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RAW Living

RAW Living will uncover adventurous habitats that architects and designers create for the most important client of their career - themselves. Creative thinkers, artists, collectors, inventors, builders, experimenters - they all share one thing in common: they love doing it their way.

Please join us on Tuesday, June 25th at Blokes and Birds at 6:30p.m. for a casual evening of discoveries, revelations, conversations and good company. Bring a friend or two and pass this along to anyone we might have missed! Here is our line-up so far in order of procrastination:




House of Collections: Dan Wheeler

The Wheeler house is a story of an American Gingerbread Gothic (1874) meeting a spinster dancer/weaver who meets a FLW apprentice Arthur Carrara (1959), whose lead paint was encased/held up by latex paint by the current owner. Deemed structurally indeterminate by SE  Joe Burns, it contains a repository of collections that now mutate at will. Having little to no responsibility for the house, the Wheelers sit back and read the evolution.

Dan Wheeler, FAIA is a practicing architect (Wheeler Kearns Architects) and a Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Julie and Dan lived at 910 NLSD/Mies for ten plus years, then moved to a tiny tinderbox in 1990 to raise their family, and still share one bathroom.

Catington Station:
Morgan Martinson and Dave Harding

One-year-old Catington Station, a 3000sf warehouse studio in East Garfield Park run by designers Dave Harding and Morgan Martinson, is a work-space devoted to collaboration, experimentation, community, and self-empowerment. Whether it be an exhibit, market, conference, jam night, film project, game show, or class, the space relies on the flexibility of its dynamic (read: rolling) parts and the gracious contribution of a varied and talented community and friend group. We would love the opportunity to share the story of its evolution, what we’ve learned, how we work, and how living in a food desert has brought us a lot of free food.

Dave Harding is a UX/UI designer, animator, artist, and musician. Morgan Martinson is a collector, builder, storyteller, and perfectionist.


Tiki room: Kate Monachos and Pete Klockau

The Klockau/Monachos residence is one-eighth of a 100+ year old limestone building in the bustling Uptown neighborhood. Inside is a quiet little tropical oasis that feels miles away from the traffic and city grind outside. An extensive collection of Polynesian Pop and Mid Century Modern artifacts, vinyl LPs, books, classic horror memorabilia and all else has settled into every nook and cranny of the home. It all tells a story built-up over a lifetime of collecting, gathering a Tiki mug here or a swizzle stick there over many miles of travel around the country and many hours sipping Mai Tais in classic Mid Century cocktail lounges and supper clubs, just like our grandparents did.

Kate Monachos is an architectural designer for bKL Architecture, a young design firm in Chicago.  Her mid-century interests began with an appreciation of rockabilly music at a young age, and developed as she gained knowledge of the design esthetics associated with the 50's and 60's.  Once she saw her first a-frame home with a car-port, there was no looking back.

Pete Klockau is a freelance illustrator and has spent the last six years marketing records and designing various things for Bloodshot Records, an independent record label that works with artists like Justin Townes Earle, Ryan Adams, and JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. His obsessions with mid-century Polynesian Pop, classic horror films, cocktails and old records are terminal and, unfortunately, incurable.

A Formal Education: Thomas Kelley

As children, we make things for ourselves: houses from cardboard boxes, tents from blankets, and even paper wings to fly from the dining room table.  As adults we make less things. And while we grown-ups are busy seeking subtext and buried complexity, children are quick to subvert; they invent falsehoods and toy with absurdity in the pursuit of something novel.  With maturity, however, something is lost.  As architects, it is our responsibility to our younger selves to recover our reckless sensibilities.  Through the lens of a child's playhouse, Norman Kelley will uncover modes of juvenile representation to examine new models of architectural practice.

Thomas Kelley grew up in Canberra, Berlin, Warsaw, Tegucigalpa, Oxford, Lima, and Washington D.C.  Previously, Thomas worked in southern Virginia for Future-Cities-Lab and São Paulo for Brasil Arquitetura Studio. Since then he has worked for Asymptote Architecture in New York and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in Chicago.  His work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and São Paulo.  In 2012 he was the Reyner Banham Fellow at the University at Buffalo and most recently, has been awarded the 2013 Rome Prize in Architecture.  Thomas is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and part of a design collaboration with Carrie Norman based out of Chicago and New York City under the pseudonym Norman Kelley.

Photograph by Daniela Sicuanza





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  • minhksnb

    They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for starters. May just you please prolong them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

    August 12, 2013

  • minhksnb

    You most definitely have made this blog into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you've covered so many bases. Thanks!

    August 12, 2013

  • minhksnb

    Oh yes, I think the upcoming is good. keep it up!!

    June 25, 2013

  • don

    looks like a fun event!

    June 18, 2013

Our Sponsors

  • AIA Chicago

    We thank AIA-Chicago for the continuous support of our group!

  • bKL Architecture

    bKL hosted and sponsored our first Tour & Social event of 2014.

  • Aerotek

    Aerotek has been a ongoing sponsor for Tour & Social happy hour events.

  • International Masonry Institute

    IMI has been kind enough to sponsor our Christmas parties.

  • Davey Resource Group

    Davey sponsored a Tour & Social event in March, 2014 at The Gage.

  • Cushing

    Cushing is sponsoring Starting Your Own Practice - Panel Discussion.

  • SOM

    SOM hosted a Tour & Social event in March, 2014.

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