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Architecture biennial celebration opens in Chicago

Architecture biennial celebration
opens in Chicago

by ROB McMANAMY | Oct 3, 2015

Revived Riverwalk: Sasaki Associates' inviting design for urban engagement has reintroduced the river to the people. It is just one of dozens of architectural attractions, both old and new, that will take the global stage for the rest of 2015.

Revived Riverwalk: Sasaki Associates' inviting design for urban engagement has reintroduced the river to the people. It is just one of dozens of architectural attractions, both old and new, that will take the global stage for the rest of 2015.

This weekend kicks off a truly significant celebration for the built environment, and the City of Chicago is thrilled to be its focus. As broad as the city's shoulders may be, its civic ego has always been a tad fragile. So events like the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial serve many purposes, not the least of which is reminding the metropolis between the coasts that its influence is still as large as it is global.

Cover story: Architectural Record's October issue ranks the Biennial as its top topic.

Cover story: Architectural Record's October issue ranks the Biennial as its top topic.

Running from October 3rd to January 3rd, the "largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America" is entitled The State of the Art of Architecture. It will feature over 200 events sponsored by more than 100 cultural and educational institutions across the city and region. Thought leaders from Venice, São Paulo, and other growing, global cities will also visit to offer ideas on what our world should look like.

"The Biennial and its partners will leverage Chicago’s unique legacy as an incubator of architectural ideas, to take stock of the extraordinary ways in which architects, artists, designers, planners, activists, and policy makers from around the world are tackling the most pressing issues of today," explains the CAB website.

Selected by CAB artistic directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda, the title The State of the Art of Architecture takes its name from a 1977 conference organized by Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman, which invited leading American designers to Chicago to present and discuss the current state of the field. The Biennial expands on the spirit and scope of that event with input from an international and intergenerational architectural network that has been asked to explore how visionary design can help our cities to meet mounting modern challenges. 

If that mission sounds similar to our own SmartWorlds initiative here at BuiltWorlds, that's no accident. In fact, we are proud to support the Biennial through our media affiliation with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), and we look forward to taking its conversation even further via broader, multi-disciplinary discussions we plan to lead throughout 2016. In the meantime, this month, we also are honored to be a stop on CAF's annual Open House Chicago weekend tour of architecturally significant places in the city. Look for more details on that fun time as the Oct. 17-18 event approaches.

For more on CAB, including its sponsors, sites and schedule of events, click here.

BIENNIAL HQ: The three-month-long event is based out of the Chicago Cultural Center. (Photo by Steve Hall.)

BIENNIAL HQ: The three-month-long event is based out of the Chicago Cultural Center. (Photo by Steve Hall.)

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