Posts tagged with "Chicago Architecture Biennial":
"We were outraged by what we saw—by the violence in everyday life," said Jeanne Gang when asked about the impetuous behind her firm's project Polis Project, a proposed reinvention of the typical police station on view at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The work, like any number of projects in the exhibition, highlights the what curator Joseph Grima calls “architectural agency,” where firms take on projects not for a client, but out of a sense of urgency to architecturally address important issues. Sparked by incidents of police violence against African Americans across the United States and supported by the May 2015 Obama administration policy brief: the “Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” Studio Gang’s research and design proposal flanks the two sides of the Center’s grand stair. One side displays a history of law enforcement architectures—from the neighborhood police box to today’s bunker-like stations—and the other a design proposal for Chicago’s 10th District Station in Lawndale. “We asked ourselves “What is a police station in the 21st Century?”” she noted, pointing out that while past incarnations were community-based as police officers moved out of the neighborhoods where they had a beat, the tensions between locals and officers increased. The architecture of reflected that conflict. “The police station doesn’t carry the same ideas of democracy as a court house,” she noted, but by imbuing these values into the station building, Studio Gang hopes to point a way forward to a new idea of architecture. "Everyone comes though the same front door," Gang said, and explained how the building is more like a community center than a jail. Little things, like free Wi-Fi, and big things, like mental health services, computer labs, park space and retrofitted housing for officers in the neighborhoods, are meant to break down the barriers between the police and residents. Work is already underway. A police-owned parking lot is being transformed into a new park and basketball courts that is meant to be a shared, non-confrontational space in the neighborhood. “This community will have a safe place to play.”
The international architecture cognoscenti have descended on the Chicago Cultural Center with a motherlode of new content from Thailand to Ecuador, ranging from robotically-assembled structures to investigations into social and infrastructural inequality. The consequences of this assemblage will unfold over the next few months, but one room in the Cultural Center is particularly clear in its ambition and vision for the future. BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago explores some of the less iconic, more layered pieces of Chicago's urban fabric. Organizer Iker Gil of MAS Studio prompted 18 local designers to make proposals for urban projects around the city. "I wanted to look forward and imagine new possibilities, but remain still attached to reality," said Gil. "We wanted to use the rules but tweak them a little bit to keep them grounded. Emerging designers such asWEATHERS, Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape and PORT Urbanism were included alongside established designers such as JAHN and Stanley Tigerman. SOM was paired with smaller firm CAMESgibson. The exhibition prompted designers to tackle key issues at stake in Chicago such as civic, ecological, and infrastructural problems, as well as typological problems like empty lots and high-rises. The projects in the show not only propose new ideas for addressing these issues, but also new ways of conceptualizing an aesthetic project, mostly around bright colors, strong figures, and narrative-based designs. Design with Company chose to reimagine the 1987 Library Competition with a series of 20 "late entries," many of which were based on comments from the public in response to the original competition. They made a stack of referential forms from Chicago and elsewhere, each making its own story, but also combining for one over-arching narrative. SOM and CAMESgibson reimagined the high-rise, using Gibson's visions for new ways of living, combined with SOM's high-rise know-how. The result is a prototype tower that would be deployed at L stops around the city, "upping the ante for transit-oriented development," according to Gibson. URBANLAB proposed to make part of Lake Michigan into a series of filtering civic green spaces that would clean the water, while PORT Urbanism took Lakeshore Drive and put it in the lake to provide a more developable area west of the highway, caving to a law that bans building east of Lakeshore Drive. The resulting space lets a series of towers spring up, which reframes Grant park in a completely new urban condition. David Brown collected nine vacant lots from Chicago's 15,000, assigning them to local designers who reimagined the rules of the empty lot, making a series of flat surfaces into a new collective public space. BOLD's local Chicago agenda stands in stark contrast to the international explosion in the other rooms of the main exhibition. The explorations here posit a palpable group of ideas about how to design cities, with the focus on Chicago. What can investigations in a lively urban place like Chicago teach the rest of the world? BOLD embodies much of the Chicago-specific things about the Biennial, with a strong sense of place and a clear mission that translates globally. The best part of it is that it makes manifest the nascent design scene that has been bubbling up in Chicago for the last seven years. Through strong support from institutions and universities there, this group of young designers has imagined new ways of engaging the city while also forming a cohesive aesthetic and engaging attitude toward architecture in general. So far, it is the locals that are stealing the show.
