Professor in Residence, Department of Architecture, GSD, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA
On March 28, 2019, on the occasion of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 133rd birthday, the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Mies van der Rohe Society displayed an exhibition at S. R. Crown Hall entitled “Stories from the Archives” as part of the larger event theme of “Bauhaus Descendants” in the year of its centenary. The exhibition proposed connections between the Bauhaus and IIT’s school of architecture through a display of archival materials related to the work of the former Bauhäusler Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer, and Walter Peterhans who founded the modernist school at IIT. This paper provides a deeper investigation of the exhibit’s proposed connections and the relationship between the Bauhaus and IIT’s architecture school through the lens of three enduring student exercises: the court house problem, the planning sequence, and visual training exercises. Considering these three exercises in relation to the curriculum that was developed at IIT shines light on a philosophy of architectural education which started in Europe, matured in Chicago and continues to evolve into the future.