Renowned architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang visits Mershon Auditorium for a free lecture

TIME named architect Jeanne Gang one of 2019's most influential people, but not just because she designs beautiful, interesting structures (which she does). "For Jeanne, architecture is not just a wondrous object. It’s a catalyst for change,"Anna Deavere Smith wrote.

Gang, who is the founding principal of international architecture and urban design firm Studio Gang, came up with the concept of "Polis Station," a vision for a re-imagined community police station with the goal of reducing tensions between police and the communities in which they serve. In one Chicago neighborhood, Studio Gang added a basketball court to part of a police station's parking lot, making it a safe gathering place for social connection in the neighborhood. 

Or take Gang's boathouses, which filter runoff in the Chicago River. “Ecology is the study of relationships between all living things and their environment. And that’s exactly what architecture does, too," Gang told Fast Company last year.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m., the Wexner Center will host Gang in Mershon Auditorium as part of the DeeDee and Herb Glimcher Lecture series.

And in the future, if your air travel happens to be routed through Chicago, just look around to find evidence of Gang's work; she's leading the design team for the Global Terminal and Global Concourse at O'Hare International Airport.