The danger is that when we start

take authorship in some aspect, because

creating these kinds of interdisciplinary

there still is authorship at different levels of

collaborative themes, we are starting to

information. And in a school like this where

spread accountability over a very, very

you bring different talents together, each

broad spectrum, and someone needs

one can have its own authorship in that

to take that accountability, to take

collaborative process.

responsibility for the decisions we make.



So somehow the scapegoating that what

up schools like this one. So Martin, could

was going on against architecture and

you comment on that, and, I hate to bring

from architecture toward the outside world

it back to something as mundane as

gave an opportunity to very entrepreneurial

employability, but we are talking about

thinkers outside of the traditional fields

infiltrating industries that are largely

of design, to grab hold of a larger part

governed by licensed professionals.

of design’s responsibility —people who understood marketing, technology better.

Can you comment on that?

And it’s only now that design is prepared


and architecture is prepared to actually work together and take responsibility. I think that

Well, Archeworks, of course, doesn’t grant

we will see strangers in terms of social and

any degrees that would afford anyone

spatial responsibilities that we should have

ability to get a license, but that’s just not

had and never gave up.

Archeworks’s role, in my opinion.

So I think the collaborative projects are also

Archeworks’s role is about becoming

about the shared, not just ownership, but

and remaining an infrastructure within an

also accountability.

environment that really makes a difference, regardless of how that occurs. So the idea


about entrepreneurship is one that is very

Can I bring up an issue that is looming

interesting to architects because it is a model

in the background? Certainly Martin and

to take full responsibility for something and

Stanley and Eva, all of you are employers

enact risks that architects like to take but

as well as licensed professionals in your

often times probably don’t exactly know

fields. And certainly you’re paving a way for

how to grab.

professions in alternative design by heading


So there are some really interesting

think of, the professionals are much more

examples of that going on in the world.

interesting than the academics.

So I probably didn’t answer the question, but [Laughter]

you know what? I think that what we’re looking for at Archeworks is for


people who are already interesting, intelligent professionals who want to come and work

You know what? I think now is a perfect

with us on projects, and who can add that

moment for closing remarks. Was that yours?

professionalism that they already have


to the work.

Can I say practitioners? There’s lots of


professional practitioning. There’s lots of ways to practice, of course.

I guess my larger question is do you see, and I hope the answer is yes, that the


professional industries are more open to alternative pathways to participation in a

You have about two minutes each to

professional field? Maybe not as a licensed

give a closing comment, looking back on

architect or a licensed interior designer, but

the course of the conversation if you have

I would hope that opportunities exist and

any big takeaway you’d like to share with

that people do have influence, and creative

everyone. Let’s start with Bob, since you

designers and creative thinkers are having

always have to go last.

influence beyond academia.


Could I get a quick anecdote in? A friend

Oh, absolutely. When I look at Chicago

of mine always shows this movie clip,

as an example, actually every city that I can

from The Life of Brian . Brian, the reluctant



Messiah, is disgusted that people are

producers that are able to make those kinds

following him, and he says, “No. Look,

of arguments and qualitative differences.

what I have to say is not important.


Just, you’re all individuals.” And the entire

Well said. Yes.

crowd says, “We are all individuals.”




And then the guy in the front says, “I’m not.”

Sarah? [Laughter]

MS. HERDA: And I think there’s something about that

I’m looking forward to all of us, and many

issue of this kind of lemming-like pursuit

people that are not up here in this very

of diversity, which I think goes back to the

inclusive panel, to attacking some of these

multidisciplinary question, which is to say, we

issues that have come up today. That it’s not

must all be diverse. And I think we’re actually

another panel about Chicago, but maybe it

getting diverse and losing difference. I think

starts to aggregate into different issues and

one thing that we are interested in doing is

we stop asking this question over and over.

producing difference, which is a qualitative


thing, whereas diversity is a statistical thing. And that’s our job, to produce difference,

One thing that Bob said earlier, without

despite whatever the consensus is.

saying it, is in Chicago, legacy can really screw you. Because it builds such a build up

And that’s what I think we’re supposed to

and a momentum to a condition that it almost

produce in terms of our students, cultural

renders people inoperable in a condition


where they just feel like they could only do

heard was the curatorial perspective

such or make building of particular quality

that’s being taken at the Art Institute, and I

aesthetically because they need to.

don’t want to say that Joe sounded a little defensive about it, but you did.