Hong Kong–based nonprofit research and design firm Rural Urban Framework (RUF) won the Curry Stone Design Prize for its work rebuilding villages across China. Joshua Bolchover and John Lin, both professors at the University of Hong Kong, founded RUF in 2006. Their goal is to harness design to “stabilize, reinvigorate, and rebuild” China’s rural populations. Currently, China is experiencing a mass exodus of population from villages as people move to cities in search of better opportunities. In 1980, approximately 80 percent of all Chinese lived in villages. Today, more than half of the population lives in cities. According to research by Tianjin University, China loses approximately 300 villages every single day. Working closely with the locals, RUF has completed a variety of projects to meet each community’s specific needs, including bridges, schools, hospitals, houses, and even a garbage collection center. To date, RUF has worked in 18 villages to combat the effects urban sprawl and is designing and planning entire villages and prototype housing. “The work of RUF is addressing one of the most urgent current geopolitical issues, how to deal with the imbalances created by large mass migrations,” said Emiliano Gandolfi, the Prize Director. “Their work is exemplifying how architecture should establish a dialogue with the community and the environment in order to built structures that respond to their changing needs.” The Curry Stone Design Prize, founded in 2008 to celebrate socially-engaged designers and inspire others to use design, selects winners by consulting social impact experts and humanitarian advocates. RUF will receive a cash prize to aid its mission and projects in China. RUF will participate in a panel at the Chicago Architectural Biennial, led by Prize Director Emiliano Gandolfi on Friday October 2, from 2:30-4pm CST, taking place at the Claudia Cassidy Theater inside the Cultural Center. A short film produced by the Curry Stone Foundation about RUF’s work will also be shown during the panel.
AN got a firsthand look at some of the projects inside the Chicago Cultural Center, many of which are juxtaposed across media, scale, and intellectual territory. For example, simple wood models from South African studio Noero Architects' 180 Square Meters sat quietly next to a wild set of renderings by François Roche that showed digital narratives of buildings as characters in their surroundings. Nearby, an oddly-detailed full-scale mock-up of a light steel stud-framed room welcomed visitors to go inside. Here are some of our favorites from our first glimpse at the sprawling main exhibition in Chicago: "The End of Sitting" questions why we design so much of our environment for sitting, given recent research showing how unhealthy it is to sit all day. This is the first show by the radical architecture and media collective Environmental Communications. It includes a selection from 200,000 images found in a Venice, California, garage. The Rock Print load-bearing column was built using a robot that placed rocks bound by string into a mold, which was then removed to create this curious structure. Atelier Bow-Wow occupied the courtyard of the Cultural Center, which is an important place, but is often cut-off from the rest of the building. They animated the courtyard by exploring the idea of a prison as a place of potential. Amanda Williams's work on the south side of Chicago includes a set of abandoned houses painted with colors derived from pop culture in the surrounding neighborhoods. It is displayed in a hallway. MOS Architects built a house made of hallways to critique McMansions, which they see as all foyers and hallways. Its disciplinary deadpan was a great juxtaposition next to "Architecture is Everywhere" by Sou Fujimoto Architects, a series of small everyday objects, like staples and binder clips, arranged into architectural models complete with scale figures. Makeshift is an ad-hoc construction that responds to its specific site with an improvised structure for music performance. It is based on the music legacy of Chicago. The Biennial is bustling with people as well, as everyone from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to designers from around the world are in attendance. For ongoing Chicago Biennial coverage, check back with AN over the next few days and weeks.
Get out your calendars. As The Chicago Architecture Biennial draws near to its October 3 debut, the festival's organizers have released a list of events and public programs that should help fill out your social schedule into December. You can peruse the whole list of events on the biennial's website. Features include lectures by Pritzker Prize–winning architects (like Thom Mayne); tours of Frank Lloyd Wright's SC Johnson Campus (which just opened for tours for the first time since its construction in 1950); and a film series exploring "architecture through the lens of cinema." The full list of biennial participants was released last month.
Eavesdrop> Holl-y Moly: Could there be a ballet about Steven Holl at the Chicago Architecture Biennial?
The Chicago Biennial will not be short on architectural morsels, but the most delicious one could well be “a ballet about Steven Holl,” which sources tell AN will be held in a local theater. What exactly a “ballet about Steven Holl” means we are unsure, but here’s hoping that it stars Robert de Niro (a Holl doppelgänger) in his biggest dance role since his infamous “Twinkle Toes Shakespeare” role in Stardust (2007).
