• Francesco Marullo, 2016–17 Douglas A. Garofalo Fellow: The Jungle: Architecture, Production and Logistics of Chicago
    University of Illinois at Chicago-School of Architecture

Bertolt Brecht. Brecht’s postcards of Chicago. Courtesy the Bertolt-Brecht-Archiv; BBA. 524/137

Despite having never visited the city, Chicago was an obsession for Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956). He viewed Chicago as a metropolis built on sheer rationality and steel-frames, grain-silos and financial speculation, infrastructure and industrial monopolies, nomad workers and labor struggles—the material expression of the most advanced forces of capitalism. Brecht adopted such a jungle of asphalt and railways, skyscrapers and speakeasies, primitive drives and frantic activities to stage most of his early plays, as in an analogous Berlin. By dissecting reality “like the mechanism of a car,” Brecht’s theatre rejected any emotional representation of the world, aiming instead to unravel the conditions that produce the world. Life was no longer represented on stage but critically questioned through the play, transforming the passive emphatic involvement of the audience into an active learning experience for the collective awakening. Adopting the principles of estrangement, dialectical theatre, and montage this project rereads the architecture of production in Chicago vis-à- vis Brecht’s works between 1918 and 1930.

Francesco Marullo holds a master’s degree and PhD in the history and theory of architecture from the Delft University of Technology and the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Founding member of the research collective the City as a Project, his work focuses on the relationships between architecture, logistics, and production. Marullo is assistant professor at UIC’s School of Architecture. Previously, he taught at the Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design, TU Delft, the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture, and the Faculty of Architecture at RomaTre University, while collaborating with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Matteo Mannini Architects, and DOGMA. In 2012, he cofounded Behemoth Press, a think-tank platform devoted to the exploration of the architectural project and the power relations it entails, often in the form of essays, drawings, exhibitions, symposia, and publications.

The School of Architecture at UIC promotes architecture as a cultural practice of organizing information, of intelligently identifying and deploying patterns—conceptual, visual, structural, behavioral, and material—in the world. The program prepares its graduates to project all scales of these spatial and organizational patterns through the systematic development of an aesthetic attitude, a technical confidence, and a theoretical opportunism.