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


Prescriptions Issue 04 Release
Future Firm
Oct 08, 2016, 3pm
Book Launch

Please RSVP

The Graham is pleased to host the release of the fourth issue of Prescriptions, a quarterly zine edited by Ann Lui and Craig Reshke of Chicago-based architecture office Future Firm. Issue 04 features a conversation with design technology specialist Andrew Heumann, focusing on the role of computation in professional and aesthetic practices.

To celebrate the release, join us for a reception and discussion in the shop between Future Firm and Heumann. Past issues of the zine will be available for purchase alongside Issue 04, as well as a selection of related publications.

The title, Prescriptions, suggests that architectural practice may need some corrective medication. The zine features one interview per issue with builders of all kinds on their beginnings and futures. Topics in issue four include the emergence of a "coding class," democratic access to parametric design, C-3PO, computational camps and cultures, and the intersections of algorithms with governance.

Visit to learn more about Prescriptions.

As a design technology specialist at Woods Bagot, Andrew Heumann develops custom tools and workflows for design teams across the firm. Formerly the leader of NBBJ’s design computation team, he has written more than fifteen plug-ins for 3D modeling tools (“Human,” the most popular, has had more than 20,000 downloads) and created many bespoke tools for design teams and practices, aiding in the management of project metrics, environmental and urban analysis, and façade design. Outside of his professional work, Heumann is a generative artist, working with data, algorithms, geometry, and pixels to create rich visual abstractions that engage and challenge the limits and affordances of digital media. He is trained in both architecture and computer science, and has lectured and taught seminars at Cornell University, Yale University, California College of the Arts, and the University of Washington. His work has been published in Wallpaper magazine, CLOG journal, and presented at conferences including ACADIA, SIMAUD, Autodesk University, and the AEC Technology Symposium.

Ann Lui is an assistant professor of architecture/interior architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an SMArchS from MIT in history, theory, and criticism and a BArch from Cornell University, where she was awarded the Charles Goodwin Sands Medal and the Clifton Beckwith Brown Memorial Medal. Previously, she practiced at SOM, Ann Beha Architects, and Morphosis. Lui was assistant editor of OfficeUS Atlas (2015) and coeditor of Thresholds, "Scandalous" (2015).

Craig Reschke is an architect interested in landscape practices. He is a registered architect in the state of Illinois. He graduated from Harvard's Graduate School of Design, where his research focused on rural American landscapes, and he graduated with the Jacob Weidenmann Prize. He also holds a BArch from the University of Tennessee. Previously, Reschke was a project architect at SOM and RODE Architects, where he led the design of buildings at many scales.

Future Firm is a Chicago-based architecture office interested in the intersections between landscape territories and architectural spectacle. Recent research explores the relationship between finance, economy, and the built environment.



Yoshi Wada & Tashi Wada
Lampo Performance Series
Oct 22, 2016, 8pm

Composer, instrument builder and Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada and composer Tashi Wada make a rare Chicago appearance—Yoshi’s first since ’93 and Tashi’s local debut. The father-son duo presents an evening-length performance for Lampo based on a loose, ever-shifting structure with a newly modified setup of sirens, alarm bells, audio generators, bagpipes and organ.

Yoshi Wada (b.1943, Kyoto, Japan) is a composer and artist associated with the downtown New York experimental art scene of the last fifty years. He studied sculpture at the Kyoto University of Fine Arts, and then moved to New York in the late 1960s. Wada joined the Fluxus movement in 1968 after meeting its founder George Maciunas. In the early 1970s he began building homemade musical instruments and writing compositions for them based on his personal research in timbre, resonance and improvisation with the overtone series. He studied music composition with La Monte Young, North Indian singing with Pandit Pran Nath, and Scottish bagpipe with James McIntosh and Nancy Crutcher. Wada has presented his work at The Kitchen, New York; New Music in America, New York; Whitney Biennial, New York; Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; Emily Harvey Gallery, New York; Biennale of Sydney, Australia; Festival d’Automne, Paris; PS1, New York; Venice Biennale; and AV Festival, Newcastle, UK. His recorded works are published by Japanese record labels EM Records and Omega Point.

Tashi Wada (b.1982, New York, N.Y.) grew up in New York and lives in Los Angeles. His compositions use apparently simple structures and carefully calibrated tuning systems to generate rich and unanticipated perceptual effects. Wada presents his music often in collaboration with other artists including Charles Curtis and Stephan Mathieu, in addition to performing regularly with his father Yoshi Wada. He also runs Saltern, an imprint of Important Records, which he started in 2014.

