Chicago Architecture Biennial


The Architectural Biennial Chicago opened last weekend. In total, over 100 architects and artists—representing more than 30 countries – were selected by Biennial Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda, who are supported by an advisory committee comprising David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Sylvia Lavin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Lord Peter Palumbo, and Stanley Tigerman. The Biennial’s full roster of participating architects and artists is the outcome of intensive research on contemporary architectural practices and issues around the world, which included visits to Beijing, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Mexico City, and other cities.

“During our research, we have had conversations with hundreds of architects working in radically different cultural, social, and economic conditions,” Grima commented. “The Biennial is an occasion to explore the inspiring work that a new architectural generation is producing.”

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The State of the Art of Architecture

The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial takes its title, “The State of the Art of Architecture,” from a 1977 conference organized by Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman, which invited leading American designers to Chicago to discuss the current state of the field. The 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial will expand the spirit and scope of this event. It will invite both emerging and established practices from across the world to Chicago to demonstrate how advances in architectural design are tackling the most pressing issues of today.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial will provide a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience. Through a constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations, and a program of events, the Biennial will invite the public to engage with and think about architecture in new and unexpected ways, and to take part in a global discussion on the future of the field.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial was envisioned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and is an outgrowth of the comprehensive cultural plan developed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and its commissioner, Michelle Boone. Released in October 2012, the Chicago Cultural Plan provides a framework to guide the city’s cultural and economic growth.

“Our goal is to create an event that is meaningful to the public and to both local and global architectural communities,” said Herda. “The Biennial is an incredible opportunity to present experimental and provocative architectural ideas in a very public platform, and in a city that continues to be an inspiration to architects across the world.”


Architectural Biennial Chicago
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL 60610
October 3 through January 3 2016