As the Chicago Architecture Biennial's October opening approaches, its organizers are beginning to release details about its forthcoming exhibitions. The latest hint is an ad for BOLD, a show of “speculative proposals that re-imagine the design potential” of Chicago's waterways, roadways, vacant lots and public space. Subtitled Alternative Scenarios for Chicago, the show will be organized by architect Iker Gil of MAS Studio (Read AN's Q&A with Gil here.) Local graphic designers Plural are also overseeing the event. Per the press release, the following firms will participate in BOLD: CAMESgibson + SOM David Brown with 3D Design Studio, Central Standard Office of Design, Ania Jaworska, Krueck+Sexton, Landon Bone Baker, Stanley Tigerman, Margaret McCurry,JGMA, and JAHN David Schalliol Design With Company Hinterlands Michael Pecirno PORT UrbanLab Weathers with AECOM Earlier this month the exhibition organizers announced the winners of its Lakefront Kiosk competition: Rhode Island–based Ultramoderne will build a sleek, low-slung pavilion dubbed Chicago Horizon. Its first show was announced last year: an exhibit of aerial photography by Iwan Baan. The inaugural biennial will host more than 100 architects and artists from more than 30 countries.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial released a full list of participating designers today, bringing the total to more than 100 architects and artists from more than 30 countries. Beginning October 3, the inaugural festival of architecture, art, and design is being billed as “the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America,” and if all goes well it is expected to become a regular occurrence. who has framed the festival as a continuation of the legacy left by the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Here's the full list of participants: Al Borde (Quito, Ecuador) all(zone) (Bangkok, Thailand) Andreas Angelidakis (Athens, Greece) Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (Madrid, Spain; New York, United States) Aranda\Lasch (Tucson and New York, United States) Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu (Gent, Belgium) Assemble (London, United Kingdom) Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo, Japan) Iwan Baan (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Baukuh (Milan, Italy) Besler & Sons + ATLV (Los Angeles, United States) Tatiana Bilbao S.C. (Mexico City, Mexico) BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark; New York, United States) Santiago Borja (Mexico City, Mexico) David Brown with 3D Design Studio, Central Standard Office of Design, Ania Jaworska, Krueck+Sexton, Landon Bone Baker, Stanley Tigerman, Margaret McCurry, JGMA, JAHN (Chicago, United States) Carlos Bunga (Barcelona, Spain) Bureau Spectacular (Los Angeles, United States) SOM + CAMESgibson (Chicago, United States) Counterspace (Johannesburg, South Africa) Csutoras & Liando (Jakarta, Indonesia; London, United Kingdom) DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) (Beit Sahour, Palestinian Territories) Design With Company (Chicago, United States) Environmental Communications (Los Angeles, United States); Mark Wasiuta, Marcos Sanchez, Adam Bandler + GSAPP Exhibitions (New York, United States) El Equipo de Mazzanti + Nicolas París (Bogota, Colombia) Assaf Evron (Chicago, United States; Tel Aviv, Israel) Fake Industries Architectural Agonism + University of Technology, Sydney (New York, United States; Sydney, Australia) Fala Atelier (Porto, Portugal) Ramak Fazel (Los Angeles, United States) Frida Escobedo Taller de Arquitectura (Mexico City, Mexico) Didier Faustino (Paris, France) Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zürich (Zürich, Switzerland) + Self Assembly Lab, MIT (Cambridge, United States) Nikolaus Hirsch/Michel Müller (Frankfurt, Germany) with David Adjaye (London, United Kingdom), Markus Binder (Stuttgart, Germany), Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure (Frankfurt, Germany), Aroon Puritat & Chayanon Hansapinyo & Sumeth Klahan (Chiang Mai, Thailand), Tobias Rehberger (Frankfurt, Germany),Tomás Saraceno (Berlin, Germany), Superflex (Copenhagen, Denmark) Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape (Chicago, United States) Moon Hoon (Seoul, Korea) Independent Architecture (Denver, United States)+ Paul Preissner Architects(Chicago, United States) John