Courtesy Volume Gallery

1. The Final Works of a Chicago Master
With the third Chicago Architecture Biennial underway, the city’s institutions are staging a host of concurrent architecture and design events. Most poignant among them may be a drawing exhibition at Volume Gallery in the East Village, a neighborhood northwest of the Loop. The exhibition, Tigerman Rides Again, brings together 28 drawings that Stanley Tigerman produced starting in January 2019, during the last months of his life. The Op Art–inflected works, black-and-white ink drawings from a Moleskine notebook, hark back to the lessons of Tigerman’s professor at Yale, artist Josef Albers. On view through Nov. 2.

Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago

2. Monument to the Unknown Worker
A terrace at the venerable Art Institute of Chicago has been transformed by the hands of Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist of the collective Postcommodity. Moved by the issue of refugee migration to the United States, Martínez and Twist erected a reminder of Latin American immigrants’ role in shaping contemporary society, culture, the economy, and architecture north of the border. A grid of cinder block piers, topped with rebar, recalls a building site. Whether the construction remains underway, or has been abandoned, is left to the viewer’s imagination. With Each Incentive is on view through April 26, 2020.

Marry Brogger, Photo: Nathan Keay/MCA Chicago

3. Not My Utopia
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is complementing the biennial with The Shape of the Future, curated by Nina Wexelblatt. Her assemblage of works from the MCA’s collection—by Yto Barrada, Günther Förg, Buckminster Fuller, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Richard Misrach, Jack Pierson, and others—offers a critique of Modern architecture’s utopian, universalist pretensions. A case in point: artist Mary Brogger’s 2000 sculpture Earthwork (above), which is a scale model of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., filled with birdseed. On view Oct. 19, 2019, through April 5, 2020.

Nathan Keay, courtesy Graham Foundation

4. Experiments in Living
Through Jan. 11, 2020, Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao will occupy the Graham Foundation’s magnificent Prairie School mansion with an installation focused on new forms of collective living. The show, titled Tatiana Bilbao Estudio: Unraveling Modern Living, will be punctuated by workshops and other events, staged with local nonprofit Archeworks, pottery group Colectivo 1050º, artists’ website Cultural ReProducers, arts presenter Fieldwork Collaborative Projects, architect Stefan Gruber, Nance Klehm of Social Ecologies, Lurie Garden, MAS Context, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Sweet Water Foundation, The Weaving Mill textile studio, and performance artist Anna Martine Whitehead.

5. The Urban Collective
The Chicago Architecture Center, formerly known as the Chicago Architecure Foundation, kicks off a series on the future of urbanism with From Me to We: Imagining the City of 2050. The exhibition appears at the center’s new facility, an Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture–designed space in a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–designed tower on the Chicago River. Lead curator Phil Enquist, FAIA, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill worked with five firms, each of which tackled a specific topic: RATIO for Mobility, STL Architects for Materiality, PORT Urbanism for Livability, Farr Associates for Energy, and Ross Barney Architects for Ecology. The exhibition runs until April 1., 2020, at which time it will be updated with a focus on energy.