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Does Form Really Follow Function? Learning from Louis Sullivan

About the Talk

March 22, 2018 9:00 AM

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Join Dan Klyn and Andrea Resmini on a literal field trip through the philosophies and practices of legendary Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. We’ll activate all of our senses as we consider what Sullivan’s famous axiom “form follows function” meant at the turn of the 19th century in Chicago, and what it has come to mean today.

Taking full advantage of the host city for the 2018 Summit, we’ll visit the actual buildings that embody Sullivan’s relentlessly misunderstood axiom. Along the way, we’ll consider architectures of information that are co-present in these architectures of wood, steel, and stone and ask: what are the traces of the flow of information through these environments? In addition to the devices we carry, how does the built environment support the storage and delivery of information and meaning?

As part of asking questions such as these, we’ll get hands-on with analytical tools from the work of contemporary architects, and learn together how much or little assistance they help us with the answers we seek. We’ll end with an exploration of what David Benyon calls “blended space” and Resmini’s work with Benyon to describe the design of cross-channel ecosystems.

NOTE: As this workshop includes a walking tour of Chicago architecture, participants must be able to travel through the city for long periods in weather that may be cold, wet, and/or windy.

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