Ronan Architects (Chicago, United States) Johnston Marklee (Los Angeles, United States) junya.ishigami+associates (Tokyo, Japan) Barbara Kasten (Chicago, United States) Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany) Kuehn Malvezzi (Berlin, Germany)+ Armin Linke (Milan, Italy; Berlin, Germany) +Marko Lulić (Vienna, Austria) Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal + Frédéric Druot (Paris, France) Yasmeen Lari + Heritage Foundation Pakistan (Karachi, Pakistan) Lateral Office (Toronto, Canada) LCLA Office (Cambridge, United States; Medellín, Colombia) LIST (Paris, France) MAIO (Barcelona, Spain) Makeka Design Lab (Cape Town, South Africa) Mass Studies (Seoul, Korea) MOS Architects (New York, United States) New-Territories / M4 (Paris, France; Bangkok, Thailand) NLÉ (Lagos, Nigeria; Amsterdam, Netherlands) Noero Architects (Cape Town, South Africa) Norman Kelley (Chicago and New York, United States) OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen (Brussels, Belgium) + Bas Princen(Rotterdam, Netherlands) onishimaki + hyakudayuki architects (Tokyo, Japan) OPEN Architecture (Beijing, China) + Spirit of Space (Chicago, United States) otherothers (Sydney, Australia) P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Los Angeles, United States) Michael Pecirno (London, United Kingdom) Pedro&Juana (Mexico City, Mexico) Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Concepción, Chile) PIOVENEFABI (Milan, Italy) Plan:b Arquitectos (Medellín, Colombia) Point Supreme (Athens, Greece) PORT Urbanism (Chicago, United States) PRODUCTORA (Mexico City, Mexico) RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Pedro Reyes (Mexico City, Mexico) Bryony Roberts (Los Angeles, United States) + South Shore Drill Team (Chicago, United States) RUA Arquitetos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Rural Urban Framework (Hong Kong) Tomás Saraceno (Berlin, Germany) David Schalliol (Chicago, United States) selgascano + helloeverything (Madrid, Spain) Deane Simpson (Copenhagen, Denmark) Sio2arch (Chicago, United States; Barcelona, Spain) Smout Allen (London, United Kingdom) + Geoff Manaugh (New York, United States) SO-IL (New York, United States) Sou Fujimoto Architects (Tokyo, Japan) Stefano Boeri Architetti (Milan, Italy) Studio Albori (Milan, Italy) Studio [D] Tale (Harare, Zimbabwe; Cape Town, South Africa; London, United Kingdom) Studio Gang (Chicago, United States) TOMA (Santiago, Chile) UrbanLab (Chicago, United States) URBZ (Mumbai, India) Vo Trong Nghia Architects (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) WAI Architecture Think Tank (Beijing, China) WEATHERS with AECOM (Chicago, United States) Amanda Williams (Chicago, United States) Wolff Architects (Cape Town, South Africa) WORKac + Ant Farm (New York, United States) Liam Young (London, United Kingdom)
An expanse of sustainable timber just clinched the Chicago Architecture Biennial's Lakefront Kiosk Competition
Officials with the Chicago Architecture Biennial today announced the winners of the Lakefront Kiosk Competition, choosing a team whose stated goal was “to build the largest flat wood roof possible.” Dubbed Chicago Horizon, the design is by Rhode Island–based Ultramoderne, a collaboration between architects Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest and structural engineer Brett Schneider. Their pavilion uses cross-laminated timber, a new lumber product that some structural engineers call carbon-negative for its ability to displace virgin steel and concrete while sequester the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide during its growth. Ultramoderne's long, flat roof “aims to provide an excess of public space for the Architecture Biennial and Chicago beach-goers,” according to the project description. Their design rose above 420 other entries from designers in more than 40 countries, and will receive a $10,000 honorarium, as well as a $75,000 production budget to realize the kiosk. BP is providing those funds as part of a $2.5 million grant to the inaugural biennial. Three teams—Lekker Architects, Tru Architekten, and Kelley, Palider, Paros—were finalists for the top honor. Fala Atelier, Kollectiv Atelier, and Guillame Mazars all received an honorable mention. The Biennial has posted a selection of submissions to the Lakefront Kiosk Competition on its Pinterest page.
