The Windy City prepares to host more than 140 architects and artists from around the world tomorrow as it kicks off the CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL, which features special events, programs and performances surrounding this year’s theme of “Make New History.” Free and open to the public, the Biennial will run until January 7, 2018, with a majority of the programming taking place at downtown’s CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER.
“To have an architectural biennial in Chicago is like having a classical music conference in Vienna,” says Biennial artistic co-director Mark Lee of the city’s great architectural finds, which continue to serve as one of Chicago’s largest tourist pulls. Lee was also one of the co-creators of this year’s “Make New History” theme, meant to provide a historical framework of what’s being created today.
Architect legends César Pelli and Art Gensler will take the topic even further, as they take part in a discussion covering modern architecture practices and share their future visions for architecture in communities.
Other highlights of the Biennial revolve around hometown hero Frank Lloyd Wright, who spent the first two decades of his career working in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Tours of his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, as well as the prairie-style masterpiece Robie House will be available.
In partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit currently on display at MOMA in New York, the Biennial will also host a panel with historian Ken Tadashi Oshima and artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee discussing the new discoveries of the MoMA exhibit “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive.”
Product designers will be able to find solace in the “AIA CHICAGO MADE” exhibition, which will present the functional design works of 25 local architects at the CHICAGO DESIGN MUSEUM.
The Biennial conveniently shares an opening weekend with contemporary art fair EXPO CHICAGO, which will exhibit more than 140 galleries from around the world.
For more information on the Chicago Architecture Biennial, check out the entire list of programs HERE.