Reportedly originating in 1832 with George Washington Snow’s balloon-framed warehouse, softwood construction offered a solution to the need for a variety and large number of buildings during America’s westward expansion. The availability of the principal material, simplicity of construction, an ability to be built by low- or unskilled workers, and the growing economies and populations of the Midwest led to the proliferation of an architecture that has since dominated the American built landscape. The exhibition tells a story of an architectural project that is eager to choose economy over technical knowledge, and accepting of relaxed ideas towards craft. This desire plays out in a full-scale addition to the pavilion building itself: completing the 1930s US Pavilion, with America’s ubiquitous domestic project, the wood-framed houses.
Commissioner: Paul Preissner
Curators: Paul Andersen, Paul Preissner
Exhibitors: Ania Jaworska, Norman/Kelley, Linda Robbennolt, Daniel Shea, Chris Strong, The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture