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Chicagoism and the Export of Metropolitan Architecture

Series: Evening Lectures
Date: Tuesday 28 October 2014
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 71 mins

1871 was the year in which the cities of Berlin and Chicago were catapulted into a modern reality. That year the Chicago Fire inspired a building code that in combination with advances in fireproofing iron and steel frames and inventions such as Otis’s safety passenger elevator guided the construction of a new city with massive buildings that soon lined entire blocks of the downtown grid. On the other side of the Atlantic, Berlin’s emergence as the capital of the Second German Empire shifted the political, economic, and cultural landscape of Germany and Europe and established the city as a metropolis. In the wake of these developments, a trans-Atlantic exchange between the two cities began to reconsider each city’s option towards a new metropolitan condition. Chicago became the model through which Berlin was able to understand its own rapid urbanization during the late nineteenth century and, ultimately, re-conceiving itself as a space of possibilities for the invention of a metropolitan architecture. At the same time, German Sociologists (such as Werner Sombart, Ferdinand Tönnies, and Max Weber) visited Chicago, detected the purest representation of modern urbanization, and helped architects (such as Root John Wellborn Root and Louis H. Sullivan) to comprehend the unique conditions of what they saw as “prototypical American city and ur metropolis.”
Alexander Eisenschmidt is a designer, theorist, and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His work investigates the productive tension between the modern city and architectural form – a topic on which he has published and lectured extensively. He is author and editor of City Catalyst (Architectural Design, 2012), co-editor of Chicagoisms (Scheidegger & Spiess / Park Books, 2013), designer and curator of “City Works” at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, and co-curator and designer of the exhibition “Chicagoisms” at the Art Institute of Chicago (2014). Eisenschmidt is also founding partner at Studio Offshore. *for further information see:
Image: "Route Via Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Around the World," 1870, celebrating Chicago's status as a metropolis simultaneously distant from and intimately connected to the rest of the world.

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.