Vertical city by Tom Harris
Vertical city by Tom Harris

Chicago Architecture Biennial announces over 100 civic, educational, and cultural programmes

Through the course of the Biennial, sites across Chicago will come alive with lectures, panel discussions, performances, workshops, and events - both produced by and in coordination with the Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial has just announced that more than 100 programmes will take place at upwards of 50 venues over the course of the Biennial from September 19, 2019 through January 5, 2020, with a press and professional preview on September 17 and 18. These range from events, lectures, panels, workshops, and performances organised by the Biennial to partner programmes that respond to the Biennial’s themes at cultural organisations around the city, bringing the Biennial’s exploration of space, community, and architecture to Chicagoans of all ages, interests, and backgrounds, as well as visitors from around the world.

The 2019 edition, titled ...and other such stories, will form an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally - as such, programming is central to ensuring that the conversation is inclusive, diverse, and ever-changing through the course of the Biennial.

“Chicago is at its best when a diverse range of communities, organisations, and individuals come together to learn from one another, collaborate, and explore our shared histories and hopes for the future. The comprehensive range of programming taking place during the Biennial is an exciting example of the exchange that makes our city so dynamic,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

“Foregrounding the idea of Common Ground, the curatorial team has devised spaces and programmes that ensure that this edition of the biennial supports inclusive and diverse explorations of the built environment today,” noted Yesomi Umolu, Graham Foundation artistic director, Chicago Architecture Biennial. “By deeply engaging the public and various communities in our contributor projects and curatorial ideas, we are excited to extend the exchange we have fostered during our research phase into the biennial experience at the Chicago Cultural Center and at our various offsite venues.”

Throughout the biennial, there will be a series of dedicated curatorial weekends that bring conversations, performances, and workshops with Biennial contributors and invited guests to the Chicago Cultural Center and various offsite venues. Within the Chicago Cultural Center, these will largely be hosted in the purpose-built gathering space designed by Biennial contributor ConstructLab.

Highlight programmes include:

● September 19-21: Opening weekend programmes include performances by CAMP, Alexandra Pirici and Jimmy Robert alongside conversations on architecture and advocacy with Forensic Architecture & Invisible Institute, Maurice Cox, and Maria Gaspar, among others at the Chicago Cultural Center. Offsite curatorial projects will be animated through public workshops and
community events.

● October 17-19: Focusing on themes of architecture, memory and representation, this weekend features A Charette for Chicago–-a programme of collaborative workshops that consider the ways we think about and design the city. Also featured are conversations developed by the American Indian Center and Settler Colonial City Project addressing indigenous knowledge and heritage,
as well as the settler colonial histories in the built environment.

● November 14-16: Highlighting architecture’s relationship to the natural world, conversations developed with Wolff Architects, Oscar Tuazon and Territorial Agency focus respectively on land and water rights, and the social, cultural and environmental impact of the oil economy.

● December 12-14: Alongside performances developed by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, programmes by The Funambulist and FICA focus on ideas of collective action by respectively addressing diversifying perspectives on the built environment in publishing, and alternative models of affordable housing and real estate investment in urban centers.

In addition, the Biennial will host regular programmes at the Chicago Cultural Centre in coordination with partners and collaborators to further explore the works on view and related concerns.

Key programming partners include Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Center, and the
Chicago Loop Alliance, who will explore the focus areas of the exhibition as they relate to different communities, disciplines, and institutions

About Chicago Architecture Biennial:

The Chicago Architecture Biennial provides a platform for ground-breaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience. Through its constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations, and programming, the Biennial invites 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.

For more information, visit



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