Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Early Highlight Contributors Comprising 51 Contributors from 19 Countries, Including Architects, Artists, Collectives, and Researchers

New and commissioned projects from Forensic Architecture and Invisible Institute, Wolff Architects, MASS Design Group and Theaster Gates, among others to highlight issues ranging from public housing to social justice to the appropriation and preservation of the natural environment

CHICAGO (March 14, 2019) – The Chicago Architecture Biennial announced today the first group of contributors to the 2019 edition and its publication. Titled …and other such stories, the biennial will form an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally. The first 51 contributors — spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia — form an initial, representative group, and include an early selection of ambitious commissioned projects. These projects will address key questions about the implications of architecture as it relates to land, memory, rights, and civic participation, and are particularly inspired by the history and conditions of the City of Chicago.

“Our initial list of contributors comprises practices and projects that resonate deeply with our four curatorial focus areas” noted Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu “We are especially proud to commission a series of new projects that address some of the most pressing issues of our time while advancing new forms of thinking and practice across the field of architecture and beyond.”

Many from the initial list — approximately half of the projected contributor list — will produce newly commissioned projects in conversation with the Biennial’s curatorial team, which comprises Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu, a contemporary art curator, and co-curators Sepake Angiama, a curator whose work centers on education, and Paulo Tavares, a Brazil-based architect and academic. Early highlight commissions include:

●    Reflections on landscapes of belonging and sovereignty that challenge existing, narrow 
definitions of land  as  property  and  commodity  from  Wolff  Architects  (Capetown,  South  
Africa),  Territorial AgencyJohn Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (London, UK) and Theaster Gates 
(Chicago, IL). Projects that think through alternative designs and relationships between nature, 
society, and the built  environment  by  Carolina  Caycedo  (Los  Angeles,  CA)  and  Joar  Nango  
(Sápmi/Northern Norway);

●    Explorations of sites of memory —  and  the politics of remembering and/or forgetting in 
contested spaces — by contributors CAMP (Mumbai, India), Center for Spatial Research (New York, 
NY), MASS Design Group (Boston, MA/Poughkeepsie, NY/Kigali, Rwanda),
Tanya Lukin Linklater and  Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (Ontario, Canada and Alberta, Canada),
and Wendelien van Oldenborgh (Rotterdam, Netherlands);

● Interpretations  of  space  —  urban,  territorial,  environmental  —  as  a  site  of  advocacy  
and  civic participation with works by DAAR (Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti) (Beit Sahour, 
Palestine), FICA– Fundo  Imobiliário  Comunitário  para  Aluguel  (São  Paulo,  Brazil),  Forensic  
Architecture  and Invisible  Institute 
(London,  UK  and  Chicago,  IL),  Maria  Gaspar  (Chicago, 
 IL),  Ola  Hassanain (Khartoum, Sudan), and RMA Architects (Mumbai, India and Boston, MA);

● Contributors who will explore methodologies for intervening in public space — both within and 
beyond the  field  of  architecture,  including  Adrian  Blackwell  (Toronto,  Canada),  
ConstructLab  (Berlin, Germany) and Keleketla! Library (Johannesburg, South Africa).

Over the coming months, the Biennial will announce the full list of contributors and key programming for this year’s edition of the Biennial.

An eponymous catalogue will also be published in conjunction with the Biennial, extending the edition’s core questions through essays by Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva (Associate Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia), Eduardo O. Kohn (Associate Professor of Anthropology at McGill University), Lesley Lokko (Director and Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg) and Pelin Tan (Sociologist and Art Historian), alongside interviews and visual dossiers. This will be co-published with Columbia University Press as part of their Columbia Books on Architecture and the City series.

“This talented group of contributors represent a strong cross section of architects, artists, collectives and researchers who add to the cultural fabric of their communities around the world, and right here in Chicago,” noted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With contributions from 19 countries and counting, the third Chicago Architecture Biennial will again reinforce Chicago's reputation as the vanguard of architectural, art, and design innovation on the national and international stage.”

“The participants who will explore the significant issues raised by our curators will both challenge and entertain the Biennial’s audiences: architecture professionals, Chicagoans, including those in our school program, and visitors to our city,” stated Biennial Board Chairman Jack Guthman.

“We are thrilled to be partner with such a diverse and insightful group of contributors to tell important stories about who we are, and who we may become,” noted Biennial Executive Director Todd Palmer. “We are looking forward to announcing the full list of contributors to the main exhibition — as well as participants in the broader, citywide program — in the coming months, and to exploring these projects and perspectives further with our visitors.”

