Sunday, March 27, 2011

Volunteer Opps for the Farnsworth House Tour Season

Mies van der Rohe’s modern masterpiece, the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, is in need of volunteers for the upcoming 2011 tourism season (April through the November 23). Volunteers will be trained as docents to relate the history and relevance of this international icon of modern architecture to visiting architects, designers, students and the general public – a unique, hands-on opportunity for students and professors.

In addition, volunteers for the 2011 season will have a unique opportunity to participate in various roles surrounding the Farnsworth House’s special exhibition featuring Virginia Tech’s LUMENHAUS – the International Solar Decathlon Competition winner. Inspired by the Farnsworth House, LUMENHAUS is an innovative house integrating architecture and technology to make a well-designed, energy independent, mobile structure. This exhibition will be on display April through July 2011.

Volunteers receive the benefit of discounts in the Farnsworth House Shop, access to exclusive art and architecture-related conferences, free or discounted tours of other historic sites, and a membership to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in addition to unprecedented access to the Farnsworth House.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, April 1 through November 23, the house museum’s annual visitation is over 8,500 individuals from more than 60 countries. Volunteers can contribute their time at the level they’re comfortable with while enjoying conversations with fascinating people in a serene and meditative atmosphere.

The Farnsworth House is a National Historic Landmark owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a house museum. It is open to the public and available for private events.

For more information about the docent program, call 630.552.0052 or visit

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Achieving Design Excellence in Affordable Housing

This weekend's SFI Conference will be preceded by a special session by Enterprise Community Partners:

On Friday, March 25, Enterprise Community Partners will be hosting a one-day symposium on Achieving Design Excellence in Affordable Housing at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, IL.

Local Chicago leaders will join national innovators for a day of panel discussions that will explore new approaches and opportunities in affordable housing design, addressing topics ranging from asset management to foreclosure response, and from community engagement to designing for the most vulnerable. The day-long symposium will conclude with a keynote address by architects Patrick Tighe, AIA and Ric. Abramson, AIA. Tighe is the principal and lead designer at Patrick Tighe Architecture and was recently awarded a 2011 AIA Honor Award in Interior Architecture. Abramson is the founder of Workplays studio*architecture and is on the Board of Directors at West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC). Together, they will discuss WHCHC’s Sierra Bonita Apartments, a 42-unit apartment building designed by Tighe for low-income, physically disabled residents. This keynote will conclude our day long symposium, and kick off Design Corp’s Structures for Inclusion Conference.

The conference is free and open to the public, but does require registration. To register for the Enterprise conference only, go to: and selected “Enterprise Attendee” as the registration type.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Structures for Inclusion 10 + 1 this Weekend

This year's annual conference takes place right here in Chicago at the School of the Art Institute over three days, March 25-27 (that's this weekend so hurry up and register). The Press Release:
Structures for Inclusion 10 + 1 (SFI) is the eleventh conference in an annual series featuring architects as change agents addressing the most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges of the world today. SFI enlarges the scope of the green design movement to consider the broader social and economic well-being and sustainability of communities and cities.

SFI 10 + 1 will bring together design professionals and students, community activists and nonprofit organizations alike. The three-day conference will cover topics such as: making change, learning from community, working in interdisciplinary environments, and innovation. It will include a wide variety of keynotes, panels, hands-on workshops, tours, and opportunities for informal conversation and networking. SFI 10 + 1 will challenge participants to take action in their own schools, practices, and community, and invite them to share ideas and brainstorm about different approaches to community-based design.

SFI 10 + 1 will feature winners of the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Award, chosen through an international competition in January. The winning projects showcase sustainability through interdisciplinary collaboration, ecological innovation, and community engagement, illustrating high impact work accomplished through an economy of means. Each highlights the important role design can perform in the public’s interest and speaks to a renewed concern in the architectural and design community for making a contribution to promote social change. The six SEED Award Winners are: CafĂ© 524 in Pittsburgh, PA; Congo Street Initiative in Dallas, TX; Studio H in Bertie County, NC; Growing Home in Chicago, IL; Inspiration Kitchens East Garfield Park in Chicago, IL; St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans, LA. These projects demonstrate how design is playing a role in addressing the most critical issues around the globe today: job creation, hunger, education, health, disaster relief, and the environment.

In addition to the designers and community partners involved in the awarded SEED Competition projects, the conferences keynotes, panels, and workshops will include the participation of:

Opening Keynote: Patrick Tighe, Tighe Architects
Tom Fisher, Dean, College of Design, University of Minnesota
Andrew Freear, Director, Rural Studio
Christine Gaspar, Executive Director, Center for Urban Pedagogy
Trung Le, CANNON Design, Co-author, The Third Teacher
Liz Ogbu, Associate Director, Public Architecture
Sergio Palleroni, Co-founder and Director, BaSiC Initiative
Quilian Riano, DSGN AGNC
Michael Zaretsky, Co-author, New Directions in Sustainable Design

SFI 10 +1 will be a dynamic array of nationally known speakers and innovators and feature several emerging local designers.  From big-picture discussions to hands-on workshops, the SFI conference will be a storm of ideas.

SFI 10+1 will be preceded by a session  with a focus on affordable housing, co-presented by the Enterprise Community Partners and Structures for Inclusion. Various panels and discussions with national and local housing non-profit developers and designers will be featured during the day on Friday March, 25. The main SFI conference will start Friday night with a reception and a keynote.

The SEED Competition is organized by the Social Economic Environmental Design Network and Design Corps.

Location:    SAIC Ballroom, School of the Art Institute, 112 South Michigan Ave., Chicago

More info.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Big Events this Week

LOTS going on this week beginning with our friends at Enterprise Community Partners and culminating with the Structures for Inclusion conference.

Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellows 6x10
Monday, March 21, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm.

Ten-minute presentations by six recipients of the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship, including Daniel Splaingard, a Rose Fellow currently working at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation in Chicago. You will have the opportunity to learn about community design projects all over the country - and about applying to this three-year fellowship program.
      The Rose Fellowship fosters a unique partnership among a fellow, a host organization, and Enterprise to carry out a three-year fellowship plan. The fellow contributes his or her time and energy to work as part of the host organization’s staff, building capacity and bringing fresh experience and ideas to the organization. The host provides mentorship and guidance, supporting the development of the fellow’s career by providing meaningful experiences in design, development, financing, construction management, resident engagement—and in some cases—community planning. Enterprise provides an annual stipend, coaching, training and opportunities for sharing and learning among the fellows. Applications for 2012 Rose Fellowships will be accepted beginning May 1, 2011.

Refreshments will be served.
This event is sponsored by Community Interface Committee
Learning units: 1 LU
Location: AIA Chicago, 35 East Wacker Drive, #250

More info.