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500 | Tod Williams/Billie Tsien: Architecture and Optimism
500 | Tod Williams/Billie Tsien: Architecture and Optimism
Saturday, November 4 | 11 AM - 12 PM
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Thorne Auditorium
375 E Chicago Ave | Chicago, IL | 60611
  • Members: $12
  • Public: $15
  • Students and Teachers: $10

“We measure the value of our work by the quiet pleasure of the lives lived in our buildings.” — Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

Locals perked up when the New York-based firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners was announced as designers for Obama’s Presidential Center on Chicago's South Side. Williams and Tsien, partners in work and life for the past three decades, are known for their elegant designs like the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at The University of Chicago. Their work is focused on signature values and their buildings stand as powerful expressions of the place, the activities, and the people that inhabit them. Together they practice architecture “as an act of profound optimism.” Join them for a discussion about this approach and their architectural ambitions.

This program is generously underwritten by Paula Kahn and Herman Miller.


Tod Williams and Billie Tsien began working together in 1977 and founded their architectural practice in 1986. Located in New York, their studio focuses on work for institutions, including schools, museums, and not—for—profits. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all, experience, are at the heart of what they design. Over the past three decades, they have received numerous national and international citations including the 2013 National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama. Most recently they received a 2017 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture for their Logan Center for the Arts, located at the University of Chicago. Last year, they were selected to design the Obama Presidential Center. Outside the studio, Tod and Billie are active participants in a broad cultural community and maintain long—standing associations with many organizations devoted to the arts. As both educators and practitioners, they are dedicated to creating a better world through architecture.

  • On sale to members on 9/19 at 10am and on sale to public on 9/26 at 10am.