Planning "Lessons From the Fick Home"

Last week, Staci and I made plans to visit Andrew Santa Lucia and his graduate students in their course "No Place Like House" in the Architecture/Interior Architecture/Designed Objects department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Little did we know that in the space of that time the Chicago Blackhawks would win the Stanley Cup and parade it around the Loop the morning of the date we scheduled. Suffice it to say that we were late due to street closures, barricades and walls of avid hockey fans.

Staci sent me this image with the text "I'm stuck outside." SAIC was just in sight, but it took an hour and a half just to cross the street at Monroe and Wabash. Go Hawks!

The trials of simply getting across the street were worth it. Santa Lucia and his class have been hard at work preparing their exhibition Lessons from the Fick Home: Mies's Social, Cultural and Environmental Sustainability, which will open September 12, along with their McCormick House Intervention No Place Like House. Both will accompany the sustainable architecture exhibition, traveling here from Cooper Union, Lessons From Modernism: Environmental Design Strategies in Architecture, 1925-1970, creating a triumvirate of intriguing and different ways of thinking about and interacting with modern architecture.

Still in its production process, Lessons From the Fick Home will highlight the subjectivity and humanity of Mies's arguably objective design. It will be loosely divided into two sections. The first will feature a long illustration of the traveling myth of Mies's iconic design as well as climatological renderings showing the house's environmental sustainability. The second portion will highlight the humanity of the home itself, with a model, recorded interviews with the Fick family, and hypothetical "family" photographs on shelves next to an illustrated view from a window of the mature home at its original site.

We are getting excited for our Fall exhibitions and want to share a few hints of what's to come. Some content in Lessons From the Fick Home is bound to be changed, as it goes with planning an exhibition. Santa Lucia and the class at SAIC are working hard to get all their images, audio and objects together, and based on what they have already, it's going to be a good one.