Jeanne Gang gets a MacArthur “Genius” Award

I noticed this sentence phrase in today’s New York Times article about the recipients of this year’s MacArthur “genius” awards: “Also honored this year are Jeanne Gang, 47, an architect in Chicago acclaimed for her Aqua building, a mixed-use skyscraper…”

An architect, awesome!

Gang's famed Aqua building.

Though I think that Aqua is a nice building, I don’t think it’s nearly as big a deal as many have made it out to be. Frankly, the fact that it was designed by a woman has upstaged its architecture — which is fine, since architecture has unfortunately few leading female practitioners, but not when that gets confused with design quality. I don’t pretend to know the history of the MacArthur awards or much about Gang, so I won’t pass judgement just yet on her winning the award. I am a little suspicious, however. There are a lot of architects whom I hold in higher regard than Gang who have not gotten this great honor.


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