I like living in Chicago, but what I’m here to [Laughter]

do is a particular thing, and I’m happy and become happier every time I hear someone moving here, someone moving here and

And to me, it’s something that is happening

bringing in people as well. So for me, the

and people are excited about it, and it is

nicest thing is I’m teaching at Bob’s school,

really excellent to hear about it from both of

and I have to send my students to do something

you. And I just think if we could all pursue

when I’m not there next week. He doesn’t know

our own positions in the way that Stanley

this. But I want to send them to see the show

and Eva established this organization,

at the Graham because I think it’s so great.

which, let’s face it, in the context of Chicago,

It says so much for the institution and that

was a real maverick undertaking. That we

shows me what we’re doing here that’s really

are here so many years later is really just a

good, and that we’re diverse, but in our own

testament to the idea that Chicago is really

terms. Not because we don’t get together to

more open to new ideas than I think we

figure out how to be different, we just do what

realize, even ourselves.

we do and that happens to result in the other. So it’s just a great opportunity working with


everyone on the panel and everyone that’s not on the panel, as Sarah mentioned.

Nicely said. Zurich?



I guess one of the best things I think I





In some respects I employ people, but I do

The one thing I’m very glad we didn’t even

work for the museum. I think what’s important

touch on is the formalistic or the aesthetic,

for all of us is how we function outside of our

except a brief reference by you. But I think

own realms. Obviously it’s almost a given of

for the first time one is hearing a lot about

what we do. For me, it was very important

design’s real role and the kind of values that

when I first came to Chicago to say, “What

design can add in the conversations we have

did you think?” It was more about developing

where we think about problems and design.

my own thought process on what Chicago

And it would be wonderful if Archeworks or

was like but also to be able to critique

another institution can create a platform for

something. You almost have to get inside it

young people and the young leaders to sit

itself and become a part of it.

on these chairs and not us. Working out of the museum, it’s been I’m very keen to know what young design

interesting to teach at UIC. I just started

leaders would ask or respond to the

to do or be on panels such as this or take

same questions. I think there’s another

part in critiques or be on juries or actually

conversation that may be very valuable,

be juried myself, or have people critique the

and we underestimate the value of that body

things that we do so that we can function on

of thinking from the young people.

a larger level. Through that way we broaden and strengthen the scope of our work.


Although our hats are very tall in the realms that we all work, I do think it’s very important

Thank you. Zoë?

that we get out of our own skin of our jobs


and get our hands dirty, in this environment and internationally.

Back to the question of employment: I’m an employee, I guess, rather than an employer. 70



difference. I think it speaks to a better moment in Chicago.





Ned, earlier you mentioned the symposium “Chicago Is History”? I think my response


to that, as well as other questions about Chicago is, is that really a question that’s

Just as an announcement, Archeworks will

relevant? Is that a question we need to

also want to have an exhibition space, so

be asking? There are so many myths or

we hope to collaborate with you guys very

misconceptions about Chicago history and

successfully, and we honestly love to hear

about how design works that I think our role

that Sarah [Herda] is ready to roll up her

as curators, as teachers, as designers is

sleeves and help, because we’re certainly

actually to expose those myths and to try to

overwhelmed at this point, and excited.

help people see new ways of thinking and One last apology, to Zoë, as an employee,

imagine a different society.

I meant professional practitioner. You are


one. Many others are in this group, they know who they are.



And lastly, I would just like to say that

I’m actually pretty pleased that we didn’t

I hope that as Sarah and I get started next

focus so much on Chicago and this whole

year, that people take the opportunity to

naval-gazing of why Chicago is not as good

contact us for any reason. We’re very open,

as New York or LA and that we’re actually

we think we’re very friendly, and we’re

having a conversation about change and

certainly eager to work with every single


person that is eager to work with us.

way, changes are going to come. You read

No doubt about it.

in the paper about cranes, about whole sections of the south side, particularly with Lake Meadows, possibly being redeveloped

So thanks in advance.

and turning to different kinds of communities.


And I think that as a city makes these

Gee, I don’t know what to say. I’m getting

broad steps, as Chicago often does, it

crotchety in my old age, so please forgive

needs to do it with a conscience.

me. I think this is an exciting time, and I know most of you on the panel and have never

It needs to do it with people who are not

really seen us the way we’re being talked

just trying to get rich off the deal, but people

about tonight as this new group of people.

who want this to be done with heart and with

That’s kind of exciting to me, because I think

inclusion. And I think that individuals here as

as Chicago grapples with change, and

well as the many, many individuals who are

Sarah D. here is absolutely right that 10

not here are the kinds of people that have to

years ago, 5 years ago, we may have had

take a role in this change. We cannot sit on

this conversation about whether we are as

the sidelines as Joe mentioned.

good as New York? Are we going to be the next Los Angeles, or whatever? But we can

You have to get involved in this thing to help

talk about Chicago within the realm

change it. So I don’t know where I was going

and context of Chicago itself.

with that, but that’s what I felt like saying.


The city is going to go through incredible changes over the next 10 or 15 years. You

Thank you, Lee.

see it now with the Olympics, whether it happens, whether it doesn’t happen. Either





He describes experimental innovation

We do have a couple more things on our

as innovators who seek and conceptual

agenda. I’m going to hand this baton over

innovation as innovators who find. So to

to Archeworks Co-founder Eva Maddox

me, it’s combining those two things that

to make closing remarks.

really takes us to the future of Archeworks and where you all help us go.

