• Smuggling Architecture
    Kwong Von Glinow
    S AM Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel
    Nov 16, 2019 to Mar 13, 2020
    Lap Chi Kwong & Alison Von Glinow

Kwong Von Glinow, Smuggling Architecture, Interior, 2019. Courtesy of the artists.

Over half of all Americans live in suburbia, and of those in suburbia, ninety-eight percent live in homes developed by off-the-shelf builder’s plans. The history of the suburban house has been and continues to be codified in a handful of builder's manuals that offer a huge selection of home plans to pick-and-choose buyers. These builder homes are living artifacts: a domestic typology rigidly embedded within the American landscape. Smuggling Architecture seeks to reclaim the suburban housing stock that has been neglected by modern architecture. The exhibition optimistically smuggles meaning and value into the interiors of generic suburban house plans through architectural orders. The paring of “smuggling” and “architecture” together is purposeful. The connotation of “smuggling” presupposes that what is secretively being smuggled is something that is small enough that it is easily hidden. By contrast, architecture seems a little bit too big as an idea to be smuggled. The word smuggling provides a new and alternative approach to the act of designing.

Lap Chi Kwong is cofounder and principal of Kwong Von Glinow Design Office—a Chicago-based architecture practice focusing on housing futures and cultural projects. Kwong earned his master’s of architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and his bachelor’s of art in architecture at the University of Washington. Prior to founding Kwong Von Glinow Design Office, Kwong worked with Herzog & de Meuron for five years in Basel, Switzerland on notable projects such as the M+ Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and two private Napa Valley residences. He has also worked with Wang Shu of Amature Architecture Studio in Hangzhou, China, and with Schacht Aslani Architects in Seattle, Washington. Kwong is currently an adjunct professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Alison Von Glinow is cofounder and principal of Kwong Von Glinow Design Office. Von Glinow earned her master’s of architecture from Harvard GSD and her bachelor’s of art in architecture at Barnard College. Prior to founding Kwong Von Glinow Design Office, Von Glinow worked with Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland, SOM in both Chicago and New York, Toshiko Mori Architect in New York, and Svendborg Architects in Copenhagen, Denmark. Von Glinow is a licensed architect in both Illinois and New York, a Forefront Fellow at New York's Urban Design Forum, and on the board of directors for the Chicago Architecture Club. Both Kwong and Von Glinow received the 2018 Architecture League Prize for Young Architects and Designers and were named one of the Top Twenty Emerging Architecture Practices in the World by Wallpaper* magazine in 2017. Kwong Von Glinow projects have been awarded the 2016 Chicago Prize, first prize in the 2017 New York Housing Challenge, and first prize in the Hong Kong Pixel Housing Challenge.