American Framing

Webinar On-Demand
Architectural Record’s 2021 Innovation Conference
Presented by Paul Preissner, Founder, Preissner Architects and Paul Anderson, Founder Independent Architecture

Learning Objectives:

  1. Outline strategies for repurposing outdated or disused urban infrastructure and buildings for beneficial civic use.
  2. Describe planning and design processes that promote equity and inclusion in the built environment.
  3. Discuss how data can help policy makers and designers understand urban environmental problems and create more livable and resilient cities.
  4. Identify construction techniques, materials, and sustainable strategies that can help address seemingly intractable urban challenges, such as the housing crisis.



The United States Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia comes at a time when national cultural practices are struggling with their histories. How do we come to terms with our past choices? What kinds of futures can we create? “American Framing” examines the improbably overlooked and familiar architecture of the country’s most common construction system and argues that a profound, powerful and sustainable future for design can be conceived out of an ordinary past. The curators of the Pavilion will describe the exhibition in Venice, and tell the story of an American architectural project that is bored with tradition, eager to choose economy over technical skill, and accepting of a relaxed idea of craft in the pursuit of something useful and new.

American Framing


Paul Preissner runs Paul Preissner Architects, which is located in Oak Park. He and Paul Andersen are the commissioners and curators of the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. He is a Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and the author of Kind of Boring: Canonical Work and Other Visible Things Meant to Be Viewed as Architecture (Actar, 2021).


Paul Andersen is the director of Independent Architecture, a Denver office with projects that experiment with form, repetition, and pop culture. He and Paul Preissner designed and curated the US Pavilion for the 2021 Venice Biennale. He teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is working on three building projects: a round house, a grassy clothing store, and 35 quirky brick townhouses.


Architectural Record Innovation Conference 2021
AIA California Council
AIA New York
American Institute of Steel Construction
Armstrong World Industries
AIA and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
Benjamin Moore & Co.
Bison Innovative Products
BQE Software
DuPont™ Tedlar®
Hofmann Facades
Kingspan Insulated Panels
Landscape Forms
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.
The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings
The Steel Institute of New York
Think Wood


Originally published in November 2021