Sunday, September 15, 2019

Illinois Tech (aka IIT)



      Illinois Tech—or it is IIT?—is very proud of their Mies van der Rohe buildings. And rightly so. But they're also very proud of their new Kaplan Institute, particularly because it is light and not dark, mostly white, with splashes of color, such as these cushions in its amphitheater-like space, designed to look like giant Post-It note pads.
    Designed by IIT—or is it Illinois Tech?—alumnus John Ronan, it opened in October and is the first new building on campus in 40 years.  It's called the "Kaplan Institute" because 1965 alumnus Ed Kaplan kicked in $11 million for it.
     I was on campus Tuesday researching an unrelated story. But the Illinois Tech—or is it IIT?—folks were so proud of the new place they had to show me around, including the second floor, where they have fancy glass that ... I'm not sure what it does ... has dots that expand on sunny days to keep the sun from heating up the place too much, and contract on cool, cloudy days to let the heat and light in. Or some such thing.  Compressed air is involved.
     There's a lot more to it; study rooms and 3-d printer labs, a big area to construct prototypes. IIT—or it is Illinois Tech?—is pushing the snazzier latter name over the former. That's a good thing—Illinois Institute of Technology is a mouthful, and IIT can too easily be confused with UIC. But they seem to still have a foot on the dock and a foot on the pier, with lots of signs and banners reading IIT, and others reading Illinois Tech. I suppose it can be both, the way Northwestern and NU are the same place.

     Embarrassingly, Eric Zorn covered this topic, far more thoroughly, four years ago. 

 



7 comments:

  1. Are they actually changing the name? I thought it was more of a nickname/branding thing. Like The Ohio State University vs Ohio State.

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    1. Somehow I (embarrassingly, indeed!) completely missed your last sentence, whose link clarifies things.

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    2. It might not have been there; I couldn't add it until I got home from Ontonagon last night. In all honesty, this is the first post that made me question the wisdom of just getting SOMETHING up so as to have a daily offering. It would have been better to miss a day.

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    3. And disappoint so many? No, please! (Barring health reasons, or similar, of course.)

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  2. Every time I see a reference to "NU," I exclaim, "Who the hell is that?" Seems like it was always "Northwestern," when my daughter went there.

    john

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    1. Many years ago, when I still lived in Evanston, I went to a Halloween party as a rabbi. I was wearing a button that said "NU?"...which is a Yiddish expression meaning "So?" or "Well?". A woman asked me if I went to Northwestern. That same woman also asked me if the skullcap I was wearing was called a Yamaha.

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  3. As a grad of IIT, I assure you that we are seldom confused with UIC.

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