[Applause] So thank you all.


Well, I don’t know about you all, but I think there’s a great social network forming here,

That’s it. Thank you all for coming. Thank you

whether it’s this network or the total network

to our panelists. And have a good evening.

in the room. And I can’t think that anything else would be better than that. One of the things that I wanted to just mention a bit, and it really has to do with the innovation side of it. There’s a gentleman over at the University of Chicago by the name of David W. Galenson who’s written a book Old Masters and Young Geniuses . He really talks about innovation in the way that you all have been talking about it tonight. That there’s experimental innovation and there’s conceptual innovation.




Archeworks would like to thank Judith Neisser

at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Illinois

for her generous contribution of making the

Arts Council, a state agency; the Marshall B.

audio and video recording of this event possible

Front Family Charitable foundation; Robert A.M.

and to Archeworks Chair Linda Searl and the

Stern Architects, LLC; the Graham Foundation

Archeworks Board of Trustees for their guidance

for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; and

and continued support of Archeworks funding

William S. Donnell.

and programming. Special thanks to Ned Cramer, editor of Architect Magazine, and all of the

Many thanks and gratitude to graphic designer

panelists and the institutions they represent:

Karin Kuzniar for her creative vision for this

Lee Bey and the Chicago Central Area

project, John Tweedie for the exceptional,

Committee; Gregory K. Dreicer and the Chicago

‘last minute’ photos, Virginia Voedisch for editorial

Architecture Foundation; Zurich Esposito and the

assistance, and thanks to the Archeworks

American Institute of Architects Chicago; Martin

staff—Suzanne Roth, Stephanie Edwards,

Felsen and Sarah Dunn of UrbanLab; Sarah

and Cara Cantlebary Flaster, for all of your

Herda and the Graham Foundation for Advanced

hard work in planning the symposium event

Studies in the Fine Arts; Hennie Reynders and

and this publication.

the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Joseph Rosa, Zoë Ryan, and the Art Institute of Chicago;

Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to

and Bob Somol and the University of Illinois at

Archeworks co-founders Stanley Tigerman

Chicago School of Architecture.

and Eva Maddox. Archeworks will build on the strong foundation that the both of you have

Archeworks would like to thank the following

established, and uphold your vision with creativity

for their support of Archeworks publications:

and enthusiasm. Your inspiration and thoughtful

the City of Chicago Department of Cultural

endeavor will continue to impact design

Affairs; the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture

communities around the world.


Other Archeworks Publications The Archeworks Papers, Volume I, Numbers One-Five Edited by Stanley Tigerman A series of annual commissioned lectures delivered by independent scholars on self-similar subjects that are then published as a book. These papers form the basis of the Archeworks pedagogy and include lectures and essays by Clive Dilnot, Daniel Friedman, Doug Garofalo, Eva Maddox, Victor Margolin, Bruce Mau, Ben Nicholson, Annie Pedret and Stanley Tigerman. Design Denied: The Dynamics of Withholding Good Design and Its Ethical Implications Edited by Michael LaCoste Introduction by Stanley Tigerman Edited and written by Archeworks students who investigated the withholding of good design from certain segments of society, this book encourages discourse on withholding and includes a detailed addendum of research conducted by Archeworks students on the subject. Convention Challenged: 12 Years of Archeworks Edited by Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox With commentary from the co-founders, administrators, project facilitators, students, and project partners and consultants, this publication offers clarity, complexity, and ambiguity in describing Archeworks’s 12-year history as an avant-garde education and design institution in Chicago.





Archeworks is an alternative design school in Chicago, co-founded by architect Stanley Tigerman and designer Eva Maddox in 1993, where students work in multidisciplinary teams with nonprofit partners to create design solutions for social concerns. Since 1994, Archeworks has paired with 75 community partners to complete community design projects touching neighborhoods and communities throughout the Chicago area. There are more than 150 Archeworks alumni working in the design field, studying at top-ranking universities, and making a positive impact on society thanks to their Archeworks training.


Having just stepped down from the helm of Archeworks, Chicago’s innovative, alternative design school, co-founders Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox decided to challenge, with their characteristic candor and passion, a new generation of leaders in the fields of architecture and design, including Archeworks’s new directors. As part of a symposium, each was asked to not only envision a new design landscape for Chicago but also to outline his or her specific goals. The result was an unprecedented opportunity to hear from professionals in the architecture, design, education, foundation, and museum communities, all of whom have assumed leadership roles in some of the city’s most respected institutions within the last year. Passing the Baton: The Next Generation of Design Leadership in Chicago reveals the hurdles facing these new leaders—political impediments, environmental imperatives, the iron grasp of market research—as well as the lodestars, a growing appreciation for the built environment and a mutual willingness to collaborate across institutions.