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2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial Returns With a Critical Eye

Exhibits and installations from around the world hope to reframe – and sometimes challenge – the very idea of architecture at this year’s event. We get a preview.

(Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial / Kendall McCaughtery, 2019)
(Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial / Kendall McCaughtery, 2019)

Quinn Myers

For many Chicagoans, pride in local architecture is as natural as rooting for the Cubs or White Sox.

But at the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, you won’t find much in the way of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan.

Instead, exhibits and installations from around the world hope to reframe – and sometimes challenge – the very idea of what architecture is in the first place.

Every other fall since 2015, the biennial has transformed the lobbies, courtyard and ballrooms of the Chicago Cultural Center into a four-month exhibition of cutting-edge ideas in urbanism and design. There are also programs and installations at satellite sites across the city.

“Chicago is a city that knows architecture very well – we have a great history of architecture coming out of the city,” said Yesomi Umolu, the biennial’s artistic director. “And the hope is that biennial will foster further exploration and new ideas in architecture and the built environment.”

This year’s theme is “… and other such stories,” which aims to connect Chicago’s architectural traditions with emerging ones from around the world.

“The idea behind this year’s biennial,” Umolu said, “is to try to think about Chicago, and look at its history, but also its contemporary urban conditions, and to think critically about how that might relate to some broader questions that we’re all facing as a society.”

Read on >>> Source: WTTW News 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial Returns With a Critical Eye

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