The Presence of Mies
Princeton Architectural Press, 1994 - Architecture - 271 pages
The Presence of Mies is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that reconsiders the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, putting forth new ways of thinking about his work and new possibilities for extending its influence into contemporary architecture and cultural theory.
The work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of this century's most important architects, has alternately been revered and reviled.
The diverse outlook of the contributors produces a stimulating array of perspectives that consider the multiple resonances of Mies's work in relation to technology, image culture, philosophy, art, and education. Editor Detlef Mertins and president and director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Phyllis Lambert, reconsider aspects of Mies's research and practice. Fritz Neumeyer, whose book on Mies's writings, The Artless Word is a point of reference for many Mies scholars, and Sanford Kwinter both address architecture's relationship to technology; Dan Hoffman and Ben Nicholson discuss the pedagogical ambitions and work of their design studios, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Illinois Institute of Technology, respectively, where they have extended and transformed aspects of Mies's architecture and teaching. Rosalind Krauss and Ignasi de Sol-Morales Rubi stake out opposed interpretations of Minimalism and Mies. Rebecca Comay and George Baird both test-drive Mies through the philosophies of Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt. Brian Boigon and Beatriz Colomina address Mies in relation to "the culture of images," while K. Michael Hays proposes new interpretations of Mies's abstraction. The Presence of Mies also includes over 120 black and white illustrations of the master's buildings.
These essays result from a symposium organized by the University of Toronto School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture marking the 25th Anniversary of a monolithic Miesian edifice, The Toronto-Dominion Centre, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1963 (called by Philip Johnson "the biggest Mies in the world").