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America. The Biennial, which is free and open to the public, will open the central exhibition in the Chicago Cultural Center on September 19, 2019 and run through January 5, 2020. Press and professional previews will take place September 17–18, 2019. The opening of the 2019 edition will again align with EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art. Founding sponsor BP will renew its support in 2019 as a lead sponsor alongside the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, providing a strong foundation for the event’s return.

2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial Highlight Contributors:

Exhibition Contributors

Adrian Blackwell
Born in Toronto, Canada
Lives in Toronto, Canada

Akinbode Akinbiyi
Born in Oxford, England – UK
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Alejandra Celedon & Nicolas Stutzin
Celedon born in Edmonton, Canada
Stutzin born in Santiago, Chile
Both live in Santiago, Chile

Architects for Social Housing (ASH)
Founded in London, England – UK

Avijit Mukul Kishore & Rohan Shivkumar
Kishore born in Lucknow, India
Shivkumar born in Hyderabad, India
Both live in Mumbai, India

Black Quantum Futurism
Founded in Philadelphia, USA

Borderless Studio
Founded in Chicago, USA

CAMP
Founded in Mumbai, India

Carolina Caycedo
Born in London, England – UK
Lives in Los Angeles, USA

Center for Spatial Research
Founded in New York, USA

Clemens von Wedemeyer
Born in Göttingen, Germany
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Cohabitation Strategies & Urban Front
Founded in New York, USA

ConstructLab
Founded in Berlin, Germany

DAAR (Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti)
Founded in Beit Sahour, Palestine

Detroit Planning Department
Founded in Detroit, USA

Do Ho Suh
Born in Seoul, South Korea
Lives in London, England – UK

FICA–Fundo Imobiliário Comunitário para Aluguel
Founded in São Paulo, Brazil

Forensic Architecture & Invisible Institute
Founded in London, England – UK and Chicago, USA

Jimmy Robert
Born in Guadeloupe – France
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Joar Nango
Born in Áltá/AltaÁltá, Sápmi/Northern Norway
Lives in Romssa /Tromsø, Norway

Keleketla! Library
Founded in Johannesburg, South Africa

Maria Gaspar
Born in Chicago, USA
Lives in Chicago, USA

MASS Design Group
Founded in Boston and Poughkeepsie, USA; Kigali, Rwanda

Ola Hassanain
Born in Khartoum, Sudan
Lives in Khartoum, Sudan and Utrecht, Netherlands

RMA Architects
Founded in Mumbai, India; Boston, USA

Sammy Baloji & Filip de Boeck
Baloji born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
de Boeck born in in Antwerp, Belgium
Both live in Brussels, Belgium and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Settler Colonial City Project
Founded in Ann Arbor USA and Guayaquil, Ecuador

Somatic Collaborative (Felipe Correa & Devin Dobrowolski)
Founded in New York, USA

studioBASAR
Founded in Bucharest, Romania

Sweet Water Foundation
Founded in Chicago, USA

Tania Bruguera & Association of Arte Útil
Bruguera born Havana, Cuba
Bruguera lives in New York, USA
Association of Arte Útil founded in Havana, Cuba

Tanya Lukin Linklater & Tiffany Shaw-Collinge
Linklater born in Alaska, USA; Shaw-Collinge born in Alberta, Canada
Linklater lives in Ontario, Canada; Shaw-Collinge lives in Alberta, Canada

Territorial Agency—John Palmesino & Ann-Sofi Rönnskog
Founded in London, England – UK

The Funambulist
Founded in Paris, France

Theaster Gates
Born in Chicago, USA
Lives in Chicago, USA

Usina - CTAH
Founded in São Paulo, Brazil

Vincent Meessen
Born in Baltimore, USA
Lives in Brussels, Belgium

Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Wolff Architects
Founded in Cape Town, South Africa

Catalogue Contributors

Aviwe Mandyanda (BlackStudio)
Born in Mdantsane, a township in East London, South Africa
Lives in Johannesburg, South Africa

Carmen Silva
Born in Santo Estêvão, Bahia, Brazil
Lives in São Paulo, Brazil

cheyanne turions
Born in High Prairie, Canada
Lives in Vancouver, Canada

Columbia Books on Architecture and the City
Founded in New York, USA

Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lives in Vancouver, Canada

ELLA
Founded in Los Angeles, USA

Emmanuel Pratt
Born in Virginia, USA
Lives in Chicago, USA

Eduardo O. Kohn
Lives in Montreal, Canada

Inam Kula
Born in Gugulethu, a township in Cape Town, South Africa
Lives in Cape Town, South Africa

Lesley Lokko
Born in Dundee, Scotland – UK
Lives in Johannesburg, South Africa

Pelin Tan
Born in Hilden, Germany
Lives in Mardin, Turkey

Vincent Tao
Born in Scarborough, Canada 
Lives in Vancouver, Canada