Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, artistic directors of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, discuss their vision for “Make New History.”
The Chicago Architecture Biennial's second edition, entitled "Make New History," focuses on the efforts of contemporary architects to align their work with versions of history. Through the lens of architecture, the Biennial aims to examine the interplay of design and broadening attention to historical source material. In the realm of building practice it investigates the ways in which the architect’s encounter with a site is, in fact, the act of interpreting and responding to earlier collections of state and government regulations, social conventions, and markers of personhood. Considerations for architecture in the context of history include the regulation and management of power and identity; what prevails and what does not; and how to recognize the significance of untold narratives. Now, more than ever, the assumptions embedded in our cultural and civic imaginations require examination and discussion.
Founded in 1998 by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, Johnston Marklee is an architecture firm which has been recognized nationally and internationally. The firm was named one of the 2016 USA Oliver Fellows by United States Artists. A book on its work, House Is a House Is a House Is a House Is a House, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. Current projects include the renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the new UCLA graduate art studios campus in Culver City, California. Johnston Marklee’s work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.