Jeanne Gang

Ana Miljački and Studio Gang founding partner Jeanne Gang discuss architects as the nexus of intersecting issues, advocating on behalf of animals as constituents, and growing one’s own building materials.

Recorded January 25, 2024.

Jeanne Gang

Jeanne Gang started her architecture and urban design practice Studio Gang in 1997. Founded in Chicago, the studio has expanded across the country with offices in New York and San Francisco, and has developed a diverse portfolio of cultural centers and public projects. Fueled by actionable idealism, Studio Gang pursues new technical and material possibilities to create places that connect people, support environmental resiliency, foster equity and justice, and empower historically marginalized communities.

Recent projects include the Richard Gilder Center for Science Education and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock, and the Writers Theater in Glencoe, Illinois. Jeanne is a professor in practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where her teaching and research focuses on the cultural and environmental aspects of buildings’ reuse. She is a MacArthur Fellow, the Fall 2017 William Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been honored with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for architecture and in 2019 was named one of most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.

About I Would Prefer Not To

Conceived and produced by MIT’s Critical Broadcasting Lab and presented with The Architectural League, I Would Prefer Not To1Herman Melville, “Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street,” The Piazza Tales (1856). tackles a usually unexamined subject: the refusal of an architectural commission. Why do architects make the decision to forfeit the possibility of work? At what point is a commission not worth it? When in one’s career is it necessary to make such a decision? Whether concealed out of politeness or deliberately shielded from public scrutiny, architects’ refusals usually go unrecorded by history, making them difficult to analyze or learn from. In this series of recorded interviews, I Would Prefer Not To aims to shed light on the complex matrix of agents, stakeholders, and circumstances implicated in every piece of architecture.


Transcript forthcoming.