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Tribune architecture critic to give April 7 talk

March 21, 2011
Blair Kamin

Blair Kamin

Blair Kamin, the Pulitzer-Prize winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, will give a public talk on the NIU campus next month.

Kamin’s presentation is titled after his new book,  “Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age,” and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Staff Lounge on the lower level of Founders Memorial Library.

The event, sponsored by Friends of the NIU Libraries, is free and open to the public.

Kamin will survey the period bracketed by the September 11 terrorist attacks and the opening of the world’s tallest building in Dubai. As his new book reveals, this was an era of extreme oscillation–between artistic triumph and urban disaster, frugal energy-saving architecture and giddy design excess. It was a time of terror and wonder, and buildings were central to its narrative.

Kamin has held the post of architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune since 1992. He has won more than 30 awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, which he received in 1999 for a body of work highlighted by a series of articles about the problems and promise of Chicago’s greatest public space, its lakefront.

Kamin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College and a master’s degree in environmental design from Yale University, as well as honorary degrees from Monmouth University and North Central College, where he serves as an adjunct professor of art.

He has lectured widely and has discussed architecture on programs ranging from ABC’s “Nightline” to WTTW-Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight.”

The University of Chicago Press has published two collections of his columns: “Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago” (2001) and “Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age” (2010). He also wrote the commentaries for “Tribune Tower: American Landmark,” a guide to the newspaper’s neo-Gothic skyscraper published in 2000.

Call (815) 753-9838 for more information.