Sunday, October 14, a group of 15 current ID students made the trek to the home and gallery of Paul Young and Margaret Fox, in Michigan City, Indiana for a special showing of the exhibit “Bauhaus to Chicago”. The cool day and the simple modern architecture of the home placed in an Indiana suburb gave the perfect setting to the collection that combines work from the famed Bauhaus, New Bauhaus, Institute of Design, IIT architecture and local Chicago artists.
The food and artwork were beautiful, but we were not the only guests. Also on hand were distinguished alumni to share tales about the good old days. Through their stories, it quickly became clear that the history of this school, IIT, modern architecture and the city are amazingly intertwined. The collection is as much a result of this as it is evidence.
It is never a surprise to hear from someone older than you that things aren’t as good as they used to be, but this conversation was different. As they went on, it became very clear that the arrival of Jay Doblin as director had been a very dramatic and polarizing shift for ID. Where his predecessor, Bauhaus alum Lazlo Maholy-Nagy told students to “see the world as a child sees,” Doblin advocated that discipline be brought to large projects. Still, it was surprisingly familiar to hear experienced designers wrestling with the same issues of intellect and intuition that we ID students deal with everyday.
But the rhetoric of the two directors could not have been more different, and that seems to have led to lots of misunderstanding among alumni, students and the school. While we reached no true resolution, the conversation was enlightening. Each year, more ID alumni go out into the world. Each year, ID changes itself a little more. We need more of these conversations to maintain the community. Maybe, over time, we can convey a sense that the current ID and those of years past, aren’t that different. Let this be the first of many to come.
See more of the extensive photo documentation