The curatorial team of the Chicago Architecture Biennial has announced the theme of the third edition of the event, to be titled "...and other such stories". The intentionally-broad theme proposes an investigation of architecture / the built environment not just as a form, but as a culmination of the conditions that shape it. ...and other such stories is a collaborative effort between Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu and co-curators Sepake Angiama (a curator focused on education) and Paulo Tavares (a Brazilian architect and academic).
“Our approach to this edition of the biennial has evolved through conversations with architects, spatial practitioners, and everyday people in Chicago and other global locations, including through partnerships fostered in our research initiatives in the cities of Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, and Vancouver,” said Umolu in a statement to the press. “Through these engagements, we have drawn out a myriad of stories about how lived experiences across global communities, cities, territories, and ecologies resonate with architectural and space-making practices."
...and other such stories will center around on four areas of inquiry:
- No Land Beyond, which draws inspiration from indigenous approaches to nature, ecology, and landscape that transcend property ownership;
- Appearances and Erasures, which explores both shared and contested memories in consideration of monuments, memorials, and social histories
- Rights and Reclamations
- Common Ground, which foreground aspects of rights, advocacy, and civic purpose in architectural practice, including affordable and equitable housing
...and other such stories will be global in its storytelling focus, engaging a variety of geographies and histories to tell stories that not only resonate with but foster conversation among a global audience. Visitors will be encouraged to view, engage, and participate in the event as equal partners. The primary goal of the 2019 event will be to address the "urgent and shifting conditions of our societies" in order to (re)imagine the possibilities of the built environment.
Such a focus comes at a moment of undeniable global upheaval; as we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century many seemingly-impregnable global institutions and conventions appear frailer than ever before. As the rate of urbanization forges ahead unabated, the resiliency of architecture and urban planning in such overtly unpredictable environments has taken on new urgency.
Nowhere is better to take on this challenge than the city of Chicago, says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. “As a city with an architectural history that forms such a strong foundation of our identity, we are thrilled that this year’s team will shine a light on Chicago as a global convener for leading architectural thought.”
The Chicago Architecture Biennial, which debuted in 2015, has quickly become North America's leading architecture and design event both in size and in influence. The third edition will be open to the public from 19 September 2019 to 5 January 2020 and will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center. The event, which is scheduled to coincide with design fair EXPO CHICAGO, is sponsored by BP and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.