The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation

More than simply an architectural biography of a city: Chicagoisms shows Chicago to have an important role as a catalyst for international development and pinpoints its remarkable influence around the world.




Edited by Alexander Eisenschmidt with Jonathan Mekinda

1st edition

, 2013

Text in English only


184 pages, 33 color and 69 b/w illustrations

21 x 27 cm

ISBN 978-3-906027-15-9


Chicago has long captured the global imagination as a place of tall, shining buildings rising from the fog, the playground for many of architecture’s greats—from Mies van der Rohe to Frank Lloyd Wright—and a surprising epicenter for modern construction and building techniques. In this beautifully illustrated volume, Alexander Eisenschmidt and Jonathan Mekinda have brought together a diverse pool of curators, artists, architects, historians, critics, and theorists to produce a multifarious portrait of the Second City.

Looking at events as far back as the 1933 exhibition Early Modern Architecture in Chicago, Chicagoisms is remarkable for the breadth of its topics and the depth of its essays. From more abstract ventures like tracking the boom-and-bust cycle of Chicago’s commitment to architecture and the influence of the Chicago grid system on Mies van der Rohe, to more straightforward studies of the “Americanization” of Berlin, the editors have chosen essays that convey the complex and varied history and culture of Chicago’s architecture. More than simply an architectural biography of the city, Chicagoisms shows Chicago to have an important role as a catalyst for international development and pinpoints its remarkable influence around the world. The contributors explore topics as diverse as Daniel Burnham’s vision and OMA’s student center for the Illinois Institute of Technology and show them to all be indelibly products of Chicago.

Autoren & Herausgeber

William F. Baker

Barry Bergdoll

 is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology at New York’s Columbia University, and has served as the MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design 2007–13.

Aaron Betsky

Robert Bruegmann

Penelope Dean

Alexander Eisenschmidt

 is a designer, theorist, and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture. He also works as a curator of exhibitions and is founding partner of Studio Offshore.

Pedro Gadanho

David H. Haney

John Harwood

Sam Jacob

Sylvia Lavin

Mark Lee

Andres Lepik

 ist Kunsthistoriker und seit 2012 Professor für Architekturgeschichte und kuratorische Praxis sowie Direktor des A.M. Architekturmuseums an der TU München. Davor arebiete er als Kurator an der Neuen Nationalgalerie in Berlin und im  Architecture and Design Department am Museum of Modern Art in New York.

David J. Lewis

Mark Linder

Bart Lootsma

Winy Maas

Igor Marjanović

John McMorrough

Jonathan Mekinda

 is a historian of modern architecture and design and an Assistant Professor in Art History and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Brett Steele

Stanley Tigerman

Kazys Varnelis

Sarah Whiting


«[…] eine lesenswerte Entdeckungsreise, die auch in kleinen Etappen goutiert werden kann und die vielschichtigen Facetten der Stadt am Michigansee eindrucksvoll verdeutlicht.» [Umrisse] Zeitschrift für Baukultur, Elisabeth Plessen 2014