Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Process renderings of a farm installation for the P.S. 1 courtyard, WORKac, 2008.

Work ac - Make No Medium-Sized Plans
Oct 29, 2009 (6pm)
Madlener House

Dan Wood and Amale Andraos are co-founders of WORK Architecture Company (WORKac), a New York-based firm devoted to exploration and innovation in architecture. WORKac was the 2008 winner of MoMA/PS1's Young Architect Program competition, and was selected for the Architectural League's prestigious Emerging Voices lecture series in 2008; WORKac was also selected for Architectural Record's 2007 Design Vanguard and was a winner in the AIA's New Practices New York competition. Projects include the recently completed Headquarters Building for Diane von Furstenberg in New York, an extension of the Clark Institute at Mass MoCA, and a new library for Kew Gardens Hills, Queens.

WORKac's Public Farm One, a recycled and recyclable installation and model for vertical farming in the city, which acted as a venue for P.S. 1's summer music series, is featured in Actions: What You Can Do With the City, the show currently on view at the Graham Foundation.

Related Links


For more information on the exhibition, Actions: What You Can Do With the City, click here.



Chamber of the House of Lords in the Houses of Parliament, London. Rolf Richardson-Spectrum Colour Library/Heritage-Images.

The Nightmare of Participation
Markus Miessen
Nov 04, 2009 (6pm)
Madlener House

In his forthcoming publication, The Nightmare of Participation (Crossbench Praxis as a Mode of Criticality), Miessen challenges the ubiquitous use of the term participation and the current discourse on participatory practice. What happens when everyone is turned into a participant? What happens when participation is used as an instrument to pacify? Invoking the crossbencher, a member of the British House of Lords who is not aligned with a particular political party, Miessen encourages the role of the uninterested outsider--one not limited by existing protocols--entering the arena with nothing but creative intellect and the will to generate change. Miessen argues for conflict as an enabling rather than disabling force. He calls for a format of conflictual participation--no longer a process by which others are invited in, but as a means of acting without mandate, as uninvited irritant: a forced entry into fields of knowledge that arguably benefit from exterior thinking.
Related reading: "Did we mean participate or Did we mean something else?", introduction to Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas to Spatial Practice edited by Markus Miessen & Shumon Basar (MIT Press, 2006).
Markus Miessen is an architect, spatial consultant, and writer migrating between Berlin, London, and the Middle East. In 2002, he set up Studio Miessen, a collaborative agency for spatial practice and cultural analysis, and in 2007 was founding partner of the Berlin-based architectural practice nOffice. In various collaborations, Miessen has published books such as East Coast Europe (Sternberg, 2008), The Violence of Participation (Sternberg, 2007), With/Without -Spatial Products, Practices and Politics in the Middle East (Bidoun, 2007), Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas of Spatial Practice (with Shumon Basar, MIT Press, 2006), and Spaces of Uncertainty (Müller+Busmann, 2002). In 2008, The Independent listed Did Someone Say Participate as one of the ten best architecture books of all time. He frequently contributes to international magazines and journals. His work has been published and exhibited widely, including at the Lyon, Venice, and Shenzhen Biennials. Miessen has taught and lectured at institutions such as the Architectural Association (2004-2008), Columbia, and MIT. He has consulted the Slovenian Consulate (NYC) during Slovenia's presidency of the EU council, the European Kunsthalle, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Swiss think tank W.I.R.E.; in 2008, he initiated and now directs the Winter School Middle East. Most recently, Miessen works as a Harvard fellow on a research project in Iran/Iraq, teaches as Visiting Professor at the Berlage Institute (Rotterdam), and writes his forthcoming book The Nightmare of Participation (Sternberg Press & Merve Verlag, 2010).
nOffice is also featured in Performa 09, the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance, held in New York City from November 1-22, 2009 and showcasing new work by more than 150 of the world's most exciting contemporary artists.

Related Links
Studio Miessen


Brutally Early Club

One Year - A Discussion

For more information on the exhibition, Actions: What You Can Do With the City, click here.



Plan for Ordos 100 plot, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, NAO, 2008.

Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss
Nov 12, 2009 (6pm)
Madlener House

Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss is an architect, founder of Normal Architecture Office, and founding member of the School of Missing Studies, a network for experimental study of cities marked by or currently undergoing abrupt transition. Weiss has published two books: Almost Architecture, which explores architecture vis-à-vis emerging democratic processes and the Lost Highway Expedition Photobook, which documents the transitions and different speeds of recent urbanization that are challenging nine major cities in the Western Balkans. His work on the preservation of public space from the Socialist era is best known through his designs and activism for Handball Stadium in the city of Novi Sad. He was recently selected by Herzog & de Meuron architects and artist Ai Weiwei as one of 100 architects to design a villa in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Srdjan is an Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University and has lectured at Harvard and Penn. He is a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

NAO: Normal Architecture Office is a spatial practice for architecture, urbanism and curating. NAO's partners are Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Katherine Carl and Edwin Thaddeus Pawlowski. NAO employs a rigorous conceptual approach at all levels of the design process: from analysis, curating, building to articulating larger visions and is a strategic partner with School of Missing Studies.

Related Links
The Normal Architecture Office

School of Missing Studies

For more information on the exhibition, Actions: What You Can Do With the City, click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago

Gallery and Bookshop:
Closed for installation, bookshop open by appointment only



Events are held in the ballroom on the third floor which is only accessible by stairs.
The first floor of the Madlener House is accessible via an outdoor lift. Please call 312.787.4071 to make arrangements.