ORD: Documenting the Definitive Modern Airport

January 16, 2009

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In the second half of the 20th century O'Hare Airport was the biggest and busiest facility of its kind in the world. Characterized by a seamless integration of transportation infrastructure and architectural expression, O'Hare quickly became an international model for jet-age airport design. In this lecture, exhibition curator Charles Waldheim discusses Hedrich Blessing's iconic black-and-white images from the 1960s that document Chicago's largest public works projects and Robert Burley's color photographs from the 1980s that show O'Hare as a complex managed landscape.

Charles Waldheim, Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto is principal and founder of Urban Lab, a trans-disciplinary consultancy at the intersection of design and contemporary urban culture. His practice offers a range of consulting and design services for public sector agencies, private clients, not-for-profit groups, non-governmental organizations, and public-private partnerships. Waldheim's expertise centers on contemporary urbanism and its relation to landscape. One facet of this work concerns itself with the relationship between urbanism and landscape in the context of contemporary urban economy and the role of the design disciplines in response to the rapid and ongoing transformation of cities through economic forces.

 

Recorded Friday, January 16, 2009 at Chicago Architecture Foundation.