2x4, Inc. consistently challenges design conventions through a research-based practice in a diverse range of media—from print and Web to motion graphics and architectural installations. 2x4’s contribution to Rem Koolhaas and O.M.A’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), in Chicago, is an ambitious environmental-graphics program that expresses and contextualizes the various functions of the building. The mural pictured here is a portrait of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, head of the architecture school and designer of the IIT master plan and many of its buildings. In a homage to Mies’s legacy and influence, 2x4 silkscreened his portrait on the facade and sliding glass doors that serve as the main entrance to the building. To enter, one must step into Mies’s mouth. Pictograms depicting various student activities re-create an iconic image of the architect.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.