Now + Then: Occasional History, Argument, and Drinking at Chicago
845 W. Harrison Street
This academic year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the UIC School of Architecture, with the opening of Walter Netsch’s A+A Laboratories Building (his first field theory building on the campus) in fall 1967, and the first full professional class graduating in spring 1968, two months before the infamous “siege of Chicago” and its equally infamous chant: the whole world is watching. Now + Then will serve as a closure to the official Chicago Architecture Biennial opening weekend discussions, and as the first of a series of “Now + Then” events we are planning for the School throughout the year.
In celebration of the checkered and cantankerous history of the School, Now + Then borrows its format from another anniversary, the 1977 symposium “The State of the Art of Architecture” organized by Stanley Tigerman at the Graham Foundation. While the first Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015 took its name from this event, we plan to re-enact its structure. Forty years ago, this was a no-holds barred debate “in the round” among representatives of various ideological schools or groupings of the time: the Whites, Greys, Silvers, Chicago Seven, and other protagonist-polemicists of the moment (e.g., Charles Jencks). We hope to capture a similar sense of festive and frank antics, surrounding an audience that we hope to be equally engaged and enraged. While the question of whether such legible groupings exist today remains open, we do propose the potentially contentious hypothesis that history without ideology is just decorating.
The symposium will be followed by a reception and a book fair showcasing recent faculty and student publications.
This event is open to the public.