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


Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture
Justin McGuirk
Oct 06, 2014, 6pm

please RSVP

On Monday, October 6, writer and curator Justin McGuirk will discuss his new Graham-funded book, Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture. In this newly published title from Verso Books, McGuirk examines social and activist architecture in cities across Latin America.

Edwin Heathcote writes in the Financial Times: "In his fine and timely book Radical Cities, [McGuirk] takes a road trip to seek out not only the problems caused by rapid growth but also the most radical and influential ideas to have emerged in response over the past couple of intriguing picture of an activist urbanism and architecture that has made a real difference."

Justin McGuirk is a writer, critic, and curator based in London. He is the director of Strelka Press, the publishing arm of the Strelka Institute in Moscow. He has been the design critic of The Guardian, the editor of Icon magazine, and the design consultant to Domus. In 2012 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank. His book, Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture was published by Verso in spring 2014.


Image: Anonymous, a view of the squatted Torre Confinanzas, Caracas, Venezuela. Photo: Justin McGuirk.



Rene Hell (Jeff Witscher)
lampo performance series
Oct 11, 2014, 8pm

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The Graham Foundation is pleased to continue its ongoing partnership with Lampo this fall with the premiere of Rene Hell’s “Bifurcating a Resounding No!” on Saturday, October 11. This latest project from Rene Hell draws from years of recorded sounds (acoustic instruments, field recordings, and voice) that the artist collected in cities across the U.S. and then shaped using various digital techniques.


Jeff Witscher a.k.a. Rene Hell (b. 1983, Long Beach, Calif.) is a visual artist, avid chess player, and music obsessive who has explored a variety of underground styles since his teens. His aesthetic choices, expressed over dozens of recordings released under many pseudonyms, have anticipated the shifts in U.S. experimental music spanning the last decade. Most recently, he received acclaim for synth albums Porcelain Opera and The Terminal Symphony (Type), a 2012 split release with Oneohtrix Point Never, and his newest recording, Vanilla Call Option (PAN). Witscher’s practice is peripatetic—roving styles, changing monikers and wide-ranging influences. Travel is central to Vanilla Call Option, with its digital palette constructed on the move between airports, performance spaces, and public libraries, to evoke the musique concrète of Bernard Parmegiani and the computer music of Charles Dodge. Witscher lives in Los Angeles.


This performance is presented in partnership with Lampo. Founded in 1997, Lampo is a non-profit organization for experimental music, sound art, and intermedia projects. Visit



Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and Susan Herrington
Nov 19, 2014, 6pm

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Canadian landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander has been creating innovative landscapes for more than sixty years. Her work with preeminent architects throughout Canada and the United States has provided sustainable solutions for private gardens and public spaces.

Susan Herrington's research concerns the history and theory of designed landscapes. She has conducted research in Germany with support from the German Academic Exchange, in Cambridge as a visiting researcher at Harvard University, and as an early career scholar with the UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. From 2010–11 she was a UBC Killam Faculty Fellow. She is author of On Landscapes (Routledge, 2009) and Schoolyard Park (2002). She has published articles in Architecture and IdeasFootprintLandscape Journal, and Landscape Research, as well as numerous chapters in books. She is professor of landscape architecture and architecture at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.


Image: Expo '67, An Environment for Creative Play and Learning. Courtesy of Canadian Centre for Architecture, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Archives.


Related Grant: Susan Herrington, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape (University of Virginia Press, 2014).

For more information on the exhibition, Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, click here.



Alison Hirsch and Eva Jessica Friedberg
Dec 04, 2014, 6pm

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Alison Hirsch is a landscape architectural designer as well as urban historian and theorist. Her book City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America was released by University of Minnesota Press in April 2014. The book provides an analysis of the creative process Lawrence Halprin developed with his wife, dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin, and how aspects of this process have the potential to enrich contemporary approaches to structuring the city.

Eva Jessica Friedberg recently completed her doctoral dissertation on the American environmental designer Lawrence Halprin titled “Action Architecture: Lawrence Halprin’s Experiments in Landscape Design, Urbanism, and the Creative Process.” This project is one of the first retrospectives on Halprin and his landscape architecture work from the mid-20th century. The dissertation examines closely the designer’s development of the RSVP Cycles as a new method for organizing human creative processes and as a guide to collective creativity.


Image: Photographer unknown, participants in “Experiments in Environment, a creativity workshop that served as an experimental precursor to Lawrence Halprin & Associates’ Take Part Process, a community participation methodology, 1966, Kentfield, CA. Courtesy of the Lawrence Halprin Collection, the Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania.


Related Grants: Alison Hirsch, City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America (University of Minnesota Press, 2014); Eva Jessica Friedberg, "Action Architecture: Lawrence Halprin's Experiments in Landscape Design, Urbanism, and the Creative Process."

For more information on the exhibition, Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, click here.




Influences: The Halprin Workshops
Chip Lord
Sep 25, 2014, 6pm

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Chip Lord, cofounder of the experimental architecture collective Ant Farm, will reflect on his participation in one of the Halprins’ early collaborative workshops and the influence that this experience had on his later work.


Chip Lord was trained as an architect and was a founding member of the experimental art and architecture collective Ant Farm (1968-1978). Dedicated to finding alternatives to mainstream architectural practice, Ant Farm worked at the fringe of architecture, producing inflatable structures, organizing performances and media events, and exploring nomadic design.  Ant Farm achieved widespread notoriety in the 1970s for such projects as House of the Century (1972), a ferro-cement weekend House in Texas, which won a Progressive Architecture Design Citation in 1971, and Cadillac Ranch (1974), an iconic work that is both public art and entropic sculpture and crosses disciplinary boundaries. Ant Farm also produced the video art classics Media Burn and The Eternal Frame, both in 1975. Following his involvement with Ant Farm, Lord continued to work in video and produced single channel tapes and installations, often collaborating with other artists. Lord has taught at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is Professor Emeritus in Film & Digital Media.


Image: The Clean Air Pod by Ant Farm at U.C. Berkeley on the first Earth Day, 1970. Courtesy Chip Lord.

For more information on the exhibition, Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago
The Graham Foundation galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11-6PM.

Directions to Madlener House


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.