Archinect Sessions

This week on Archinect Sessions we’re sharing our inspiring conversation with Theaster Gates. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with Theaster, you’re in for a treat. Theaster Gates often refers to himself as a potter, and while it’s true that he is, through years of training and practice, he’s also an extremely talented multidisciplinary artist, urban planner and community-focused social activist.

Theaster may be most well known for his non-profit Rebuild Foundation. The foundation purchases abandoned buildings in the south side of Chicago, the neighborhood Theaster grew up and still resides in, and transforms them into beautiful community hubs that connect and inspire the local residents through art, creativity, and professional skill training.

Gates work extends into academia as well. He is a full professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, where he also the director of Arts and Public Life. It’s in this context that he is unveiling his latest project, part of an $80 million dollar renovation and restoration of the Edward Durell Stone-designed Keller Hall, home to the school’s Harris School of Public Policy. Theaster’s role involved designing a soaring communal atrium space, lined with wood from fallen ash trees, and milled by local residents.

Our conversation with Theaster Gates starts with his reuse of Chicago’s diseased ash trees into millwork and detailing for the new University of Chicago Keller Center, and quickly veers into topics of hand skills, black labor, neighborhood communities, and socio-cultural readings of beauty.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-136.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 4:13pm PST

This week we are joined, in studio, by David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, the hosts of the Midnight Charette podcast. You may be already familiar with their podcast, or perhaps you’ve just heard about the podcast since they released their episode with me a couple days ago.

The Midnight Charette has been podcasting for a while now. They're quickly approaching their 100th episode. They describe their show as an explicit podcast about design, architecture and people. The format is casual, and unscripted, and tends to run on the long side, 2 hours being about average for an episode. While this is an architecture podcast, it’s often not addressing architecture directly, rather, David and Marina discuss non-architectural issues from the perspective of a couple of architecturally-minded professionals.

In today’s conversation we learn more about the host's backgrounds, and how they came together and conceived of the podcast. We also take a peek behind the curtain by talking about all of the little details that we use to make these podcasts.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-135.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:06pm PST