Apr 9th 2019

Exploring the Current State of Multifamily Housing

Friday, April 12 12–7 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 8:30 a.m.­–12:30 p.m.
S. R. Crown Hall, Center Core

In an increasingly urbanized world, multifamily housing is essential for providing sustainable and accessible housing to a growing population of city dwellers. Yet many people often perceive apartment living as unattractive and uninspired. To better understand the current state of multifamily housing in North America and to brainstorm opportunities to improve it, Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture will host the public workshop platformMIDDLE: Architecture Housing for the 99% on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, at S. R. Crown Hall’s center core.

College of Architecture Dean Michelangelo Sabatino will lead the workshop along with Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic, partners of award-winning Winnipeg, Canada-based architecture studio 5468796 and Morgenstern Visiting Chairs in Architecture. The event will bring together practitioners, critics, and developers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico; will unfold through a series of presentations and seminars; and will include multiple moderated forum discussions. Participants from several North American architecture firms will present their experience, including Martin Felsen (Chicago), Trevor Boddy (Vancouver, Canada), and Rafael Longoria (Mexico City).

“Multifamily housing design is the one area of architecture that has the most impact on the lives of ordinary people,” says Hurme. “As a result of its inherent repetition, potentially banal [program] and private developers’ pursuits of apparent affordability at the expense of livability, the margin in which architecture can occur is incredibly narrow. It seems especially important that as architects we should respond to the challenges of this typology with the [rigor] it deserves.”

The insight and conclusions gleaned from the workshop will culminate in a publication, platform.MIDDLE, produced following the spring 2019 semester. Both the workshop and publication are part of an endowment provided by the Victor A. Morgenstern Family Foundation.