Archive for December, 2015

12/08/15

the state of the art of architecture – chicago style

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For the first time in history, Chicago is hosting an Architecture Biennial.  What exactly is this exhibition and what is all the buzz about?

“Biennial” is the English translation of the Italian “Biennale”, meaning it “takes place every two years.”  It is based on a well-known international exhibition, “La Biennale di Venezia” which was founded in 1895 and remains one of the most prestigious cultural events in the world.  Its ongoing purpose is to provide a forum for all that is new and exciting in the art world, inclusive of architecture.

When I attended the 2012 Biennale in Venice I was struck by the creativity of the avant-garde exhibits, as well as how imaginatively the international architectural community addressed many of our collective challenges. Environmental change, urban growth and social polarization, resource depletion and feeding the planet’s population were some of the topics covered in truly visionary ways.  I left this exhibition greatly inspired.

Now, with more than 30 countries represented at the first Architecture Biennial in Chicago, we have a similar opportunity to engage in this dialogue locally. Its title, “The State of the Art of Architecture” clearly indicates how this exhibit provides a platform for innovative ideas that explore original solutions to the current issues of our day.  What better location than the birthplace of the skyscraper – and arguably of modern architecture itself – to explore the newest ideas, materials, and practices in architecture?

You don’t need to be an architect to enjoy this exhibit.  We all experience our own spaces in unique ways, and it’s interesting to see how new approaches to the built environment could enhance our lives both on a personal and global level.   As Artistic Directors, Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda write, “What unites all projects is the certainty that architecture matters, whether as a theoretical concern…or a concrete response to the questions of our time.”

Chicago’s inaugural Architecture Biennial runs from October 3 – January 3, 2016.  For more information, visit http://chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org/   If you are so inclined, e-mail and let me know what you think!

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