Eavesdrop MW 01

Eavesdrop MW 01

Cathedral Hall at the University Club.

The cocktail reception for the Driehaus Prize, celebrating classical architecture and traditional urbanism, was held in the hoity-toity vaulted Cathedral Hall at the top of the University Club, a setting fit for a classicist or anyone wishing to recreate scenes from Dead Poets Society. The Trib’s Blair Kamin was there for a minute, along with oodles of Notre Dame students and recent grads sporting ill-fitting suits, engagement rings large and small, and strings of pearls. Definitely not a Jil Sander crowd. This year’s recipient, Rafael Manzano Martos, took the stage to give some remarks but most guests seemed to be oohing and ahhing over the fantastic views of Renzo Piano’s Modern Wing. Piano is the modernist even classicists love, secretly!

Students of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Architecture were given an interesting opportunity to earn some extra design cred: a competition to design a bar for the year-end show. The bar will be located in the vacant skywalk that leads to nowhere, a remnant of the original campus design. Apparently, the jury includes the director of the Graham Foundation, Sarah Herda. Smart competitors should figure out her beverage of choice. She seems like a Manhattan drinker. In any case, let’s just hope it’s capped off at the end or—better yet—that the winning design includes a super slide.

The School of the Art Institute is hiring a new Designed Objects professor (that’s SAICspeak for Industrial Design). The pool of candidates has been narrowed down to four, says an inside source: two locals, a New Yorker, and someone from the United Kingdom. Hmmm, wasn’t New York Times/International Herald Tribune’s British-born design scribe Alice Rawsthorn in town a couple of weeks ago? Anywho, let’s hope it’s someone good. The program has definitely had an impact beyond the walls of the school. Chicago’s an architecture town, but it’s great to see the other design disciplines getting their due.

Speaking of the other design disciplines, the AIGA is hosting a Chicago Design Week beginning May 17, kicking off a packed schedule of walks and talks with the likes of designers Art Chantry and Bob Faust, plus studio tours with Gravity Tank, Studio Lab, winterbureau, Sonnenzimmer, and others. But they “pretty much left out anyone that’s not doing graphic design,” said one jilted designer. Whoops, hurt feelings! But more important, couldn’t an interior designer or landscape architect leaven some of the type talk?

Send engagement rings, tire swings, or unspeakable things to midwesteavesdrop@archpaper.com.