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



Rifat Chadirji, Yasoub Rafiq Residence, Baghdad, 1965. Image courtesy of Rifat Chadirji.

Historic(ist) Encounters: Transforming Post-WWII Architecture in Baghdad
Amin Alsaden
Nov 10, 2016, 6pm

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This presentation will examine the critical encounters that took place in mid-twentieth-century Baghdad, between native architects and some of Modernism's most renowned figures who were brought to the city as part of country’s oil-fueled development campaign. Specifically, the buildings of Rifat Chadirji will be compared with Walter Gropius's proposal for the new campus of the University of Baghdad, as the two struggled to give shape to the ambitions of a newly independent Iraq. By reading both against the crisis of historicism declared by contemporaneous architectural historians, Alsaden will demonstrate how working in Baghdad created tensions that forced a radical shift in architectural practice.

Amin Alsaden is a PhD candidate at Harvard University whose work focuses on global exchanges of ideas and expertise across cultural boundaries. His research interests include modern architecture, especially in the Muslim and Arab worlds; questions of globalism and universalism in architectural history and design; governance and space in conflict zones; formal and cognitive attributes of interiors; sociopolitical and professional motives behind cultural institutions and districts; and monumentality in contemporary art and architecture. His dissertation investigates a crucible moment in post-WWII Baghdad, when a host of factors produced an unprecedented architectural movement characterized by a unique intellectual agenda and aesthetic, later exported to a modernizing Middle East; it aims to demonstrate the social role architecture played in a crisis-laden Baghdad, and how the creative class embraced a cosmopolitan ethos manifested in their output. Alsaden holds an MA from Harvard University, a post-professional MArch from Princeton University, and a BArch with a minor in interior design from the American University of Sharjah. He practiced at various firms in Europe and the Middle East, most recently at OMA and MVRDV in the Netherlands.

For more information on the exhibition, Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation, click here.


Nora Akawi
Nov 17, 2016, 6pm

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Nora Akawi is an architect based between Amman and New York. In 2012, she joined Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) as curator of Studio-X Amman, a regional platform for programming and research in architecture run by Columbia GSAPP and the Columbia Global Centers | Amman. At Studio-X Amman, she leads the conceptualization and implementation of public programs and research initiatives on architecture in the Arab Mashreq by curating conferences, workshops, publications, screenings, lectures, and other collective forms of production in partnership with researchers or institutions in the region. Since 2014, she has been teaching a graduate seminar course of theory and visualization focused on borderlands, migration, citizenship and human rights at GSAPP. She studied architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (B.Arch 2009). In 2011, she received her MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia GSAPP (MS.CCCP 2011), where she received the CCCP Thesis Award. Her thesis investigates the role of the archive in the formation of alternative political and spatial imaginaries in Palestine. She participates as Visiting Lecturer at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Art, in the Critical Habitats post-graduate program, and has served as critic in architecture programs at Columbia GSAPP, Barnard College, PennDesign, Harvard GSD, Georgia Tech, the Applied Science University in Amman, and GJU's SABE, among others. Publications include the book Architecture and Representation: The Arab City (co-edited by Amale Andraos, Nora Akawi, and Caitlin Blanchfield, Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016), and "Jerusalem: Dismantling Phantasmagorias, Constructing Imaginaries" in The Funambulist: Militarized Cities (edited by L. Lambert, 2015).

For more information on the exhibition, Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation, click here.


The Arab City
Amale Andraos
Dec 15, 2016, 6pm

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Amale Andraos will discuss her recent publication, The Arab City: Architecture and Representation co-edited with Nora Akawi, which engages contemporary architectural and urban production in the Middle East. Taking the "Arab City" and "Islamic Architecture" as sites of investigation rather than given categories, this book reframes the region's buildings, cities, and landscapes and broadens its architectural and urban canons.

Amale Andraos is Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and co-founder of WORKac, a New York-based architectural and urban practice focused on re-imaging architecture at the intersection of the urban, the rural, and the natural. The practice has achieved international recognition for projects such as the Centre de Conferences in Libreville, Gabon and the Edible Schoolyard at PS216 in Brooklyn, NY. Her current projects include the Miami Collage Garage and a residential conversion of a historic New York cast-iron building. WORKac was named the AIA New York State Firm of the Year in 2015. Prior to Columbia, Andraos taught at universities including Princeton University School of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the American University in Beirut. Her publications include Architecture and Representation: The Arab City, co-edited with Nora Akawi, as well as 49 Cities and Above the Pavement the Farm! co-authored with her partner, Dan Wood.

For more information on the exhibition, Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation, click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago
Please note that the galleries are closed for installation. Normal gallery hours will resume after May 18.

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.