In an interview accompanying the 2016 rankings, RECORD asked James P. Cramer, editor in chief of the publication DesignIntelligence (DI) and the chairman of the Design Futures Council, to address these and other changes he sees confronting architectural education today.
Every night, as I walk along the Chicago Riverwalk to my commuter train, I witness scenes that were unthinkable a year ago: young office workers sipping drinks at a packed wine bar, big powerboats tied up at dockside, clusters of kayaks scooting along the water.
In 1993, 12-year-old Rachella Thompson and 13-year-old Kimberly Davis sat down with a fistful of Magic Markers to reimagine where they lived—a 10-story high-rise in the Cabrini-Green Homes, one of Chicago’s most troubled housing projects.
Since entering office, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (third from right) has stepped into a surge of public-space revivals, including the opening of the 606 trail in June. Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel had big—no, huge—shoes to fill when he took office in 2011. His predecessor, Richard M. Daley, was straight out of central casting—scion of a legendary Chicago mayor, more street-smart than book-smart, but nonetheless a visionary who vowed to make his once-polluted Rust Belt burg “the greenest city in America.”
A modern masterpiece collides with a literary gem—that's Chicago. Crown Hall, with two of its four plate girders visible. At its dedication in April 1956, Eero Saarinen called Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s crisp, exquisite S.R. Crown Hall “a serene temple of the present.”
Everyone knows that Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper. And it is true—depending on how you define the building type. As Carol Willis points out in Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago, if you go by the technological innovations of the elevator and the metal frame, then Chicago was first, but if height matters most, it was New York.
Chicago's Next Generation The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 3, 2015 through January 3, 2016) is a global event. With over 60 firms or studios featured—representing more than 30 countries across six continents—it is also drawing attendees from all over the world. Titled The State of the Art of Architecture, the exhibition, curated by Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima, reaches beyond the national conversation to generate a larger discussion about the future of the built environment.
Operating on the fringes of architecture, landscape design, and planning, Conor O’Shea’s firm, Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape, takes a high-level look at exurban areas surrounding cities. Founded in January, the one-man-shop’s work focuses on these hinterlands—places just beyond the borders of major urban centers like Chicago—and is almost entirely speculative.