Toshiko Mori Kicks Off César Pelli Distinguished Lecture Series
By Amy Karagiannakis
The Illinois School of Architecture welcomed internationally recognized architect Toshiko Mori as the inaugural César Pelli Visiting Lecturer last spring. The Pelli Lecture Series was made possible through the generous estate gift of world-renowned architect and celebrated alumnus César Pelli. Pelli received his Master of Science in Architecture degree in 1954 from the University of Illinois and went on to design some of the world’s most iconic buildings, most notably the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Toshiko Mori, founder of the New York-based Toshiko Mori Architect firm and the think tank Vision Arc, kicked off the César Pelli Distinguished Lecture Series earlier this year. Mori, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design and the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, is well known for her research-based approach to design. Visiting Pelli lecturers, like Mori, engage students in multiday co-teaching efforts of graduate studio learning and discussion sessions with faculty and students. The gift supports a visiting lecturer once a semester.
Sumayya Vally, co-founder of the Johannesburg-based studio Counterspace, was the fall 2021 César Pelli Visiting Lecturer. Vally was named on the 2021 Time100 Next list of people “poised to make history” as the most influential architect “who is shaping and defining the next generation of leadership.” Counterspace’s latest project, led by Vally, was the design of the 20th Serpentine Pavilion in London. Vally is the youngest architect ever commissioned for this prestigious and internationally renowned project. The School of Architecture is thrilled to host Vally on campus this fall.