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Miami

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Kennedy Yanko, Reginald O’Neal, and Cajsa von Zeipel

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Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.

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Englewood’s Commons by Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo, Japan) - Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, organized in partnership with the Overton Incubator and Creative Grounds for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
River Frames by PORT - Andrew Moddrell and Christopher Marcinkoski (Chicago, IL), organized in partnership with Lendlease for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
new Witness Trees by Hood Design Studio (Oakland, California) for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Central Park Theater by Manuel Herz (Basel, Switzerland), organized in partnership with Central Park Theater Restoration Committee for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Reflecting Our (Global) South Side by Matri-Archi(tecture) - Khensani de Klerk, Tapiwa Manase, Tshego Mako, Solange Mbanefo (Basel, Switzerland | Cape Town, South Africa) for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
River Frames by PORT - Andrew Moddrell and Christopher Marcinkoski (Chicago, IL), organized in partnership with Lendlease for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Design

The Available City: Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 Caters to Community

By Pearl Fontaine

October 22, 2021

Last month, the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) returned for its fourth edition. Entitled “The Available City,” it is open to the public at locations across the city through December 18. On view are projects by over 80 architects, designers, and presenters from nearly 20 countries, encompassing programming and presentations in eight neighborhoods and online.

Curated by David Brown, the biennial’s Artistic Director, the 2021 program has asked the involved architects and designers to respond to the theme “The Available City,” posing questions surrounding who should determine city design and policies. In a first for the biennial, it brings attention to Chicago’s large collection of city-owned vacant lots—most of which reside in Black and Brown neighborhoods—that have potential for catering to community engagement and the needs of the city’s inhabitants.

Open Gallery

Central Park Theater by Manuel Herz (Basel, Switzerland), organized in partnership with Central Park Theater Restoration Committee for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

“Exploring the potential of ‘The Available City’ has been a central focus for me for over a decade, and it is a fantastic opportunity to explore its ideas with global and local architects, designers, thinkers, and community leaders within the Biennial’s platform,” said Brown. “When the Biennial opens, our work is really just beginning—the Biennial is an open conversation on possibility, and I am excited to see what ideas, collaborations, and partnerships emerge from this forum.”

A series of 15 commissioned projects are located on empty lots both public and private, expanding on existing initiatives whose missions center community engagement. These include projects like several vacant blocks transformed by Open Architecture Chicago and Freedom House on the Westside Association for Community Action lot; a circular outdoor meeting space referencing community planning in Sub-Saharan Africa, conceived by Matri-Archi(tecture) in Woodlawn; and an adaptable outdoor meeting place with movable curtains called The Center Won’t Hold, designed by The Open Workshop at the former Overton Elementary School.

Open Gallery

Reflecting Our (Global) South Side by Matri-Archi(tecture) - Khensani de Klerk, Tapiwa Manase, Tshego Mako, Solange Mbanefo (Basel, Switzerland | Cape Town, South Africa) for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Two accompanying exhibitions will be held at The Graham Foundation and Bronzeville Artist Lofts, exploring ideas of the biennial’s central theme through projects by El Cielo, RIFF Studio, Urban American City, and Enlace Arquitectura + Ciudad Laboratorio. A series of essays, workshops, activations, and programs, accompany the biennial, including highlights like a performance by Norman W. Long presented by Xfinity, screenings in partnership with the Chicago International Film Festival, and the virtual InDialogue series, debuting a new conversation each Tuesday through the run of the biennial.

Those local to Chicago should also look out for cultural programming and events presented by more than 100 local establishments surrounding the theme, like a mini-golf course, an outdoor pavilion, and a former-post-office-turned-community-hub, presented by partners like Lincoln Park Zoo, Douglass 18, Skidmore Owings and Merril, and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Open Gallery

new Witness Trees by Hood Design Studio (Oakland, California) for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Open Gallery

Englewood’s Commons by Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo, Japan) - Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, organized in partnership with the Overton Incubator and Creative Grounds for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Chicago Architecture Biennial

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