auditorium theater stage

Featuring Chicago: The Auditorium Theater

Today is the 125th anniversary of the Auditorium Theater’s opening.  (Thanks, Blair Kamin, for the headsup).   This venerable Chicago deserves a shout out, both for its historic importance and its ongoing beauty. The Auditorium Building,  just outside the Loop’s south east corner, has stood tall on Michigan Avenue and provided a glorious venue the performing…

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chicago's tallest buildings

Chicago Building Types: the Skyscraper

This post is part of a series of studies of classic Chicago Building Types.  Each city has its history of materials, wealth, population shifts and popularity, as well as its hopes and fears, written in its buildings. Check out our study of the Courtyard Apartment Building here.  We’ll be making an ongoing study of several of Chicago’s…

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less is more

Let it Go! Make this the Season of Giving, not Shopping

  With the airwaves and internet full of reminders that the Holiday Season is one* of America’s favorite times to go on a buying spree, we propose an alternative; let things OUT of your life, rather than bringing them in.   After a wonderful Thanksgiving feast of family, food and fun, none of us at moss were particularly inclined to rush out…

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thansgiving table

How We Operate: Thankful for Great Food at Moss:::

  Thanksgiving, that foodiest of all holidays, is a personal favorite of everyone at moss.  In the spirit of the holiday we wanted to give thanks for our favorite food traditions.  With no further ado, here’s what everyone at moss will be digging into on Turkey Day along with recipes and links so you can try…

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squash vs pumpkin

Your Pumpkin Pie is a fake, but Thanksgiving will be OK

Have you heard the old joke: “When is a pumpkin not a pumpkin?  When it’s a pie.”  It’s true!  Most pumpkin pie, or more accurately, the pumpkin pie filling and canned pumpkin used by most Americans, contains not pumpkin but Butternut, Dickenson, or other winter squash.   THERE’S PROBABLY NO PUMPKIN IN YOUR CAN OF PUMPKIN If you’ve…

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fpl measuring image

Building Materials: The 2x4s All Around Us

This ubiquitous building material lurks behind nearly every residential wall but is hardly ever seen.   We may not see it, but it is busy holding the roof up over our heads.  Today we meditate a little on this most common of building materials: the humble 2×4.   First, an old joke:   “Fellow comes into a lumberyard.”…

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dark sky

Design for Darkness: How Outdoor Lights Affect the Sky

Seeking starlight from a city may seem futile, especially here in Chicago, home of the orange glow.  We are, after all, the literal poster city for light pollution,  since the 2008 National Geographic cover story “The End of Night” outed us as the worst offender.  Still, we can either be part of the problem or…

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early design concept

Coming Soon: SAAGE Culinary Studio, Home Base for Artisan Food Businesses

  We’re so pleased to introduce you to our latest project under construction: the SAAGE Culinary Studio, a shared-use kitchen and educational space for culinary artisans in Naperville, IL.   SAAGE Culinary Studio is the brilliant idea of food entrepreneur Gayatri Borthakur.  As a producer of spices, teas and gourmet gift packages for her specialty spice blend business, Curry’s Kitchen, she knows just…

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climate change is

Buildings and Climate Change: Good Design Can Help

We don’t want to belabor the often-depressing facts on climate change any more than necessary … but it does seem necessary to acknowledge the most recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change.   Whether or not you’ve read anything about their findings you should be able to pass this pop quiz.      Look, we…

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three flags

Don't Forget To Vote TODAY: Polls Are Open Until 7PM

  Why do a bunch of designers care about casting ballots?  How we vote is crucial to the built environment and the people who create and live in it.  Our national, state and local representatives make countless decisions that affect the potential for sustainability and for good, equitable design.  For example, on today’s ballot, we…

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