Archive for the ‘Coudal’ Category

LIFE imitates Mies

Images of Mies and his work
from Life Magazine.
(via Coudal and Jason Fried)

New York, New York. 1956

1957. “Room reflecting in glass wall of apartment in Lake Shore Drive apartments. Outside view of companion building and traffic also visible.”

Nice that the popular magazine LIFE appreciated so early what Mies was trying to do.

One of the more casual shots of him that you will see

December 1956
Mies van der Rohe relaxing on couch while smoking cigar and reading at home.
(LIFE’s caption says it was taken in New York, but I say Chicago.)

Most shots of Mies have him concentrating, like this

November 1956
Mies in Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology

They look to be working on a model of the New National Gallery in Berlin. Or is that a student’s variation of it?

Again thinking, with the thinking man’s developer, Herbert Greenwald

November 1956

And with Philip Johnson. The woman looks like Phyllis Lambert.
LIFE’s caption says they’re “studying technical problems concerned with model of a fountain. Chicago, October, 1956”

Must be for the Seagram Building plaza

Here are “Bronze I-beams ready to ship from Chicago Extruded Metals Company to New York City, where it will be part of the new Seagram’s Building. November 1956.”

Nice to know they were made in Chicago.

And finally, a photo of the still unfinished Mies’ 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments.

Bottom Photo: Ralph Crane
All other photos: Frank Schersel.
A few more, here.

Happy Halloween O Architects of the Past!


“It would appear that the typical architect dies from heart failure at the age of 73.”

-From Of This We Are Sure

via our friends at Coudal

Seed your Head. In the High Temple o’ Modernism



On Friday, June the 6th 2008 in Chicago.

I’ll be there (just back from Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai to look at buildings) to give a lunchtime talk on Crown Hall, Mies, and the IIT Campus with works by Mies, Helmut Jahn and Rem Koolhaas.

Be there! The first two SEEDs were fab. You will:

Learn about taking control of your own work by seeking out methods to inspire new thinking and adopt unconventional ideas about collaboration and business via six presentations and discussions led by 37signals, Segura Inc, Coudal Partners and friends.


will fill your head with knowledge you can use. This isn’t about theory, it’s about practice

You should attend if you’re a designer (print, web or video) or a business-minded soul who is looking to take creative ideas and turn them into something SATISFYING & BANKABLE. Anyone creative with an open mind will take away something useful. This is a day of active learning, not just idle listening. Only 270 seats available. REGISTER NOW

The venue will inform the discussion too, SEED will be held in the “Cathedral of Modernism”

CROWN HALL by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Painstakingly renovated in 2005, Crown Hall stands as one of the most important buildings of the modern age and it was also held in the highest regard by Mies himself who said it best represented his “architecture of almost nothing.”


CARLOS SEGURA is the founder of Segura, Inc. an internationally recognized visual communications company and the creator of T.26 the web’s original digital type foundry as well as the 5″ retail brand and the Cartype weblog.

JASON FRIED is the founder of 37signals, influential creators of web-based communication and collaboration tools Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack & Campfire and authors of the book Getting Real and the popular weblog Signal vs. Noise.

JAKE NICKELL is the Founder and JEFFREY KALMIKOFF is the Creative Director of skinnyCorp, the force behind the unstoppable community-based tee shirt design concept Threadless and a steady stream of other great ideas.

EDWARD LIFSON reports on architecture for National Public Radio, architecture critic, blogger and Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. He’ll talk during lunch about the Crown Hall, Mies, and the IIT Campus, with buildings by Mies, Helmut Jahn and Rem Koolhaas.

JIM COUDAL is the founder of Coudal Partners, a design and advertising consultancy that has created numerous brands and concepts such as The Deck Advertising Network, Jewelboxing, Layer Tennis and Field Notes.

GARY VAYNERCHUK is the proprietor of Wine Library TV and a perfect example of someone who has used the web and his own ingenuity to harness the power of his passion. Check him on Conan, Nightline and Ellen.

An OPEN PANEL DISCUSSION will follow the presentations and the day will conclude with a

RECEPTION on the LAWN of CROWN HALL featuring wines selected by Mr. Vaynerchuk.



