Joseph R. DuciBella A. S. I. D. was an interior designer, founding member of the Theatre Historical Society of America and noted architectural historian. Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, his interest in theatres began as he watched the demolition of the Paradise Theatre; this allowed him to observe how large theatres were constructed and led to his desire to be an architect. He studied under the noted architect Mies Van Der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Decided to pursue interior design instead of architecture, he graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Art with degrees in Interior Design. He had his own design firm for more than a 25 years, he was known as an important American theatre historian and published several books both here and in Europe. His Theatres of Chicago is still one of the only comprehensive books on the theatres of Chicago, he penned many articles for the publications of the Theatre Historical Society of America and Annual, covering a range of topics.
He wrote the foreword for the book The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban & Katz. His final book, The Theatres of Chicago: The Complete Illustrated History, is due to be published in 2008 and covers the history of nearly all the theatres in Chicago from the 1840s to the present, he was a member of many organizations, including the American Theatre Organ Society, The Organ Historical Society, Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts, the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ and many more. He received honors and awards from in the Interior Design and Theatre History fields, he was one of Chicago's most respected architectural historians and led many city tours of Chicago's legendary architecture and was a leading figure in the preservation. He fought to save such important buildings as the Chicago Theatre, the Congress Theater, many others, including the Uptown Theatre, a movie palace still in need of a renovation plan, he worked to have the Chicago Wicker Park neighborhood designated a Chicago Landmark District.
He appears in the documentary: Uptown: Portrait of a Palace. He died peacefully at home following a long fight with cancer on June 29, 2007. Obituary Theatre Historical Society of America American Theatre Organ Society CATOE - Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts Organ Historical Society Friends of the Wanamaker Organ
Michael Sturtz is a sculptor, consultant, international speaker and facilitator of creative thinking. He is the founder of The Crucible, a nonprofit industrial arts school in Oakland, United States, served as its Executive Director from 1999 to 2011. Sturtz joined Stanford University's d.school in 2012, where he spearheaded a new artistic genre of live performance as director of the ReDesigning Theater Project. In 2014, Sturtz founded Stanford’s Creative Ignition Lab at Autodesk in San Francisco; this new lab explored the potential for visual and embodied thinking to unlock the future of making and learning. While at Autodesk, Michael joined the Applied Research & Innovation team at Pier 9, where he helped innovate new ways to utilize machine learning within robotic welding. In 2017 and 2018, Michael led the prototyping lab at Google X, where he led his own moonshot investigation and collaborated to pioneer the future of automated manufacturing. Sturtz grew up tinkering with machines and from a young age could be found rebuilding cars in his stepfather's auto body shop, where he developed an affinity for metal and machinery.
Always fascinated with the elegance and intricacies of how things worked, he would spend hot summer afternoons dissecting road kill and observe his father, an orthopedic surgeon, in the operating room. As a result, he developed a fascination for the hidden mechanics of everyday forms. Sturtz received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alfred University School of Art and Design and his Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he studied stone carving at the studio of Sem Ghelardini, in Pietrasanta, Italy. His work combines organic themes with metal and machinery. Sturtz states that his artwork "showcases a strong juxtaposition between materials including metals and glass and kinetics, fire and liquid, 3D objects and video." His sculptural works are exhibited extensively in collections throughout Italy and England. In 1999, Sturtz founded The Crucible, a non-profit regional art center in Oakland, CA, where industrial arts are taught in a creative and non-competitive learning environment.
Sturtz's goal was to break down barriers to the arts by creating an art school that emphasized non-competitive learning and participation. During his 12 years as Executive Director, Sturtz nurtured what began as an idea and a $1,750 seed grant into the largest nonprofit industrial arts educational facility in the nation. Sturtz designed The Crucible's facilities and programs, led a staff and faculty of 100+ in the build-out of a 56,000 square foot industrial arts facility where over 8,000 students would attend every year; the Crucible welcomes 20,000 visitors per year to participate in adult art education, youth programs, community outreach, corporate workshops, open house events. During his tenure as The Crucible’s Executive Director, Sturtz developed a reputation for innovative projects, he produced and directed large-scale theatrical events and festivals which melded the classical and industrial arts, in The Crucible’s Fire Operas, Fire Ballets and Fire Arts Festivals. Sturtz retired from The Crucible on January 15, 2011 to join Stanford University, accepting a teaching appointment in the Mechanical Engineering Design Group.
He went on to teach at The Stanford School of Design, where he spearheaded and directed the ReDesigning Theater Project, a creative program focusing on cutting edge live performance appealing to the 21 to 35-year-old demographic. In 2014, Sturtz became the Executive Director of The Stanford Creative Ignition Lab @ Autodesk; the lab explored the potential for visual and embodied thinking to advance the future of learning and making. The program's aim was to pioneer new ways to more purposefully bring the tools of invention and production seamlessly into creative processes. Sturtz participated in TEDx Stanford's “Above and Beyond“ series, to speak about finding your creative voice and harnessing your creativity. Die Moto is the world’s first biodiesel land speed motorcycle, it was built in 2006 by Sturtz and The Diesel Dozen, a team of artists, builders and gearheads who shared the common goal of constructing a biodiesel bike that could beat the existing diesel motorcycle world land speed record of 105 mph.
Die Moto combines a BWM chassis with a hand-tooled retro fairing. Sturtz and the team worked for nearly one year, overcoming engineering challenges and garnering sponsorships and media interest. On September 3, 2007 Sturtz piloted the custom-built biodiesel motorcycle Die-Moto at the Bonneville Salt Flats, setting the world land speed record at 130.614 MPH, using 100% biodiesel. The event was the first non-petroleum powered motorcycle to run at Bonneville, set the world record running on Greenline Industries B100 biodiesel fuel; the world land speed record remains unbroken. Sturtz is an international speaker and consultant specializing in innovative thought leadership, organizational development, creative empowerment, he is pioneering the concept of "indigeny", a state of life that seeks healthy harmony and balance with the human body and Earth’s natural systems. Indigeny draws inspiration and guidance from indigenous cultures, while harnessing innovative environmental technology to build a new model of living on the planet that would make our existing model obsolete.
Michael Sturtz Bio International and Keynote Speaking Consulting Performance Sculpture The Crucible Die-Moto Voltage Metal Works