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Chicago Architectural Biennial: The Latest Architecture and News

Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces 2021 Edition, Entitled “The Available City”, and Under Artistic Direction of David Brown

Reflecting on the current global situation, Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) has reinvented its 2021 edition, in order to generate conversations about the “intersection of architecture and design and such critical issues as health, sustainability, equity, and racial justice”. The Biennial has also announced the appointment of David Brown, designer, researcher, and educator, based at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as the Artistic Director of the fourth edition, entitled The Available City.

Luftwerk and Iker Gil Install Light Intervention at the Farnsworth House

Geometry of light, is a multimedia intervention by Luftwerk in collaboration with Iker Gil, exhibited in October, during the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, at the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois.

© Kate Joyce© Kate Joyce© Kate Joyce© Kate Joyce+ 22

Critics and Community: Reviewing the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

The third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) has opened in Chicago with a range of new exhibitions and installations across the city. Organized under the theme ...And other such stories, the biennial showcases the work of over 80 contributors, including MASS Design Group, Forensic Architecture, Theaster Gates, and more. Taking a look at the main venue, we’re diving into some of the exhibitions and emerging stories.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 26

SOM Designs Stereoform Slab Pavilion for 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Architecture practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have designed a concrete pavilion for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Today, the practice is unveiling the work of its interdisciplinary practice with Stereoform Slab, a to-scale prototype of a future building system made using advanced robotic fabrication techniques. The project is simultaneously an activation and an exhibition that illustrates a design method that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete construction.

Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOM+ 8

The Third Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces its 2019 Program

The Chicago Architecture Biennial has released its cultural agenda for this year’s edition of the international exhibition. Held in the Chicago Cultural Center and all over the city, from the 19th of September 2019 till the 5th of January 2020, this edition under the theme of: ... And Other Such Stories, is going to be curated by the artistic director Yesomi Umolu, the executive director Todd Palmer and co-curated by Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares.

Chicago Architecture Biennial Curators Announce 2019 Theme

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).

Sepake Angiama, photographed by Zachary Johnston. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture BiennialPaulo Tavares, photographed by Gabriel Ribeiro. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture BiennialYesomi Umolu, photographed by Zachary Johnston. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture BiennialMonadnock's 'Make Big Plans' installation at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, a reference to a quote by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham: "Make no Little Plans". Photo by Tom Harris. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial+ 7

Social Agenda vs Social Media: Reviewing the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

While architecture exhibitions have a tendency to be drab affairs with poorly displayed poster boards and reams of intellectualized text spouting pseudo-complex ideas, the Chicago Architecture Biennial stands out for its undeniable sense of playfulness. From its central HQ to the fringe performance events, this exhibition is bright, fun and Instagram-ready.

Chicago, like Venice, is blessed when it comes to architecture, making the city an ideal home for a recurring architecture show. The importance of this year’s iteration, the second after its inaugural event in 2015 (thus confirming its status as an actual “Biennial”), is clear. And the curators, Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee from LA-based practice Johnston Marklee, seem determined to grab people’s attention.

Chicago Works: Amanda Williams at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents the first-ever museum exhibition of breakout Chicago artist Amanda Williams, featuring a new addition to her highly acclaimed project, Color(ed) Theory, which debuted at the first Chicago Architecture Biennial. The bright, monochromatic houses painted as part of Color(ed) Theory bring attention to the overwhelming number of vacancies on Chicago’s South Side, reflecting Williams’ perspective that architecture serves as a microcosm for larger social issues. Together with new works such as A Dream or Substance, a Beamer, a Necklace or Freedom? -- where Williams invited Englewood-based collaborators to gild a room in imitation gold leaf in the same proportion of a Chicago lot, and then sealed off the room with just a small gap for viewing the gleaming interior -- Williams’ solo debut creates an experience that comments on race, class, and urban space. Chicago Works: Amanda Williams is organized by MCA Curatorial Assistant Grace Deveney and is on view from July 18 to December 31, 2017.

SO-IL with Ana Prvački Debut Musical-Spatial Performance at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Today SO-IL, in collaboration with Ana Prvački, debuted L’air pour air on the occasion of the press preview of the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The performance explores the art of performing behind a filter in an age where many cities suffer from the environmental impact of human habitation. Described as "part installation and part musical performance," the creators have drawn inspiration from abundant plant life and the interconnectedness of people and nature.

Lakefront Kiosk / Ultramoderne

© Tom Harris© Tom Harris© Tom Harris© Naho Kubota Photography+ 33

  • Architects: Ultramoderne
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Nordic Structures, Würth, FH Paschen, Mule-Hide, Neon Shop Fishtail, +3

5 Projects at the Chicago Biennial that Demonstrate the State of the Art of Sustainability

At the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the theme selected by directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda was deliberately wide in scope, with the expectation that more than one hundred exhibitors would each bring their own perspective on what is “The State of the Art of Architecture.” But where does that leave one of architecture's most widely adopted missions of the 21st century: sustainability? In this article, originally published on her blog Architectstasy as “Chicago Architecture Biennial: The State of the Art of Sustainability,” Jessica A S Letaw delves into five projects that take on sustainability in the context of Chicago's biennial.

