Today, the Chicago Architecture Biennial announced its initial list of 29 international contributors for its 2021 edition, titled The Available City. The fourth iteration of CAB will open on Sept. 17 and include a mix of installations, exhibits, projects, and programs that will be both located in neighborhoods around Chicago and shared on digital platforms.
CAB artistic director David Brown—also a designer, researcher, and educator at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture—shared the initial list of contributors during a virtual press conference, explaining that the designers would work with Chicago community groups on projects that make use of vacant lots owned by the city. Through this "improvisational" approach, Brown hopes to encourage a framework that places "community first, rather than systems first" and exemplifies "the exponential impact that small elements ... can have in aggregate."
During CAB's press conference, 2021 contributor Germane Barnes, founder of the Miami-based Studio Barnes, gave a brief preview of his firm's collaboration with Shawhin Roudbari from the University of Colorado, Boulder and Chicago-based MAS Context in partnership with Open Architecture Chicago. Together, the team will investigate the transformation of vacant lots underneath Chicago's elevated train tracks, a project that Barnes says he hopes will "celebrate self-determination and community collaboration."
The full list of initial contributors for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial, titled The Available City, follows:
- Ana Miljački (Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT), Boston
- Ania Jaworska, Chicago
- Atelier Bow-Wow, Tokyo
- Borderless Studio, Chicago
- Central Park Theater Restoration Committee, Chicago
- Christophe Hutin Architecture, Bordeaux, France
- Departamento del Distrito, Mexico City
- Drawing Architecture Studio, Beijing
- El Cielo, Mexico City
- Englewood Nature Trail, Chicago
- Enlace Arquitectura + Ciudad Laboratorio, Caracas fala, Porto, Portugal
- Gensler (Stone Soup Group), Los Angeles and Chicago
- Hood Design Studio, Oakland, Calif.
- In care of Black women, Chicago
- Jill Desimini, Cambridge, Mass.