Phaidon — "Watch Jeanne Gang Tell You About Her New Book"

Film by Spirit of Space

"Studio Gang’s resistance to the comfort of a defined style has made it possible for the US architecture practice to incorporate both the lessons of the past and the possibilities of the future. After all, as we all know, to experiment is to take risks, to open oneself to the vagaries of the unknown and the unpredictable. A bit like cycling through the streets of Chicago perhaps? One thing's for sure: without experimentation there is no discovery; and Jeanne Gang, who founded this New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Paris-based practice twenty years ago, has discovered a lot.

Our new book Studio Gang: Architecture, is the first comprehensive monograph on the practice and brings together 25 signature projects over 20 years - from the award-winning Aqua Towerand Writers Theatre to highly-anticipated upcoming buildings for the American Museum of Natural History and O'Hare International Airport.

Over that period of time, Gang and her colleagues have methodically built up an impressive portfolio of projects of different scales and budgets. These projects exhibit the same dedication to experimentation as they do to implementation—the art of realizing architectural concepts through construction. This is a rare feat, since most architecture focused on the quality of building construction relies on knowledge gained from repetition not experimentation.

As Jeanne Gang herself says, 'Actionable idealism is a phrase I have often used to convey the intention of our studio’s practice. At first glance the term might seem to be an oxymoron, if it’s assumed that pursuing ideals is inherently unrealistic. But together these two words embody the dual challenge at the heart of our work: to articulate the big ideas that move us, and to find a way to methodically pursue and accomplish them using design.'

Gang’s desire to live in a world where humans not only coexist, but also actively support one another as part of our planet’s greater network of living things is, of course, admirable - though a huge and ongoing challenge - as she outlines in our new book. . . . With a rich variety of visual materials and short essays by Jeanne Gang, the book elegantly captures the creative sensibility and trajectory of an architecture practice driven by pressing twenty-first-century questions."

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