Chicago Architecture Biennial: Let the conversation begin

Chicago Architecture Biennial: Let the conversation begin

If you have attended the last two Chicago Architecture Biennial’s (CAB) you may be a little surprised when you visit “…and other such stories,” the city’s third edition of its biennial.

The promise of this year’s biennial is to explore how architecture shapes our communities, cities and environment through a lens to our past in order to jumpstart conversations about how we can make our future better.

Yesomi Umolu. Photo; Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Yesomi Umolu. Photo; Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Yesomi Umolu, Graham Foundation Artistic Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial, explains “Our goal with …’and other such stories’ was to find inspiration in the built environment of Chicago that would spur a conversation and exploration globally on how architecture reflects and influences our experiences, rights, memories, and aspirations.”

At yesterday’s press preview at the Chicago Cultural Center, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot called the The Biennial, “A very special time for the city.” 

She called on residents, visitors, cultural organizations, and businesses to come together to celebrate and explore our shared histories and envision new possibilities for the future.

This year’s biennial explores the way architecture shapes, and is shaped by, culture, history, and nature around the world, asking critical questions about how architecture has informed our present, and the power that architecture has to shape a better, more sustainable, and more equitable future.

The focus is to form an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally relating to four areas of inquiry:

(1) No Land Beyond, which draws inspiration from indigenous approaches to nature, ecology, and landscape that transcend property ownership.

(2) Appearances and Erasures, which explores both shared and contested memories in consideration of monuments, memorials, and social histories.

(3) Rights and Reclamations,  which interprets space—urban, territorial, environmental—as a site of advocacy and civic participation, investigating spatial practices that foreground the rights of humans and nature.

(4) Common Ground, which foreground aspects of rights, advocacy, and civic purpose in architectural practice, including affordable and equitable housing.

CAB 2019 brings together more than 80 contributors from over 20 countries with works that reflect on architecture as it relates to social, political, and environmental issues worldwide, including issues around property and social housing, the division of natural resources, and systems of power and civil rights.

Chicago’s Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) is the main venue for the Biennial hosting 3 floors of exhibits along with special programming and events.

Hayo Tikba (the fire inside)--part of an exhibition on the 2nd floor of the CCC. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Hayo Tikba (the fire inside)–part of an exhibition on the 2nd floor of the CCC. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

In addition to the Chicago Cultural Center, visitors can explore stories at over 40 partner sites and 100 partner organizations across Chicago, including Overton Elementary School, the National Public Housing Museum, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and Garfield Park.

“Chicago truly comes together for the Biennial, and we are grateful both for the partnership of so many terrific organizations across the city, and for the generous support provided to the Biennial by corporations, foundations, and individuals. Each edition of the Biennial has evolved to bring the world to Chicago, and Chicago to the world, in a new and different light, and we are looking forward to seeing how the exhibition grows and expands through visitors to the Chicago Cultural Center, programs with partners, and educational initiatives throughout the city,” said Jack Guthman, Chairman of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Jack Guthman. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Jack Guthman. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

What: The Chicago Architecture Biennial
Where: The Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington and other citywide venues
When: Thursday, September 19 through January 5, 2020
Cost: Free
For more information: visit the CAB website 

Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email

If you would like to keep in touch with what’s happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts, entertainment and dining journalist..

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Recent posts

  • Categories

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: