MAS Context Fall Talks 2015
Thomas Kelley


Video shot and edited by Matthew Goetz of Lucid Creative Agency.


Lecture by Thomas Kelley as part of the MAS Context 2015 Fall Talks in Chicago. The lecture took place on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at the historic Charnley-Persky House. This talk is organized in collaboration with the Society of Architectural Historians and presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Norman Kelley is a draftsman who likes to draw on buildings. Most recently, NK has projected their line work onto the walls of four prestigious institutions: The American Academy in Rome, The Architectural League of New York, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and most recently, the Chicago Architecture Biennial. At each venue, the act of drawing was the event and the drawing itself is the architecture. A closer look reveals NK’s interest in context – the drawing a visual essay on the history of the site. Like a Bridget Riley painting, the drawings are designed to mask their precise beginnings and confound the observer into collapsing the gap between the analog and the digital.

Thomas Kelley (M. Arch Princeton University, B.Arch University of Virginia) was raised in Canberra, Berlin, Warsaw, Tegucigalpa, Oxford, Lima, and Washington D.C. Thomas is the recipient of the Peter Reyner Banham Fellowship from SUNY Buffalo and the Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UIC School of Architecture and operates an architecture collaborative with Carrie Norman under the pseudonym Norman Kelley. The practice has been awarded the 2014 Young Architect’s Prize by the Architectural League of New York and their design work is currently represented by Volume Gallery in Chicago. For more information about Thomas Kelley, you can visit You can also read his article about Wrong Chairs from our Ordinary issue.



Left, Carrie Norman drawing on the American Academy in Rome. Right, Thomas Kelley drawing on the Architectural League of New York. © Photos courtesy of NK.

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