Lessons From Modernism: Environmental Design Strategies in Architecture, 1925-1970

Sat, Sep 12, 2015 11:12am - Sun, Nov 29, 2015 11:12am

Add to Calendar

The Cooper Union’s Lessons From Modernism: Environmental Design Strategies in Architecture, 1925-1970 is currently on display for the second time, at the Elmhurst Art Museum. First presented at The Cooper Union in 2013, the exhibition examines twenty-five works of architecture completed between 1925-70 through the lens of sustainability. Through an analysis of the influence of nature and the environment in architectural design, Lessons From Modernism provides new insights into works achieved by a diverse selection of architects, including Le Corbusier, Paul Rudolph, Jean Prouvé and Oscar Niemeyer. The exhibition demonstrates how these architects integrated environmental concerns into their designs, resulting in projects that serve as an inspiration and guide for the current green building movement. Timed to coincide with the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, Lessons from Modernism encourages students, architects and the public to re-examine modern architecture, often presented as antithetical to climate-based and ecologically rooted design.

The opening weekend at The Elmhurst Art Museum included public tours by co-curators Kevin Bone, Director of The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, and Steven Hillyer, Director of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive, as well as an exhibition tour for Chicago-based alumni.

This second showing of the exhibition is located in the greater Chicago metropolitan area and will run from September 12th-November 29th, 2015. This project is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

The original exhibition, presented by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, ran from January 29th to March 23rd, 2013 at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. This exhibition was made possible by generous support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.