After the biennial, Chicago Horizon "will find a permanent home in Spring 2016, operating as a food and beverage vendor, as well as a new public space along the lakefront.During the Biennial three other kiosks will be installed along the lakefront. Details on those are due to be announced next week, but here are the preliminary project descriptions:
The Cent Pavilion, designed by Pezo von Ellrichshausen in collaboration with the Illinois Institute of Technology, is a forty-foot tower meant to convey silent and convoluted simplicity. Rock, the kiosk designed by Kunlé Adeyemi in collaboration with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a pop-up pavilion a public sculpture composed from the raw and historic limestone blocks that once protected the city’s shoreline. Summer Vault, designed by Paul Andersen of Independent Architecture and Paul Preissner of Paul Preissner Architects, in collaboration with the University of Illinois, Chicago, is a lakefront kiosk that consists of basic geometric shapes combined to create a freestanding hangout within the park.
Navy Pier's new "Wave Wall" by nArchitects lays a modern Spanish Steps at the foot of a Ferris wheel
Navy Pier is three years into a $278 million overhaul, and the new face of Illinois' most visited tourist attraction is beginning to emerge—most recently a grand staircase titled “Wave Wall" washed over the foot of the pier's famous ferris wheel. The peninsular mall and mixed-use amusement park has many major changes still in store, courtesy of a design team led by James Corner Field Operations. But photos available on the website of designers nARCHITECTS reveal a completed portion of the project collectively called “Pierscape” that creates an outdoor amphitheater from a simple stairway. (The full design team includes dozens of consultants.) The form of the new public space, which faces south into Chicago Harbor, resembles a sweeping wave or a wending draft of wind. Treads made of composite materials domesticate the snarling steel risers. Glass beneath the steps allow passersby indoors at the Pier to glimpse activity on the steps outside. From the bottom of the stairs, the project unspools into an audience seating area for public performances, and also frames the historic Navy Pier Ferris wheel—a 196-foot tall wheel will soon replace the current one, itself a stand-in for the 264-foot icon first transported to the spot from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The designers say “Wave Wall” was inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome.
More than 60 design firms across four continents will contribute to a new festival of design that aims to become the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America, co-artistic directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda announced Tuesday. The Chicago Architecture Biennial kicks off October 3 and lasts through the year, comprising one-time events and ongoing exhibitions across the city. The festival will be based at the Chicago Cultural Center, but activities will extend to sites including Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue's City Gallery, 72 East Randolph Street, and the Theaster Gates–rehabbed Stony Island Arts Bank. Chicago officials announced the biennial in June. Until now details were scant on the festival, which takes after the Venice biennale. Questions remain, however, on the content of the participating designers' expected contributions, and on the city's ability to fund what has been advertised as a major tourist draw with global cultural significance. Oil giant BP agreed to donate $2.5 million for the inaugural show—a contribution that was reportedly solicited personally by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. And Tuesday Biennial organizers announced a $1 million gift from SC Johnson. But the city’s still looking to raise at least half a million dollars more. “The Biennial team affirms with confidence that the fundraising goal will be met,” said a spokeswoman. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Graham Foundation will present the show, with programming in partnership with the American Institute of Architects and the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Iwan Baan will exhibit a photo series about Chicago, the organizers announced in November, and the show will pay homage to Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman, who in 1977 helped mount a seminal conference that gave today's biennial its name: The State of the Art of Architecture. Here's the full list of participating firms, as of April 14: Al Borde (Quito, Ecuador) allzone / Rachaporn Choochuey (Bangok, Thailand) Andreas Angelidakis (Athens, Greece) Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (Madrid, Spain; New York, USA) Aranda\Lasch (Tuscon, USA; New York, USA) Assemble (London, UK) Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo, Japan) Iwan Baan (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Erin Besler / Besler & Sons (Los Angeles, USA) Tatiana Bilbao S.C. (Mexico City, Mexico) Bjarke Ingels Group / BIG (Copenhagen, Denmark) Santiago Borja (Mexico City, Mexico) Carlos Bunga (Barcelona, Spain) Bureau Spectacular / Jimenez Lai (Los Angeles, USA) Csutoras & Liando (Jakarta, Indonesia; London, UK) Design With Company (Chicago, USA) El Equipo de Mazzanti / Giancarlo