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Tribune writer to meet with students, give talk

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Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune and North Central College adjunct professor of art, will be on campus Thursday, Jan. 20, for informal afternoon conversations with students and faculty and an evening lecture.

His afternoon itinerary includes:
•    2-3 p.m., Koten Chapel. Talk with students in English Style course, taught by Richard Guzman, professor of English and coordinator of master of arts in liberal studies program.
•    3-3:30 p.m., Kiekhofer Hall, Gathering Room. Informal conversation with students and faculty in English, journalism and interactive media studies programs.
•    4-5 p.m., Meiley-Swallow Hall. Informal conversation with students and faculty in art, urban and suburban studies and history of ideas programs. Open to the campus community and moderated by Wendy Koenig, associate professor of art.                                                                                    

His evening lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in Meiley-Swallow Hall and is based on his newest book, “Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age.” His illustrated talk will focus on a decade of extreme destruction and extreme construction—from the disaster of the World Trade Center’s collapse and Hurricane Katrina to the spectacle of Chicago’s Millennium Park and new buildings such as Santiago Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum addition. Kamin will also reflect on Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s 22 years in office, including Daley’s push for energy-saving green design.

Kamin has lectured nationwide and appeared on many radio and television programs, including ABC’s “Nightline,” “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” His Cityscapes blog has been nationally recognized. Kamin is author of “Tribune Tower: American Landmark” (2000), the critically acclaimed “Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago” (2001) and, most recently, “Terror and Wonder,” which Kai Ryssdal of American Public Media’s Marketplace named one of the best books of 2010.

Kamin has received more than 30 professional awards, including journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. In 2009, he gave North Central’s Commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. He received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his master’s in environmental design from the Yale University School of Architecture. 

North Central’s Office of Academic Affairs, departments of art and English, and history of ideas and urban and suburban studies programs are co-sponsoring Kamin’s Jan. 20 visit.

Coming spring term, Kamin will lead an architectural walking tour in and around Chicago as the centerpiece of a popular Verandah course. Associate Professor of Art Wendy Koenig will join him. Participants will tour architectural masterpieces including such sites as early Chicago skyscrapers, Millennium Park, Tribune Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park, and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano. The Verandah course will be offered three Saturdays—April 16, 23 and 30. For more information about the course, contact Katie Marszalkowski, academic affairs secretary, at 630-637-5357 or kemarszalkowski@noctrl.edu.