The Oberlin Review

On The Record with Sir David Adjaye, Architect

On The Record with Sir David Adjaye, Architect

October 5, 2018

Acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye, designer of the Museum of African American History and Culture among other notable projects, gave a keynote lecture yesterday as part of President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s inauguration weekend. Born in Tanzania, Adjaye is a global citizen whose work balances both the needs of surrounding communities and his own fascination with material science. Adjaye was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017 and named as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People la...

Oberlin Architecture

Oberlin Architecture

April 18, 2016

For Sustainable Design, New Club Turns to Nature

Dyani Sabin

November 7, 2014

If you want to know how to create more sustainable architecture, you might want to ask the birds and the bees. At least that’s what the members of Oberlin’s first-ever Biomimicry Club, an organization that aims to bring Oberlin toward sustainable living based on designs found in nature, might tell you. According to its founder, College sophomore Olivia Scott, the purpose of biomimicry is essentially to “use nature to solve your problems,” or to base industrial and sustainable designs on those found in nature. “Nature has had 3.8 billion years of evolution, so you’re using that as a design but also as inspiration,” said Scott. Examples of possible biomimetic designs are air conditioners ...

From Urban Wasteland to Apiary: Chávez Envisions Collaborative Community through Beekeeping

Michelle Polyak

February 21, 2014

What can humans learn from the social practices of bugs? A lot, according to educator and cultural activist Juan William Chávez. This past Tuesday, Chávez delivered a lecture titled “The Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary” through the Ellen Johnson guest lecture series sponsored by Oberlin’s Art History department. The talk centered around his proposed project to create a bee sanctuary in the abandoned Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis.   Chávez describes himself as an artist who works in the public realm. In an attempt to move out of the commercialization of the art world, Chávez began working within the nonprofit arts spectrum. He described driving to work and passing a mysterious urban forest daily...

Alumna Expresses Concern About Building Projects

Emily Stein, OC '05

February 7, 2014

To the Editor: A graduate of Oberlin College, Ellen Johnson, joined the Art History faculty in 1939. During her tenure, Johnson brought important works of art and architecture to Oberlin College. When she passed in 1992, Johnson’s lasting, visionary legacy was marked by modern masterworks: the Robert Venturi addition to the Allen Memorial Art Museum and a Frank Lloyd Wright home that she bequeathed to the College. Ellen Johnson refreshed a tradition of aesthetic awareness at Oberlin College that I believe has fallen dangerously dormant. Over the course of the next few years, we have an opportunity to revive these great visions that have endured at our institution, as we expand and enhance our architectural landscape...

In Praise of Oberlin Architecture

Julia Hubay, Arts Editor

September 21, 2012

College campuses are often lauded for their ivy-covered colonial architecture, and even though Oberlin is a contemporary of many East Coast colleges, its architecture seems to be somehow sadly overlooked. But Oberlin does have notable architecture. However, much of it is polarizing; Some love the yonic brutality of Mudd Library’s exterior, while others just find it oppressive. Opinions on the Kohl building vary widely, with some calling it a progressive work of art and others thinking that its sleek, glassy exterior has no place on this campus. In spite of the fact that we have quite a hodge-podge of architectural styles at Oberlin, there are some real gems to be found alongside the bleak gray concrete of King Hall...

Speaker Discusses Interplay of Photography, Architecture

Hasnaa Benlafkih

April 6, 2012

Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Architectural History John Harwood's Clarence Ward Lecture Series invites acclaimed architects, architectural historians and theorists to speak with Oberlin College students. This past week, Assistant Professor of Art History and Architecture at the University of Michigan Claire Zimmerman came to Oberlin to present her essay “Photography into Building in Post–War Architecture: The Smithsons and James Stirling.” In her talk, Zimmerman discussed the architects Alison and Peter Smithson and James Stirling, who belonged to the same generation yet have come to occupy two sides of a historical divide between late modernism and postmodernism in architectural history. As...

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