Mazzanti (Bogota, Colombia) Frida Escobedo (Mexico City, Mexico) Didier Faustino (Paris, France) Moon Hoon (Seoul, Korea) Indie Architecture + Paul Preissner Architects (Denver/Chicago, USA) John Ronan Architects (Chicago, USA) Johnston Marklee (Los Angeles, USA) junya.ishigami+associates (Tokyo, Japan) Kéré Architecture / Francis Kéré (Gando, Burkina Faso; Berlin, Germany) Kuehn Malvezzi (Berlin, Germany) Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal and Frederic Druot (Paris, France) Yasmeen Lari / Heritage Foundation Pakistan (Lahore, Pakistan) Lateral Office (Toronto, Canada) LIST / Ido Avissar (Paris, France) MAIO (Barcelona, Spain) Marshall Brown Projects (Chicago, USA) Mass Studies / Minsuk Cho (Seoul, Korea) MOS / Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample (New York, USA) New-Territories / Francois Roche & Camille Lacadee (Paris, France/Bangkok, Thailand) NLÉ / Kunlé Adeyemi (Lagos, Nigeria; Rotterdam, Netherlands) Norman Kelley (Chicago, USA) OFFICE / Kersten Geers David Van Severen (Brussels, Belgium) Onishimaki + Hyakuda Architects (Tokyo, Japan) OPEN Architecture/ Li Hu & Huang Wenjing (Beijing, China) Lluís Ortega / Sio2arch (Chicago, USA; Barcelona, Spain) otherothers / David Neustein & Grace Mortlock (Sydney, Australia) Pedro&Juana (Mexico City, Mexico) Pezo von Ellrichshaussen (Concepcion, Chile) Plan:b Arquitectos / Felipe Mesa & Federico Mesa (Medellin, Colombia) PORT (Chicago, USA) Productora (Mexico City, Mexico) RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Bryony Roberts (Los Angeles, USA; Oslo, Norway) RUA Arquitetos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Rural Urban Framework (Hong Kong) SO-IL (New York, USA) Sou Fujimoto Architects (Tokyo, Japan) studio Albori (Milan, Italy) Studio [D]Tale (Harare, Zimbabwe; Capetown, South Africa; London, UK) Studio Gang / Jeanne Gang (Chicago, USA) TOMA (Santiago, Chile) UrbanLab / Sarah Dunn and Martin Felson (Chicago, USA) VTN / Vo Trong Nghia Architects (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) WAI Architecture Think Tank (Beijing, China) Weathers / Sean Lally (Chicago, USA) Amanda Williams (Chicago, USA) WORKac+ Ant Farm / Amale Andraos & Dan Wood, Chip Lord & Curtis Schreier (New York, USA) A full list of the festival's sponsors and partners is available on chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement that Chicago would launch an international festival of art and architecture—its own take on the famous Venice biennale—drew jeers and cheers from the design community both near and far from The Second City. AN called for the show aspiring to be North America's largest architectural exhibition to go beyond tourism bromides. Now the upstart expo has a name, as well as its first show. The inaugural Chicago architecture biennial will begin in October 2015, and will be called “The State of the Art of Architecture,” in reference to the controversial conference organized in 1977 by architect Stanley Tigerman. Tigerman's show celebrated the postmodern rejection of Chicago's old masters like Mies van der Rohe, forging the position of architectural protest group The Chicago Seven. A press release from the organizing committee alludes to the upcoming exhibition's wide scope:
More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that manifests at different scales and through various media: buildings and cities, but also art, performance, film, landscape and new technologies. It permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks.The biennial's first commission was announced Wednesday by co-directors Joseph Grima—a former curator of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and director of the Ideas City platform of the New Museum—and Sarah Herda, director of the Graham Foundation and AN editorial advisor. Renowned photographer Iwan Baan will contribute an original photo essay about Chicago featuring aerial shots taken at sunrise. The work will “capture the city during a moment of its daily routine,” according to the press release. “Like the Biennial itself, Baan’s expansive photographs interpret Chicago as a realm of architectural possibility, past and future.” The free festival's home base will be the Chicago Cultural Center, but organizers say it won't be restricted to downtown. “Using the city as a canvas, installations will be created in Millennium Park and other Chicago neighborhoods, including new projects and public programs developed by renowned artist Theaster Gates on Chicago’s south side,” reads a press release. “The Biennial will also feature collateral exhibitions and events with partner institutions throughout the city, and will offer educational programming for local and international students.” Tigerman, whose 1977 exhibition is the inspiration for the 2015 show's title, sits on the biennial's International Advisory Committee, which also includes architects David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, and Frank Gehry, along with critic Sylvia Lavin, Lord Peter Palumbo and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Ty Tabing, former executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance and founder of Singapore River One, will serve as the biennial's executive director. Oil giant BP has agreed to donate $2.5 million for the show, but Mayor Emanuel is reportedly seeking $1.5 million more.