"We are at a moment of great cultural transition," Jorge Otero-Pailos argues. "The kinds of objects that we look to to provide some sort of continuity in that transformation is often times architecture, [...] one of the most stable objects in culture." This short film, in which an number of participants of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial reflect on their work and those of others, tackles the theme conceived by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee: Make New History.
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In "Horizontal City," 24 Architects Reconsider Architectural Interiors at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
Horizontal City is one of two collective exhibitions (the other being Vertical City) at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. 24 architects were tasked by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to "reconsider the status of the architectural interior" by referencing a photograph of a canonical interior from any time period.
Their challenge was in considering the forms and ways that their selection "might extrapolate out from the cropped photographic frame into a spatial and lifestyle construction across a larger, horizontal site" – in this case, a field of plinths, the size and positioning of which is a direct reference to the footprint of Mies van der Rohe's 1947 plan for the IIT Campus in Chicago.
A Different Kind of Sharing Economy: How the REAL Foundation is Building Social Equity Into the Nuts and Bolts of Architecture
The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America, and the blog invites designers and other contributors to express their perspectives in a range of formats. The 2017 exhibition, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.
Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB): We want to start by noting that REAL foundation, which stands for "Real Estate Architecture Laboratory," is not a typical design practice. You design spaces, but you also make books, exhibitions, a magazine, and tools for advocacy. Why?
Jack Self (JS): The REAL foundation is an unusual model for an architectural firm. We're a normal architectural practice, but we are governed by a very strict set of conditions that allow us to pursue certain political and economic ideologies. We see the social role of the architect, as well as the structure of the architectural firm, as a subject for design as much as buildings.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial has announced the list of participants invited to contribute to the event’s second edition, which will be held from September 16 to January 7, 2018 in Chicago. More than 100 architecture firms and artists have been selected by 2017 artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, founders of Los Angeles–based Johnston Marklee, to design exhibitions that will be displayed at the Chicago Cultural Center and throughout the city.
“Our goal for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is to continue to build on the themes and ideas presented in the first edition,” explained Johnston and Lee. “We hope to examine, through the work of the chosen participants, the continuous engagement with questions of history and architecture as an evolutionary practice.”