Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces 2019 Title and Focus


The Chicago Architecture Biennial announced that the curatorial focus of its 2019 edition will be titled …and other such stories.

The exhibition, the core of which opens at the Chicago Cultural Center on September 19, 2019 and which aligns once again with EXPO CHICAGO, will form an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally, and embraces a broad spectrum of perspectives on architecture — in order to imagine space and the built environment anew. 

Through a research-led approach, CAB's curatorial team has drawn on the spatial, historical, and socio-economic conditions of Chicago to consider questions of land, memory, rights, and civic participation. Four areas of inquiry emerged as a result of this research — which has also connected Chicago concerns to learning from diverse participants engaged in the cities of Johannesburg, Vancouver, and São Paulo.  

When it opens this fall, the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial will address the potency of space, architecture, and the natural world through these four frameworks: 

(1) NoLand Beyond will draw inspiration from indigenous approaches to nature, ecology, and landscape that transcend property ownership

(2) Appearances and Erasures will explore both shared and contested memories in consideration of monuments, memorials, and social histories

Together (3) Rights and Reclamations and (4) Common Ground will foreground aspects of rights, advocacy, and civic purpose in architectural practice, including affordable and equitable housing.

Building from the diverse and international experience of the curatorial team, …and other such stories will engage participants from a wide range of disciplines — both within the traditional field of architecture and from adjacent disciplines — to explore the implications of architecture and the built environment as they relate to land, memory, rights, and civic participation. The team comprises Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu, a contemporary art curator, and co-curators Sepake Angiama, a curator whose work centers on education, and Paulo Tavares, a Brazil-based architect and academic.

“The Biennial is a centerpiece of the Chicago cultural landscape, bringing the entire city together to celebrate, explore, and understand the legacy and impact of architecture. As a city with an architectural history that forms such a strong foundation of our identity, we are thrilled that this year’s team will shine a light on Chicago as a global convener for leading architectural thought,” noted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Biennial is the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America. It is designed to deepen and expand the dialogue on architecture and the built environment with both industry leaders and everyday citizens, envisioning and sparking a future of architecture that is, first and foremost, shared, inclusive, diverse, sustainable, and equitable.

Visit the Biennial's website to view the complete news release and curatorial statement.