NOWNESS is our approach. There are no more boundaries, no eternal forms. We should not attempt to define architecture in an all- encompassing way but instead make possible an architecture of freedom. Now is the time for opportunities of innovation. Now is the time to conceive new strategies. We live in an era of rapid transition. More than ever before, technological developments have reshaped our perception of the world. Our world is becoming a single metropolis, with individual cities as neighborhoods. Our relationship to the environment has never been more challenged than it is today. How will architecture react to these developments?

IIT Architecture welcomes students, faculty, and guests from around the globe who share our interest in “Rethinking the Metropolis.” We will conduct research; we will analyze existing phenomena; we will learn from other disciplines. We will question the roles of architecture, landscape, and urbanism in our new conditions:

How will we deal with making, with the development of new materials, with technical innovations that challenge our assumptions about architecture? How will we develop new prototypes and typologies?
How will we invent a new city with new ideas of living/working/playing/ shopping/relaxing/ learning/communicating? How will we create a zero-energy metropolis? What will be the role of infrastructure and the connections it enables in our new map of the world? What will be the roles of manufacturing, tourism, and shopping? How will education, the university, and research become main activities for the future metropolis?

All this is what we call “Rethinking the Metropolis.”

At the dawn of a new age, IIT Architecture provides a platform for questioning architecture; for encouraging childlike curiosities to be explored; and for reshaping, rewriting, and rethinking our global metropolises.

Wiel Arets
Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair, IIT College of Architecture, Chicago