The State of the Art of Architecture

The State of the Art of Architecture positioned architecture as a dynamic cultural practice that permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks.

The State of the Art of Architecture offered an opportunity to take stock of architectural projects and experiments from around the world, establishing a broad foundation for the future of the CAB organization. With an incredible breadth of design approaches, research interests, and cultural perspectives, it offered a global stage for debate and the exchange of ideas. The inaugural edition took its title from a 1977 conference organized by architect Stanley Tigerman, which invited leading American designers to Chicago to discuss the current state of the field.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects and NLE in Millennium Park | Steve Hall, 2015
Exterior installation Chicago: How Do You See?, Norman Kelly | Nathan Keay, 2015
A public lecture held in the installation in Randolph Square titled Randolph, Pedro+Juana | Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2015
Chicago Horizon Kiosk, Ultramoderne (Yasmin Vobis, Aaron Forrest, Brett Schneider) | Tom Harris, 2015

Exhibition Sites

Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center served as the main hub of the 2015 edition. Formerly home to the city’s main public library, the building now functions as a thriving public institution. Frequently called the “People’s Palace,” it regularly hosts cultural events and exhibitions. The 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial was the first time in its history that the entire building was dedicated to a single curatorial project


In partnership with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago, CAB commissioned the design and construction of four kiosks for the Chicago lakefront. The winning kiosk was the outcome of an international design competition, while the others were commissioned as collaborations between local architecture schools and three internationally renowned architectural firms.

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

The Graham Foundation makes project-based grants to individuals and organizations and produces public programs to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture. The Graham Foundation hosted an exhibition by artist Barbara Kasten during the 2015 edition.

72 East Randolph

Biennial exhibitions extended to Expo 72, a City of Chicago exhibition and programming space located across the street from the Chicago Cultural Center.

The City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower

The City Gallery, located in the Historic Water Tower, hosted an exhibition featuring the work of artist Assaf Evron.

Stony Island Arts Bank

The Stony Island Arts Bank is a hybrid gallery, media archive, library and community center. The building was formerly a bank–built in 1923, closed in the 1980s, and abandoned since then. Its refurbishment and programming was undertaken by the Rebuild Foundation under the direction of artist Theaster Gates. The public opening of Stony Island Arts Bank and its inaugural exhibition took place as part of the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Al Borde (Quito, Ecuador)

all(zone) (Bangkok, Thailand)

Amanda Williams (Chicago, USA)

Andreas Angelidakis (Athens, Greece)

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (Madrid, Spain; New York, USA)

Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal + Frédéric Druot (Paris, France)

Aranda\Lasch (Tucson and New York, USA)

Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu (Gent, Belgium)

Assaf Evron (Chicago, USA; Tel Aviv, Israel)

Assemble (London, United Kingdom)

Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo, Japan)

Barbara Kasten (Chicago, USA)

Baukuh (Milan, Italy)

Besler & Sons + ATLV (Los Angeles, USA)

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark; New York, USA)

Bryony Roberts (Los Angeles, USA) + South Shore Drill Team (Chicago, USA)

Bureau Spectacular (Los Angeles, USA)

Carlos Bunga (Barcelona, Spain)

Counterspace (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Csutoras & Liando (Jakarta, Indonesia; London, United Kingdom)

DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) (Beit Sahour, Palestinian Territories)

David Brown with 3D Design Studio, Central Standard Office of Design, Ania Jaworska, Krueck+Sexton, Landon Bone Baker, Stanley Tigerman, Margaret McCurry, JGMA, JAHN (Chicago, USA)

David Schalliol (Chicago, USA)

Deane Simpson (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Design With Company (Chicago, USA)

Didier Faustino (Paris, France)

El Equipo de Mazzanti + Nicolas París (Bogota, Colombia)

Environmental Communications (Los Angeles, USA); Mark Wasiuta, Marcos Sanchez, Adam Bandler + GSAPP Exhibitions (New York, USA)

Fake Industries Architectural Agonism + University of Technology, Sydney (New York, USA; Sydney, Australia)

Fala Atelier (Porto, Portugal)

Frida Escobedo Taller de Arquitectura (Mexico City, Mexico)

Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zürich (Zürich, Switzerland) + Self Assembly Lab, MIT (Cambridge, USA)

Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape (Chicago, USA)

