In the early days of Mies van der Rohe's Crown Hall, the jewel of the IIT campus, architect John Vinci, then a senior, convinced the school to let him use the new building for the annual dance. He managed to book Duke Ellington to provide the music, and students from IIT's Institute of Design were given responsibility for providing the decor. "They put blue and green spotlights on the grass outside," remembers Vinci, "and aimed them at the branches of the honey locust trees lining the building, so that inside you'd see the shadows of the branches moving behind the lower milk-glass windows like animated drawings on Japanese paper."
This Thursday, June 11th, from nine-ish to midnight, that idea will be turned outside in, as artist Jim Tichy and students from IIT, SAIC, Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar, and Bezalel Academy Tel Aviv will present Lighting Crown Hall, turning it into "a massive light box, sending video projections and elaborate time-base lighting sequences through the glass windows." The project is a collaborative venture with the School of the Art Institute and the Mies van der Rohe Society, and is the culmination of Bauhaus Labs' three week summer session "exploring the ideas of visionary artist and educator Laszlo Moholy-Nagy."
Grab a lawn chair (and a jacket, and maybe an umbrella) and stake out your place. Crown Hall is at 3360 South State Street. There's public parking in lots D1 and D2 at the southeast corner of 33rd and State, entrance on 33rd.