Institute of Design Returns to Its Campus Roots

Institute of Design Moving to the Kaplan Institute on Mies Campus



By Marcia Faye
Institute of Design Returns to Its Campus Roots

In 1949 the Institute of Design (ID)—founded as the New Bauhaus—joined Illinois Institute of Technology and soon moved into Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s campus crown jewel, S. R. Crown Hall. Some 50 years later, in 1997, ID relocated to Chicago’s River North area, four miles from Mies Campus and one mile from Chicago-Kent College of Law. This year, on October 15, ID faculty, staff, and students will begin a new chapter in education once again as they return to Mies Campus and anchor a new building whose design honors both the legacy of Mies and ID’s forward-thinking philosophy.

“We now live in the post-disciplinary age and a technology-driven age, and it’s really important to bring business, technology, and design together,” says ID Dean Denis Weil (M.Des. ’01), noting that during the 1990s, ID was focused on further developing its disciplinary knowledge. “For us to move back to campus, we bring the design and the Kaplan Institute brings the entrepreneurial and business aspects, so together with these three, we can do wonders for IIT and for the world.”

As the core tenant of the Kaplan Institute, ID has been top of mind as the new building was being designed by John and Jeanne Rowe Endowed Chair in the College of Architecture John Ronan, from the open and ample space in a variety of layouts to the color of the rooms. Perhaps most exciting, however, is the increased opportunity the ID community will have to actively participate with the broader Illinois Tech community.

The move to the Kaplan Institute and back to the main campus enables ID to continue to deliver world-class graduate education in a setting conducive to creative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary work,” says Matt Mayfield, ID assistant dean for academics.