I ask this question for three main reasons: 1) because Shimer is now located on a campus that is linked with van der Rohe, including the building in which we currently hold classes, read and think (and, truly mportantly, what some view as hte "crown" [pun intended] of his career, Crown Hall); 2) because one of our recent (interim) presidents (yes, Ed Noonan) had an intellectual relationship with van der Rohe; and 3) because I believe that there may be features of Shimerishness that may be attached to those who were not Shimerians in any direct sense but participate in some way in its ethos. I have asked this question regardng contemporary popular authors, for example. Is so and so a Shimerian? So, why not ask the same question about a dead architect? Besides which, how can someone named Ludwig fail to be a Shimerian?
Another way of asking our question is this: if Mies van der Rohe was seeking to identify an architecture for his time, and in particular for his post World War I era, did others seek to create a curriculum for their time? Are spaces of intellectual vitality called curricula and spaces more literally linked? Of course -- hencer our octagonal tables, hence the move away from lecture halls, hence many changes in the thinking of those who plan pedagogical spaces.
Of course, as an educator at IIT he also looked to a curriculum to educate. In his case, theory did play a part, though as the last of a three step process as I recently read. Hmm. Which comes first -- drawing (he thinks yes) or theorizing?
And, of course, he is linked to aphorisms -- most clearly to "less is more" and "God is in the details." These too show perhaps a Shimerian connection. (By bounding our curriculum, by what we exclude, do we too assert less is more? )
Did you know there is a Mies van der Rohe Society? Yep. Here it is. And, here is the site on the IIT web that points to the historic architectural features of the campus we share. This article lists 3424 South State as part of the Institute of Gas Technology Complex.