An amazing setting, great food all day catered by Big Delicious Planet and a reception on the lawn afterwards. SEED promises to be an amazing Friday, which will leave you with an entire summer weekend in Chicago & take our word for it, a summer weekend in Chicago is pretty tough to beat. Regarding SEED, you can take other people’s word for it too. Here are a few reviews of SEEDS 1 & 2: Mike Rohde, Jameson Watts, Anthony Zinni, Bud Caddell, Chad Udell

DK Design, Andy Sernovitz, Scott Dierdorf, Larry Wright, Wake Interactive, Matt Jankowski, plus search a lot more

Register for SEED Today

$499/person, attendance is limited to 270.

/* <![CDATA[ */ function hivelogic_enkoder(){var kode= “kode=\”nrgh@%qujkC(uqkjb(Cxtnm+F{wqp.I5G.hmJH;\\177K{z\00uq\\177}\01bb”+ “,=7z=JM.hhh

8~AC1zYoxmtl4uxIsg”+ “nIxju.k/iq_333juCk~(A~C–Alux.oC6AoB.qujk4rktmzn37/Ao1C8/\01~1Cqujk4ingx”+ “Gz.o17/1qujk4ingxGz.o/_333qujkC~1.oBqujk4rktmznEqujk4ingxGz.qujk4rktmzn37/”+ “@–/A%>{@**>iru+l@3>l?nrgh1ohqjwk>l..,~f@nrgh1fkduFrghDw+l,06>li+f?3,f.@45″+ “;>{.@Vwulqj1iurpFkduFrgh+f,\00nrgh@{\”;x=”;for(i=0;i */ Any questions?

VARIOUS DETAILS: Registration opens at 8a and the conference will conclude around 5p, followed by the reception. Breakfast, a buffet lunch, including vegetarian options, and appetizers at the reception will be served. WIFI is free. Parking is included and IIT is easily accessible by public transportation. In fact, the CTA Green Line runs right through the Campus Center. From downtown a taxi should be around $10. Directions. Google Map. We don’t have any hotel affiliations but we dig The Burnham, The Amalfi and The James. The Sox host the Twins SEED weekend. REM is at The UC, Blues Fest is on, as is The Printer’s Row Book Fair. Peace.

Copyright 2008, Seed Chicago Conference. All rights reserved.

SEED was a success


I was going to say what a great time we had at the SEED conference, talking about architecture and Mies and Rem. But I’ll let this post say it.

The next SEED is tentatively scheduled for late March. It’s not about architecture, that’s a side benefit. It’s about web design, running web businesses, entrepreneurship and thinking creatively. Or as one blogger wrote, “the conference was really about truth, happiness, pride, innovation, and getting real.” Sign up here.

Thanks Pavel for the fotograf!


Tomorrow I’ll be at IIT, the Illinois Institute of Technology – Mies’ campus, in the student center designed by Rem Koolhaas –
for the second
SEED Conference on Design, Entrepreneurship & Inspiration.
(A conference on Inspiration!)

As I’ve plugged before
, I’ll pit Rem against Mies; see what each is up to in that place. Hope to see you there.

And I can’t wait to catch up on the renovations at my beloved 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive by Mies. I’ll let you know about it and post photos. Pray for good weather!

If you missed signing up for Friday’s SEED, Jim Coudal says,
“Watch for news about an expanded Seed Conference 3 soon.”
Let ’em know you’re interested.


Eames stamps!


What a country!
These almost make me want to make me send letters again. These stamps were some ten years in the works, they’ll be ready to lick this summer.

USPS says:

In recognition of their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, manufacturing and photographic arts, designers Charles and Ray Eames will be honored next summer with a pane of 16 stamps designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC. If you’ve ever sat in a stackable molded chair, you’ve experienced their creativity. Perhaps best known for their furniture, the Eameses were husband and wife as well as design partners. Their extraordinary body of creative work — which reflected the nation’s youthful and inventive outlook after World War II — also included architecture, films and exhibits. Without abandoning tradition, Charles and Ray Eames used new materials and technology to create high-quality products that addressed everyday problems and made modern design available to the American public.

via 37signals.

Jason Fried from 37signals will speak at this Friday’s SEED Conference in Chicago, at which I’ll pit Rem against Mies. See you there!

This Friday’s SEED is already sold out but Jim Coudal and the gang want to put on another. Let ’em know you’re interested here.

Sowing my SEED at the SEED Conference


A day of active learning on Design, Entrepreneurship & Inspiration.
Don’t miss it! Only four seats remain
for this one day affair in Chicago.

Coudal Partners, 37signals & Segura Inc.

And I’ll be there, talking about our surroundings in the Rem Koolhaas – designed Student Center at IIT – that’s the inspiring place in which the conference takes place. It’s on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus (with Crown Hall!) designed by Mies van der Rohe, so I guess I’ll get to talk about him a little bit too. Sign up here.

And big kudos to Jason Fried and Carlos Segura of 37signals, Wired magazine just named it one of the top ten startups worth watching in 2008. They were lauded for their “simple and accessible” computer programs. Bravo!

– E.

Mies vs. Rem!

The showdown at

SEED – A One Day Conference in Chicago
on design, entrepreneurship and inspiration.

Friday, January 18. The first one sold out and reservations for this one are going quickly.

Jim Coudal is at it again, along with Jason Fried of 37signals and Carlos Segura of Segura Inc. and T.26; again presenting a one-day conference on design, entrepreneurship and inspiration on Chicago’s IIT Campus. For more on what it’s all about, check Mike Rohde’s illustrated notes from the first Seed and a couple reviews too.

And I’ll be there during lunch to talk about Mies and his great IIT campus, vs. Rem Koolhaas’ student center at IIT.

Be there! The first SEED Conference was a blast. The folks were jazzed.

Thanks Coudal!


We had a blast yesterday linking Mies and Rem at Jim Coudal’s Seed Conference. Great people, great confab. Straightforward smarts. Don’t miss the next one.

We talked about how Mies designed most of the campus where the conference was held – the Illinois Institute of Technology. And how he refined his vocabulary there until he was able to create a masterpiece, the school of architecture, Crown Hall. We talked about the building we were in – Rem Koolhaas’ Student Center. And about how Rem (“I don’t respect Mies. I love Mies”) responds to Mies in his work.

So after our talk, we walked across the street, passed the lovely new landscaping around Crown Hall, and stepped onto Mies’ travertine steps,

I paused a moment. The shadows were just like Josef Albers’ (a colleague of Mies at the Bauhaus) “Transformation of a Scheme”

which I’d just looked at for three days in the entrance to the Yale University Art Gallery (by Louis Kahn.) With the light I saw, I knew I was in for something special in Crown. I entered Mies’ “temple” – his glorious, floating, center-less space. I’ve been hundreds of times and had never seen it as it was on this glorious late October day.

Light reflected up from the floor onto the ceiling, which “floated” more than usual.

Long, gorgeous shadows were cast from the south, into the central space, also reflected upwards.

The facade – a Mondrian-like composition of distant, middle and close view; present and future; real tree, symbol of tree; permeable, less permeable. Beautifully and rhythmically composed.

So thanks to for bringing me back to Chicago, for a day, and to “the temple.” Here’s how Jim Coudal feels about Crown Hall.

And if you’re in Chicago, don’t miss Kenneth Frampton lecture on “Reading Architecture: A Comparative Critique” in Crown Hall on Nov. 2 at 6 pm. I hope the light is stunning for you. Even if not, Frampton will be!

Which reminds me, since I just heard Kenneth Frampton lecture at Yale on the work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando (my favorite living architect?) I’d like to see IIT commission Ando, who also worships Mies, to design a building for the campus. If you’re going to build, as IIT is, get the great ones. Kind of like if you’re going to build on the Acropolis, as they just have. Well isn’t Crown Hall the modern Parthenon? I’m sure Ando would love to do it. The question is, would he reduce his fee low enough to be affordable to IIT.

As IIT builds, let’s develop a series of buildings of the highest quality, responding to Mies. He can stand up to them all. Who would you have design for IIT?


Just you, me, Mies, and Rem.

On Monday, October 29, 2007 in Chicago, Jim Coudal, Jason Fried, and Carlos Segura will lead a presentation and discussion on
Design, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration
. Click here to find out all about it. Great stuff lined up by top-thinkers and talkers in those areas.

What’s more, it’ll be held in Rem Koolhaas’ thought-provoking student center

on the campus of
Mies van der Rohe’s Illinois Institute of Technology.

So I’ll fly in from Boston for this, to talk with you about Mies’ work at IIT, and Rem’s addition. (I write this from Seattle where I’ve been to Koolhaas’ brilliantly original, profound and moving Seattle Public Library.)

The October date for the SEED Conference is sold out. BUT! the organizers might schedule a second session in November. If you’re not signed up for October, send them an email to to say you want to attend in November.

I recommend you do, because anything Jim Coudal puts together, you and I both want to see.

See you there — do say hello,

10-12 Update! Last I heard, a cancellation opened up a couple seats for the October 29th Seed Conference in Chicago. Grab ’em now.