Apr, 21, 2011,
3:07 PM

Design Directs Everything

Mark your calendars for the Architecture and Design Film Festival: Design Directs Everything.

The largest US film festival celebrating the creative spirit of architecture and design will feature a dynamic selection of feature length films, documentaries and shorts. Plus, there will be lively discussions with filmmakers, architects and designers about the design process, architecture in film, and the brilliant designs we see and use every day.

In addition to 39 films—curated into 15 programs—festival events include book signings, panel discussions, CAF tours in the new Audi A7, and a reading of The Glass House, June Finfer’s play about Farnsworth House.

The festival runs May 5-9, 2011. Screenings will take place at the Gene Siskel Film Center and at the intimate Screen@theWit. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

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Apr, 19, 2011,
5:40 PM

Summer Exhibition in Crown Hall

Despite the fickle nature of April weather in Chicago, we’re convinced that summer will be upon us before we know it. Which means it’s almost time for the Mies Society’s annual art exhibition in Crown Hall.

After the College of Architecture students have left for the summer, we uphold Crown Hall’s role as a “home of ideas and adventures" by hosting an annual art exhibition. This summer we will welcome two Chicago-based artists.

In June, we’ll see the work of Jeff Carter, whose scale models made from IKEA furniture replicate the Michael Reese Hospital buildings—designed by Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius—that were demolished last year. This installation comments on IKEA’s marketing of design-centric living using products of limited durability and on how this concept both embraces and rejects tenets of Modernist ideology. Get a sneak peak from this Chicagoist article about Carter’s work.

In addition, an interactive installation by Christopher Furman’s Chicago Robotic Theater will tell a story about memory and decision-making in the wide-open space of Crown Hall—free from obstacles to memories, ideas, dreams, or nostalgia.  IIT students will collaborate with Furman to program the robots, and the exhibition’s parts will be fabricated in the university’s Idea Shop.

More details—and warmer weather—to come.


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Apr, 15, 2011,
2:02 PM

Mies Award

The winner of Europe’s most prestigious architecture prize was recently announced by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation and the European Commission.

The 2011 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award went to Berlin’s Neues Museum, the stunning reconstruction of which was directed by Sir David Chipperfield.

The biennial award will be formally presented in a ceremony at Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion in June.

Photo by Wolfgang Bittner.

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Apr, 13, 2011,
6:41 PM

LEGO Farnsworth House

Seems like we’ve been waiting for ages for this one!

LEGO has just issued the newest edition of its Architecture series: Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House.

Sure to top the wish-list of modernists of all ages, the set features images from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. And tucked in among the 546 pieces are representations of Mies-designed furniture.

Mies Society board president (and blogger extraordinaire), Edward Lifson, did a thorough review of the set. And Chicago Magazine suggests pairing the LEGO Farnsworth House with Architect Barbie.

The Lego version of Mies’ iconic residence was designed by architect Adam Reed Tucker, who appears to have the best job in the world.

Photo from LEGO.

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