Tracing / Traces: Architecture and the Archive
On Saturday, November 4, 2017, five Chicago-based architects/offices selected items from the Ryerson & Burnham Archives located at the Art Institute of Chicago. Participants discussed the selection in relationship to their practice as well their personal life and the city of Chicago. Participants during the event included:
Margaret McCurry discussed several influential figures during her career, from her father, architect Paul McCurry, to her mentor, interior designer and furniture designer Davis Allen, as well as her husband and partner at Tigerman McCurry, Stanley Tigerman. To accompany her presentation, she selected three books: Paul McCurry’s Oral History; Maeve Slavin’s Davis Allen, Forty Years of Interior Design at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
(Rizzoli, 1990); and Stanley Tigerman’s Designing Bridges to BURN: Architectural Memoirs by Stanley Tigerman (ORO Editions, 2011).
Stewarts Hicks selected items related to two significant Chicago competitions that have served as the foundation for projects by Design With Company, including their Late Entry to the Chicago Public Library Competition. The items that he selected were a photograph of Helmut Jahn’s entry to the Late Entries to the Chicago Tribune Competition; a photograph from the Smithsons for the Late Entries to the Chicago Tribune Competition; a set of drawings by Murphy/Jahn for the Chicago Library Design Competition, as well as a series of public comments from the Chicago Library Design Competition.
Alison Von Glinow and Lap Chi Kwong selected four 1893 pop-up books created as part of the World’s Columbian Exposition. As recent transplants to Chicago, they presented items from an event that was extremely influential and popular (it attracted 27 million people in six months when Chicago had a population of one million) that featured buildings defined by beauty and delight.
Ann Lui and Craig Reschke presented their selection as a series of moments that related to their life as well as their practice, from their work at SOM to night swimming at 31st street beach. The items that they selected included a memo about being too hot / cold in the office at the Sears Tower (from the Fazlur Kahn Archives); a 1973 photograph of the Sears Tower under construction (from the Historic Architecture and Landscape Image Collection); and a Century of Progress official viewbook (from the Century of Progress Archives).
Finally, Sean Lally, who is trained as an architect and landscape architect, was drawn into the way public spaces and parks, specially Lincoln Park, have been presented as world class amenities to the citizens, financed, and constructed. With a series of benefits outlined for the twentieth century, Lally questioned how those values and benefits would apply to the twenty-first century, arguing about what needs to be preserved and what needs to be updated.
Thank you very much to Nathaniel Parks, Tigerman McCurry Art and Architecture Archivist at the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, for his help in organizing the event and providing access to the items, as well as to Caroline Evanson, Project Archivist at Art Institute of Chicago, for her support.
About the Ryerson & Burnham Archives
The Ryerson & Burnham Archives’ collections are notably strong in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century American architecture, with particular depth in midwestern architecture. Architects such as Edward Bennett, Daniel Burnham, Bruce Goff, Bertrand Goldberg, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Mies van der Rohe, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright are represented in a broad range of papers. Major architectural events, such as the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, The Century of Progress International Exposition of 1933–1934 in Chicago, and the World’s Fair of 1939 in New York, are also represented in an individual archive.
MAS Context Fall Talks 2017
Video shot and edited by Matthew Goetz of Lucid Creative Agency.
Lecture by architectural historian, theorist, and author Charles Rice as part of the MAS Context 2017 Fall Talks in Chicago. The lecture took place on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at the Society of Architectural Historians.
During his presentation, Charles Rice discussed aspects of his recent book Interior Urbanism, reflecting on the way in which the oeuvre of John Portman has gained prominence in the last few years, and what this might mean for critical accounts of urban development.
Charles Rice contributed to our Hidden issue with his article “Space Travel.” You can read it online at www.mascontext.com/issues/28-hidden-winter-15/space-travel.
Charles Rice is Professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney. He is the author of The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity (Routledge, 2007) and Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America (Bloomsbury, 2016). He is editor in chief of The Journal of Architecture, the scholarly journal of the RIBA.
Mass Market Alternatives exhibition
MAS Context and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) present the exhibition “Mass Market Alternatives” by architect John Szot.
The exhibition will be on display from August 28 until October 2, 2017, at the AIADO gallery located on the 12th floor of the Sullivan Center (33 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60603).
About the exhibition
Industrialization has had a profound effect on the American suburb. Only American audacity could have concocted and executed the formula for mass-produced homes that dominates the suburban real estate market in the United States. And only in America could such a formula become an economic and political juggernaut, making places where matters of personal taste are amplified into cultural bulwarks.
“Mass Market Alternatives” seeks to exploit the economic leverage and aesthetic principles of mass-market suburban housing in order to diversify its potential customer base and challenge the reputation of the suburbs as enclaves of conservatism and political conformity.
The exhibition will be accompanied by two talks by John Szot in Chicago:
– September 26 at 4:15 pm at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
36 South Wabash, 12th Floor, Room 1226
Open to the public (ID Required)
– September 27 at noon at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Chicago
224 South Michigan Avenue, 5th Floor
Open for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill staff and MAS Context donors and contributors.
John Szot is an award-winning architect living in New York, and his work related to building design has been exhibited internationally. In addition to his architectural practice, he has held teaching positions at Columbia University, University of Texas at Austin, and Parsons New School for Design, and currently teaches architectural design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His forthcoming book Buildingness will be an independently published volume of drawings, images, and writings related to the work of his studio and slated for release in 2018.
www.johnszot.com | @johnszot
Author: John Szot Studio
Organizing institutions: School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MAS Context
Installation: Iker Gil, Julie Michiels, and Ken Byron
Printing: American Color Labs
Vinyl lettering: JNL Graphic Design
Models: John Szot Studio
Video: John Szot Studio