In a bold move, the revered Illinois Institute of Technology's College of Architecture revealed a new field of specialization: architectural humor. This marks an unusual development on an unlikely campus. IIT was the showplace and professional home of mid-century minimalist marvel Ludwig Mies "Less is More" van der Rohe.
Now an IIT student can choose to study the craft and history of Architectural Humor along with the more standard offerings such as Theory/Criticism and Urban Planning and Design.
Needless to say, this news has come as a shock to the architectural community.
Some question the very possibility of architectural humor.
"I know plenty of lawyer jokes and doctor jokes, but can you name one about architects?" challenged starchitect Frank Gehry.
People interested in architecture may have heard some funny quotes, but they are few and far between.
"A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." Frank Lloyd Wright
"You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down our buildings it did not replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that." Charles, Prince of Wales
There also exists a set of jokes where architects and engineers are slamming each other. Neither group seems particularly interested in getting anyone else to laugh.
Helmut Arenson, Dean of the School of Architecture, sees architectural humor as a cutting edge opportunity.
"Clearly humor in architecture needs attention, nurturing, and quite a bit of funding to flourish. IIT remains proud of its legacy as shepherd of modernist concepts and designs through the era of Mies van der Rohe. Humor will be our next great contribution to humanity. We could all use a good laugh. Architecture as a profession lags way behind in this regard."
Arenson has taken to wearing a red clown nose to emphasize his commitment.