• arch_TECHA_ture


Just another review of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Center for Spatial Research

Architects are expanding their societal roles. They are not just shapers of our built environment, but active citizens of our global community. This is the focus of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, as it should be. The Bienniel hit on many relevant topics: diversity and inclusion, gun violence, and big data.

The 2019 Biennial is a chance to look, listen, create, think about and discuss how architecture shapes everything from buildings to public spaces to the natural world.

Questions about who owns space and what are diverse spaces were elevated. The highlight exhibit, on the highest floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, which is really not an exhibit but a Land Acknowledgment to the indigenous people of the region. The acknowledgment is not one of shame, however, but slants to Chicago's ability to remain a home to many American Indian communities that still practice their heritage and traditions.

Akinbode Akinbiyi

Exhibits by Do Ho Suh (always an arch_TECHA_ture fave) and the likes, unpacked the idea of home and how the idea of home differs across the economies of communities. A collaborative gun violence exhibit, is literally in the shape of four homes, and invites the families of gun violence victims to share a commemorative piece of their lost love one. These exhibits embody the inevitable political side of architecture, veering closer to art, but what architecture isn't an artist these days?

Tanya Lukin Linklater and Tiffany Shaw-Collinge

RIWAQ with Yara Sharif and Nasser Golzari

And, shout out the the Chicago Cultural Center for embracing their heritage as the first public library in Chicago. The Chicago Public Library has an exhibition in the Biennial complete with a reading list that coincides with Adrian Blackwell's Anarchitectural Library. Personally, we think all exhibits should be accompanied by a reading list.