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Stanley Tigerman on Learning from Mies, The Younger Generation and "Designing Bridges to Burn"

11:30 - 9 August, 2016
Stanley Tigerman on Learning from Mies, The Younger Generation and "Designing Bridges to Burn", Instant City project model, 1966. Image Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects
Instant City project model, 1966. Image Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Line//Shape//Space publication as "Inside My Design Mind: Salt-of-the-Earth Lessons From Architect Stanley Tigerman."

It’s no secret Stanley Tigerman has made a few enemies in his career. Chicago’s pugnacious 85-year-old architecture star and elder statesman, who received a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects in October, is known perhaps as much for his brand of gloves-off honesty as his buildings. In a 2013 interview with Chicago magazine, he summed up the redesign of the city’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–designed IBM tower as “shit.”

But there’s a socially minded, nurturing side of Tigerman—designer of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Pacific Garden Mission—that is sometimes lost in the offhand bravado of his public-facing comments. As a member of the Chicago Seven (which protested the predominance of modernism) and a provocateur who has organized seminal forums about architecture’s future, Tigerman is more than just tough talk.

Here, the architect, educator, and curator reveals a generous and expansive mind, praising the uncompromising will of his role model Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and explaining where he finds and nourishes inspiration. He speaks fondly of architecture’s next generation, to whom he offers this advice: Go slow. Don’t copy. Stand firm. Work hard.

Interview with Stanley Tigerman: "In Chicago, I’d Much Rather Have Better Work Than Better Friends"

09:30 - 17 January, 2016
Cluster Container Housing for the Disabled, from "BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago", Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2015. Image © Courtesy Tigerman McCurry Architects
Cluster Container Housing for the Disabled, from "BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago", Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2015. Image © Courtesy Tigerman McCurry Architects

While its status as an epicenter of architectural production is legendary, Chicago is sometimes overlooked by contemporary architectural debate, forced out of the spotlight by the proliferation of media outlets and educational institutions in the area around New York. However in the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st, few people have been as devoted to fostering architectural discussion in the city as Stanley Tigerman. In this interview excerpt, originally published by MAS Context as "It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Do," Iker Gil and Ann Lui speak with the famously antagonistic architect about everything from Chicago, to the New York Five, to the importance of keeping friends at arm's length.

At one point in this interview, Stanley Tigerman asked us: “You know the character you need to be an architect? You need to be brave. You need to be strong. You have to have a very strong backbone. You have to have very thick skin because you’re going to get beat to shit by others, without question. You have to have that quality in you to take the criticism that will come your way no matter what.”

At the core of this advice is the central belief that vigorous debate—including harsh criticism, strong positions, and the prioritization of powerful new ideas even at the cost of one’s own comfort—is essential to the forward movement of architecture.

Chicago's Overlooked Postmodern Architecture

16:00 - 28 November, 2015
Chicago's Overlooked Postmodern Architecture, Harold Washington Library Center by Hammond, Beeby & Babka. Image © flickr user juggernautco, licensed under CC BY 2.0
Harold Washington Library Center by Hammond, Beeby & Babka. Image © flickr user juggernautco, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Postmodern architecture has largely been overlooked in recent years, left behind by current fashion, but not quite old enough to gain the attention of preservationists. Even in the architectural hot spot of Chicago, postmodern buildings tend to go unnoticed in favor of the Miesian towers and Prairie Style houses. ArchDaily’s own feature of notable Chicago buildings was noticeably lacking a postmodern example. To correct this oversight Metropolis Magazine has compiled a collection of Chicago’s most noteworthy examples of Postmodernism.

Fountainhead Quad City, East Moline's Future Development Along the Mississippi River

00:00 - 23 March, 2013
Aerial View, Fountainhead Quad Cities; Developer J. Paul Beitler of Beitler Real Estate Services
Aerial View, Fountainhead Quad Cities; Developer J. Paul Beitler of Beitler Real Estate Services

East Moline, Illinois will soon have an all new, highly developed waterfront mixed use area that will include park space, retail and commercial areas and luxury apartments along its Mississippi River front.  The $150 million development will be a host to 300 apartment units, senior citizen housing, condominiums, storage facilities, a sports recreational center, medical facilities and a variety of amenities that includes neighborhood retail shops, food courts, banks, pharmacies and restaurants, hotels and a central park with will include a band shell.  At over 3.5 million square feet, Fountainhead Quad Cities, developed by Beitler Real Estate Services with James DeStefano of LVD Architecture as the master planner, will bring new residents to the area while attracting the thousands of motorists that pass through the region today.

More after the break.

Lessons from Stanley Tigerman

13:00 - 21 June, 2012

In April, Black Spectacles filmed a discussion with Stanley Tigerman and the AIA Chicago Education Knowledge Committee revealing an intimate look at Tigerman’s 60+ years in the profession in his own words. The discussion is guided by a series of questions from the audience that send Tigerman into stories from his experiences, his attitude towards the profession today, technology and ethics.

Read on for key points from the interview after the break.