In 2015 the city of Chicago hosted the very first architecture biennial to take place in North America, a sprawling survey of all that was happening in the profession that attracted 530,000 visitors. Suddenly the second edition is right around the corner. Artistic directors and L.A.-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee have just today announced the more-than-100-firm lineup of this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial, which returns to the Chicago Cultural Center on September 16 with the title “Make New History.”
Much like in 2015, this edition of the biennial eschews superstar architects—no Norman Fosters or Frank Gehrys (although there will be Stanley Tigerman and Pritzker-winning Japanese firm SANAA). Instead the roster comprises rising stars on par with New York’s SO-IL, Berlin’s Diébédo Francis Kéré, and other firms spread across four continents. Compared with the last biennial, however, this edition features a considerably tighter curatorial focus. The title “Making New History,” a riff on a 2009 work by artist Ed Ruscha, means “looking at old things in new ways,” according to Johnston. She and Lee started with the 130-year-old halls of the landmarked exhibition space.