On February 26, Marshall Brown, IIT assistant professor of architecture, and University of Virginia historian Peter Onuf appeared together onstage at MTCC's McCloska Auditorium for the discussion "Democracy and the Built Environment," sponsored by the Benjamin Franklin Project through the Department of Social Sciences.
The two scholars approached the topic from different angles, with Onuf speaking on private space, specifically, the design of Thomas Jefferson's quarters at Monticello, and Brown addressing public space, in particular, the need to reconsider the "Jeffersonian grid" on the urban landscape. Onuf and Brown also sat down for a conversation with the audience, moderated by historian Maureen Flanagan, chair of IIT's Department of Humanities. The questions from the audience yielded several points of contact between the two speakers on issues related to cultivating the character of a democratic society.
The event also featured the photographic exhibit "Transitions," by sociologist David Schalliol, a collection that surveys change, social equality, and the urban landscape.