Thursday, September 15, 2011

By Matt Owens

Next month Chicago is launching the first ‘Chicago Ideas Week’. Starting Monday October 10th and going through October 16, it is a week-long event focusing on innovation and creativity. The week consists of 100 guest speakers from multiple fields leading tours, discussions, debates, and hosting seminars. The intent of these speakers is to engage an audience and inspire creativity. Among the list of guest speakers are some big names; Chicago’s new mayor Rahm Emanuel, as well as former mayor Richard Daley, New York’s mayor Bloomberg, Northwestern grad and founder of Groupon Andrew Mason, Richard Stengel editor of TIME, Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman, founder of Pandora Tim Westergren, and Mitch Lowe president of Redbox, and Vice President of Netflix.

And what would an Ideas Week in Chicago be without Architecture. Two prominent names in architecture will be hosting a talk at the Chicago History Museum on Monday October 10th at 4pm. Gordon Gill partner of Adrian Smith at the firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and Jeanne Gang founder of Studio Gang will be leading the talk.
AS+GG is a Chicago based firm, whose work mostly consists of super tall buildings in the Middle East and Asia. Adrian Smith was the lead architect behind the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest), while still at SOM. If you check out their web site now they have announced that they will be working on the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia which will be the new world’s tallest. Needless to say Gordon Gill is on the front line of pushing the limits of architecture skyward.

Studio Gang another Chicago based firm, responsible for the Aqua Tower in Chicago. Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang have won numerous awards for the Aqua Tower, and continue to be innovators in architecture.

Along with the talk with Jeanne Gang and Gordon Gill there are a couple other Architecture focused tours during the week which include; Chicago Temples Sky Chapel, the original Marshall Field’s board room, the Monadnock’s penthouse, Lake Point Tower’s rooftop garden, backstage at the Pritzker Pavilion, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House. These are not places you can visit any day unless you have some connections, so this would be an awesome chance to see these spaces. The Tours are free but the talk with Jeanne Gang and Gordon Gill are $15.

So if you are looking for something to do during the fall break you might think on heading to Chicago for the Chicago Ideas Week. There will be a whole lot of interesting stuff going on and the architecture tours and talk would be very cool to see.

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