Mar 30th 2015

Presidential Lecture by Dean Arets

Dean Arets presenting at the Presidential Lecture

Dean Wiel Arets delivered the eighth installment of the Presidential Lecture Series, hosted by President John L. Anderson, on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. in Hermann Hall.

John W. Rowe, IIT Regent, Former Chairman of the Board, and Chairman Emeritus of Exelon Corporation, introduced the lecture titled: “Towards a Hybrid Metropolis,” presented by Wiel Arets.

Left: Dean Arets; Right: IIT Regent John W. Rowe

Dean Arets explored the metropolis of the twenty-first century as a hybrid—connected, automated, and noiseless. Such qualities enable today’s societies, within these hybrid metropolises, to live dualistically: They’re more interconnected, productive, and longer leisured than their predecessors, though capable of the securities that a village once provided.

Twentieth-century societies witnessed the rise of major technological inventions and innovations such as the car, the plane, the computer, the phone, and the Internet. Whereas those societies experienced the advent of such technological advances as spectacle, since they were then still new, today they are essential components of our modern lives. And they have begun to evolve. Tellingly, yesterday’s car has already become the driverless car; today’s smart phone seems to do nearly anything; and the Internet will only continue to further cast its reach. The human body and the ‘human’ robot will soon coexist; this double will be the new collective.

Discourse around the metropolis is the prime challenge within Dean Arets’ research. His vision as dean is focused on seeking out the boundaries and challenges currently facing us: How will architecture, as part of the metropolis, develop within our extremely exciting and complex world? Architects have to be inventors and storytellers, capable of making, crafting, and foreseeing the unthinkable in thought as constructive pragmatism. The hybrid metropolis should be based on an awareness of both risk and tension, and the creation of a new urban dream.

Left to right: IIT Trustee Walter Nathan, Pat Anderson, Dean Arets, Dean Russell Betts

3:30 p.m. – Lecture, Hermann Hall Ballroom, 3241 South Federal Street

5 p.m. – Reception, Hermann Hall Expo