Independent Architecture (Denver, USA)+ Paul Preissner Architects (Chicago, USA) John Ronan Architects (Chicago, USA)

Iwan Baan (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Johnston Marklee (Los Angeles, USA)

junya.ishigami+associates (Tokyo, Japan)

Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany)

Kuehn Malvezzi (Berlin, Germany) + Armin Linke (Milan, Italy; Berlin, Germany) + Marko Lulić (Vienna, Austria)

Lateral Office (Toronto, Canada)

LCLA Office (Cambridge, United States; Medellín, Colombia)

Liam Young (London, United Kingdom) 

LIST (Paris, France)

MAIO (Barcelona, Spain)

Makeka Design Lab (Cape Town, South Africa)


Mass Studies (Seoul, Korea)

Michael Pecirno (London, United Kingdom)

Moon Hoon (Seoul, Korea)

MOS Architects (New York, USA)

New-Territories / M4 (Paris, France; Bangkok, Thailand)

Nikolaus Hirsch/Michel Müller (Frankfurt, Germany) with David Adjaye (London, United Kingdom), Markus Binder (Stuttgart, Germany), Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure (Frankfurt, Germany), Aroon Puritat & Chayanon Hansapinyo & Sumeth Klahan (Chiang Mai, Thailand), Tobias Rehberger (Frankfurt, Germany), Tomás Saraceno (Berlin, Germany), Superflex (Copenhagen, Denmark)

NLÉ (Lagos, Nigeria; Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Noero Architects (Cape Town, South Africa)

Norman Kelley (Chicago and New York, USA)

OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen (Brussels, Belgium) + Bas Princen (Rotterdam, Netherlands) onishimaki + hyakudayuki architects (Tokyo, Japan)

OPEN Architecture (Beijing, China) + Spirit of Space (Chicago, USA)

otherothers (Sydney, Australia)

P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Los Angeles, United States)

Pedro&Juana (Mexico City, Mexico)

Pedro Reyes (Mexico City, Mexico)

Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Concepción, Chile)

PIOVENEFABI (Milan, Italy)

Plan:b Arquitectos (Medellín, Colombia)

Point Supreme (Athens, Greece)

PORT Urbanism (Chicago, USA)

PRODUCTORA (Mexico City, Mexico)

RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Ramak Fazel (Los Angeles, United States)

RUA Arquitetos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Rural Urban Framework (Hong Kong)

Santiago Borja (Mexico City, Mexico)

selgascano + helloeverything (Madrid, Spain)

Sio2arch (Chicago, United States; Barcelona, Spain)

Smout Allen (London, United Kingdom) + Geoff Manaugh (New York, USA)

SO-IL (New York, USA)

SOM + CAMESgibson (Chicago, USA)

Sou Fujimoto Architects (Tokyo, Japan)

Stefano Boeri Architetti (Milan, Italy)

Studio [D] Tale (Harare, Zimbabwe; Cape Town, South Africa; London, United Kingdom)

Studio Albori (Milan, Italy)

Studio Gang (Chicago, USA)

Tatiana Bilbao S.C. (Mexico City, Mexico)

TOMA (Santiago, Chile)

Tomás Saraceno (Berlin, Germany)

UrbanLab (Chicago, USA)

URBZ (Mumbai, India)

Vo Trong Nghia Architects (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

WAI Architecture Think Tank (Beijing, China)

WEATHERS with AECOM (Chicago, USA)

Wolff Architects (Cape Town, South Africa)

WORKac + Ant Farm (New York, USA)

Yasmeen Lari + Heritage Foundation Pakistan (Karachi, Pakistan)


Joseph Grima, Artistic Director
Sarah Herda, Artistic Director
Irene Sunwoo, Associate Curator
Andrea Bagnato, Associate Curator
Ariéle Dionne-Krosnick, Curatorial Assistant

Graphic and Art Direction
Zak Group

Press and Media
Sutton PR

Ty Tabing, Executive Director
Kate Keleman, Public Programs Manager
Rachel Kaplan, Project Manager
Matthew Messner, Project Coordinator
Tim Speicher, Marketing Manager
Michael Savona, Design Coordinator
Ava Barrett, Program Assistant
Lisa VanAusdall, Program Assistant
Kayce Bayer, Office Manager
Colleen Mueller, Consultant
Jan Kostner, Consultant
Jasmyn Smith, Consultant