• Architectural Character in the Rural Midwestern United States
    Stewart Hicks & Allison Newmeyer

Design With Company, analysis drawings of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Niles, IL, 2014.

This project documents and analyzes a set of Midwestern institutions to establish a contemporary theory of architectural character. We expect the geography and people of the Midwest to “have character,” without having “a character.” Its people and cities are often used statistically as the average standard for American culture. In this region, architecture is a device through which the Midwest develops distinctive characteristics by self-consciously transforming found reality. It achieves this transformation by celebrating the everyday environment and generating a performance that arranges both space and the people in it. Our Delirious New York for the Midwest learns from these performances and takes the form of drawings, narratives objects, and collages to capture the qualities that make these situations successful in gathering unlikely collections of individuals.

Stewart Hicks is cofounder of Design With Company. He is assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago; he received his MArch from Princeton University. He is a fellow of the MacDowell Artist Colony and is a recipient of Architectural Record's Design Vanguard Award and the Young Architect's Forum Prize.

Allison Newmeyer is cofounder of Design With Company. She is visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also teaches architectural design and representation courses at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a fellow of the MacDowell Artist Colony and is the recipient of architectural awards from the Van Alen Institute and Architizer.