At North America's inaugural Architecture Biennial in Chicago, “The State of the Art of Architecture,” architectural firms and practices from all six inhabited continents have been invited to display their work. Spanning all sizes and kinds of projects, the Biennial is showcasing solutions to design problems from spiderwebs to social housing.

US buildings use around 40% of all the country’s energy consumption. It is a disconcerting truth that even if every new building starting construction tomorrow were to be net-zero energy and net-zero water, we’d still be on a crash course, draining more naturally-available resources than our one planet can permanently sustain. In this environment, architectural designers have a special responsibility to educate themselves about innovative sustainable design techniques, from those that have worked for thousands of years to those that, as the Biennial’s title hopefully suggests, are state of the art.

So what does the Biennial have to say about sustainability? Five projects on display demonstrate different approaches at five different scales: materials, buildings, resources, cities, and the globe.

15 Must-See Installations at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

What is the state of architecture today? What motivates different architects from around the world to improve the conditions of the planet's inhabitants? If you find yourself in the City of Chicago in the next few months, you will be submerged in a discussion of what architecture is, and what it can and should be in the future.

The ArchDaily team spent the end of last week at the opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, an anticipated celebration of architecture at a scale previously unseen in North America. Supported in large part by the city of Chicago itself, Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed that he wanted his city "to be dead center" in a conversation about how architecture can positively impact cities around the world. In response, curators Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda reviewed the work of over 500 architects worldwide and selected over 100 architects from more than 30 countries to "demonstrate that architecture matters at any scale."

Under the title "The State of the Art of Architecture," Grima and Herda looked to the architects themselves to reveal not one theme in particular, but to highlight the built forms, strategies and speculations that emphasize the "agency of the architect." Spread over seven venues (The Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Stony Island Arts Bank, Graham Foundation, 72 E. Randolph, Water Tower Gallery and IIT), world-renowned, well-known architects exhibit projects alongside up-and-coming instigators. Some of the installations are serious, others are more light-hearted and provocative; on the whole, however, they provide an inviting global snapshot of the challenges facing architecture production today. 

AIA Announces Look Up Film Challenge Winners at Chicago Biennial

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the winners of the Look Up Film Challenge at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Out of 26 entries for the competition launched earlier this year, a jury of architects and media professionals selected three top prize winners and recognized seven additional films in themed categories. The winning pieces best represent the competition’s call for films that highlight the impact that architects have on communities.

The winners of the Look Up Film Challenge are:

Official Trailer of the Chicago Architecture Biennial Released

On October 3 the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, The State of the Art of Architecture will commence. The “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America," the exhibition is designed to be a multiplatform event that will host an array of radical ideas, projects and spatial experiments from more than 100 international architects that "demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience."

Inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial Reveals Official List of 2015 Participants

A 40-strong list of international studios has named the official participants of the first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial - the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America.” Chosen by Biennial Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda - who are supported by an advisory council comprising David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Sylvia Lavin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Palumbo, and Stanley Tigerman - each participating practice will convene in Chicago to discuss "The State of the Art of Architecture" and showcase their work from October 3 to January 3, 2016.

“The city of Chicago has left an indelible mark on the field of architecture, from the world’s first modern skyscraper to revolutionary urban designs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “That’s why there’s no better host city than Chicago for this rare global event. The Chicago Architecture Biennial offers an unprecedented chance to celebrate the architectural, cultural, and design advancements that have collectively shaped our world.”

A complete list of participants, after the break. 

Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Lakefront Kiosk Winners

The Chicago Architecture Biennial, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and BP, has announced the winner of its Lakefront Kiosk Competition, which sought out designs for an innovative lakefront kiosk to be inaugurated on October 3 for the opening of the Biennial.

In addition to the winner of the competition, the Biennial is also partnering with local schools—the Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago—in order to build three more kiosks to be featured at the Biennial. View the grand prize design, as well as three competition finalists, honorable mentions, and the three architecture school designs after the break.

Chicago Biennial: "The State of the Art of Architecture" Will Feature Photo Series by Iwan Baan

The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial now has an official name, with co-directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda announcing "The State of the Art of Architecture" as the biennial's theme last week. Taking its name from a 1977 conference organized in Chicago by Stanley Tigerman, which focused on the state of architecture in the US, next year's Chicago Architecture Biennial will aim to expand that conversation into the "international and intergenerational" arena.

In addition to the new name, the Biennial also announced its first major project, a photo essay of Chicago by Iwan Baan, which will contextualize the many landmarks of the Chicago skyline within the wider cityscape and within the day-to-day life of the city.

Read on for more about the biennial theme and more images from Iwan Baan. 

© Iwan Baan       © Iwan Baan       © Iwan Baan       © Iwan Baan       + 6