AIA Credit: 1.5 LU
Matt Shaw, Senior Editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, moderates a conversation with Beverly Fre$h, UrbanLAB, and Grant Gibson. The roadside vernacular is often associated with California, but it also has roots in the Midwest (Route 66 started in Chicago). These giant shapes and signs become icons of belonging and community in a landscape that needs beacons. Today, many Midwest architects are exploring ideas of image-architecture (such as the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle) to find new ways and invigorate old ways in which architecture can create place, community, and a sense of belonging. As Midwest cities begin to re-urbanize and regenerate, the question of how we make the image of our society is more pressing than ever.
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This program is organized by the Architect’s Newspaper.
Beverly Fre$h is a contemporary artist and musician based in Detroit and Chicago. His background combines graphic design, music, drawing, video, installation, and performance art. His recent research efforts include the publication of PANCAKES!, a documentation of performance as part of the Emergency Index OUTSKIRTS series. Fresh has exhibited and performed throughout the United States and internationally, including in China, Japan, Peru, Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, France, and Germany. Recent notable exhibitions and performances include MR. MDWST: A REAL GOOD TIME (2015), a solo exhibition at Cranbrook Museum of Art, and A Study in Midwestern Appropriation (2014), curated by Michelle Grabner at the Hyde Park Art Center. He is Co-Founder of sUPERIORbelly, a multimedia art and design collective and record label based in Detroit, and Co-Founder of WILD AMERICAN DOGS, an interdisciplinary art duo focused on producing experimental feature films and performance. Fresh has a BFA in Graphic Design/Interactive Media from the College for Creative Studies and an MFA from the 2D Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was the 2009 recipient of the Daimler Emerging Artist Award. He is an Assistant Professor and Area Head of Graphic Art at DePaul University in Chicago.
A collaborative architecture and urban design firm co-founded by Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, UrbanLab strives to respond to the complexity, growth, and unintended consequences of the modern city by developing a catalogue of architectural, infrastructural, and urbanistic design strategies, in particular examining natural and artificial systems underpinning the built environment. Built work includes houses, mixed-use commercial/residential buildings, restaurants, art/educational installations, and urban infrastructural projects such as a rowing course on the Chicago River. UrbanLab’s projects have won several design awards from the American Institute of Architects, including the College of Fellows Latrobe Prize, and in 2012 the firm exhibited work at the Venice Biennale as part of Common Ground. Publications presenting the firm’s design and research work include Architecture, Architectural Record, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Felsen teaches at the IIT College of Architecture and conducts research focusing on public space, public infrastructure, and public resources in American (and American-style) cities and megaregions. He has a B.Arch from Virginia Tech and an MS.AAD from Columbia University. Dunn is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was recently honored as a “Global Visionary” by Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ).
As sole partner of CAMESgibson, Inc., Grant Gibson is responsible for the firm's design trajectory and financial strategy. In addition to overseeing the daily intellectual and aesthetic production, he also handles all client inquiries and relationships. Beyond his work at CAMESgibson, Inc., Grant is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches design and building technology courses. Prior to founding CAMESgibson, Inc., Grant was a project architect and manager at Garofalo Architects, where he oversaw the design and construction of a variety of projects, ranging from multi-family housing developments to small art installations to Olympic venue planning. His work with Doug Garofalo can most notably be seen in the development of Wabash Valley’s Urbanscape Furniture and the Sanders Residence in Jefferson City, MO and realizing UN Studio's design of the Burnham Centennial Pavilion. Gibson is a registered architect, who graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has prior degrees from Purdue University in Architectural Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology.