Mana Contemporary Chicago has announced that a new pop-up exhibition, titled "SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture]," will open on Sunday, September 10th. Presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Ace Hotel Chicago as a partner for special programming, the exhibition will run through January 7th, 2018.
For more than eight decades, SOM has explored the poetics of structure through continual examination and experimentation. The exhibition "SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture]" reveals the concepts and forms that stem from SOM’s integrated practice of engineering, art, and architecture. Through hand-drawn sketches, interactive sculpture, immersive video, and a lineup of more than 30 structural models at 1:500 scale, the exhibition gives insight into SOM’s practice, past and present, as it seeks to address physical and environmental challenges with concise and honestly expressed solutions.
The exhibition surveys SOM’s long tradition of collaboration with visual artists and showcases models, drawings, and ephemera from projects created by Pablo Picasso, James Turrell, Jaume Plensa, James Carpenter, Janet Echelman, and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. "SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture]" explores the idea that engineers, architects, and artists alike practice a poetry of inquiry, experimentation, and ingenuity.
The exhibition is sponsored by Sterling Bay and Terry Dowd, Inc.
From September 10th through the end of the exhibition, several related events will take place and are scheduled below. Unless otherwise noted, the events will take place at:
Mana Contemporary Pop-up
345 N. Morgan St
Sunday, September 10
Opening Day Programs
Building Tall with Everyday Materials: SOM Structural Research Gang and SOM Black Box Group
Architects and engineers from SOM lead an interactive structure-building workshop with everyday materials. This workshop is open to the public and is intended for a general audience of all ages.
Structural Origami Workshop: SOM Structural Research Gang and SOM Black Box Group
Architects and engineers from SOM lead an interactive workshop that explores structural
ideas found in origami. This workshop is open to the public and is intended for a general
audience of all ages.
Evening Artist Talk with Jaume Plensa and SOM
Immediately following the public opening, Program Partner Ace Hotel Chicago hosts Jaume Plensa and SOM to discuss the process of collaboration behind World Voices at the Burj Khalifa, an installation composed of 196 cymbals representing the 196 countries of the world. Symbolic of the Burj Khalifa as a product of collaboration of people from across the globe, the installation befits the building’s global iconic status.
Venue: Ace Hotel Chicago
311 N. Morgan St
Friday, September 15
Saturday, September 16 – Sunday, September 17
Ace Hotel Chicago Panel Discussion: Collaborations in Art + Engineering
Thursday, November 30
Moderator: Caitlin Mueller
Panelists: William Baker, Alessandro Beghini, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Janet Echelman
This panel focuses on the history of collaborations between artists and SOM engineers. A diverse panel of engineers, artists, architects, and thought leaders discuss how these interdisciplinary collaborations can inform new ideas for artwork and architectural projects. The discussion intends to reveal that engineers and artists alike practice a poetry of inquiry, experimentation, and ingenuity.
Venue: Ace Hotel Chicago
311 N. Morgan St
Ongoing Exhibition Hours
Open Hours every Saturday and Sunday until January 7, 2018
*Exhibition tours also available by appointment.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
To request an exhibition tour or for any media inquiries, please contact:
Danielle E. Campbell
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.