For those in the Chicago area, and for the guy who was asking about architecture info for his son a few weesk back, this looks like an interesting exhibit:www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110007047
Excerpt (more at the link above)
Inspiration in an Era of Crisis
The architects and designers who helped win World War II.
BY JOEL HENNING
Tuesday, August 2, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
CHICAGO--"What did you do in the war, Daddy?" was the classic refrain of baby boomers, referring to their fathers' roles during World War II. Today, few of us have yet heard much about the part played by architects and industrial designers in the 1940s, either in the war effort or in the peacetime activity that immediately followed. "1945: Creativity and Crisis, Chicago Architecture and Design of the World War II Era" is the Art Institute of Chicago's worthy effort to fill this gap, showing how designers participated in the transformation of America into a giant factory producing war matériel and then adapted wartime techniques to deal with design challenges during the postwar boom in consumerism, housing and transportation.
World War II changed everything, including how things looked. Yet, as this exhibition's co-curator, John Zukowsky (with Martha Thorne), writes in the catalog, "The contribution to the war effort by visual arts professionals . . . has been barely touched upon." Curiously, we know more about Hitler's architect, Albert Speer, than about the work of the men featured here, including Bertrand Goldberg, Bruce Goff, Henry P. Glass and Richard Ten Eyck.
Also on view are Mr. Goldberg's designs for plywood freight cars that used 20 less tons of steel (essential for other war needs) than conventional cars but held up amazingly well in crash tests and could be used to carry either perishable goods in refrigerated compartments or ordinary cargo. Undoubtedly, his most ingenious wartime design was a convertible shipping crate for a Bofors 90mm antiaircraft gun. Once the gun was removed, the crate became portable military housing. Each of these structures depended heavily on plywood, which had been around since 1905 but was fabricated in increasingly sophisticated ways to meet wartime needs.
"Obligatory" gun content marked in red.