Cynthia Vranas, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Society

Cynthia Vranas, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Mies van der Rohe Society and Director of External Affairs of the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture. Cynthia will focus on highlighting Mies van der Rohe’s legacy—his pedagogy, architecture, his colleagues (Walter Peterhans, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Alfred Caldwell, Lilly Reich amongst others) and the IIT campus. Through educational programs, lectures, tours, exhibitions, and publications, the Mies van der Rohe Society will serve IIT’s alums, the College of Architecture, Chicago’s architecture and design community, friends of Mies, and the general public.

Cynthia Vranas is a Principal of Olsen | Vranas Design and Build. She earned both her M. ARCH ’01  and Ph.D. ’17, with an emphasis on History and Theory, from the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology. Cynthia has worked as a licensed architect and certified interior design professional. Her prior positions included serving at Harrington Institute of Interior Design as Associate Dean and Studio Professor in addition to design roles with various architectural and design firms including Murphy/Jahn.

Cynthia’s passion for architecture and commitment to Illinois Institute of Technology will benefit her position at IIT. While preserving the modern, her belief is that the modern is a way of communicating our culture. Although important, it isn’t only about the details. Cynthia’s belief is that we must explore authenticity, materiality, function and a way of “seeing” Mies’ craft. In this way, she believes in both preservation and change.

“We have to know that life cannot be changed by us. It will be changed. But not by us. We can only guide things that cause physical change.” Mies van der Rohe, 1959. Interview with Graeme Shankland for the BBC.