The Available City
The Chicago Architecture Biennial is pleased to announce its fourth edition: The Available City. The 2021 Artistic Director is Chicago-based designer, researcher, and educator David Brown. The concept and title for the 2021 edition, The Available City, asks us to consider the impact collective space can have in cities today. Through a reinvented and responsive global platform, the Biennial will create opportunities for conversations about the intersection of architecture and design and such critical issues as health, sustainability, equity, and racial justice leading up to and throughout the run of the edition. The fourth edition of the Biennial will open in September of 2021 featuring free, public programming at sites in neighborhoods across Chicago and on digital platforms.
"Since I became Mayor, I made it my mission to uplift our historically underserved communities with resources and programs that help them thrive. That is why I am especially thrilled that the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial will be focused and grounded in our neighborhoods that can benefit from it the most. I look forward to seeing how the Biennial enriches our entire City by amplifying and showcasing innovative ideas in design, community building and creative placemaking.” —Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
About David Brown, Artistic Director
David Brown is a designer, researcher, and educator based at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Brown investigates non-hierarchical, flexible, and variable approaches to urban design. Brown’s work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale (2012), the Chicago Cultural Center’s Expo 72 (2013), the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015), and received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 2011. In 2006, Brown curated the exhibition Learning from North Lawndale: Past, Present + Future at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (now the Chicago Architecture Center). Brown’s writing includes the book Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvisation, and Architecture (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) and essays “Curious Mixtures” in Center 18: Music in Architecture—Architecture in Music (Center for American Architecture and Design, 2014, Michael Benedikt, ed.), “Lots Will Vary in The Available City” in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (Oxford University Press, 2016, George Lewis and Ben Piekut, eds.), “The Available City” in the journal MAS Context, and “Futures We Could Have Today” in Flat Out. Brown has lectured on his work at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies and the Politecno di Milano and has taught at Florida A&M University and Rice University.
Danish Arts Foundation Collaboration
The Danish Arts Foundation will support the commission of a new, constructed design project in Chicago as the official Danish contribution to the 2021 edition. The commission will be developed by a Danish artist or artist team working in close collaboration with David Brown along with local residents and partners.
The Danish Arts Foundation (DAF) is Denmark’s largest arts foundation. The DAF works to spread the arts to a wide audience all over Denmark, to promote Danish art internationally, and to pave the way for talented artists. The DAF supports creative thinking and innovative ideas by funding more than 6,000 artists and art projects every year.
Through more than 60 different funding programs, the DAF funds the production and promotion of the visual arts, film, literature, music, performing arts, architecture, crafts, and design—and all that transcends the borders of these art forms. The DAF’s 16 expert committees are responsible for awarding grants to both Danish and foreign art projects, based on the 12,500 applications that they receive every year from artists, institutions, schools, organizations, and companies.
The Cabbage Patch
The Danish Arts Foundation previously collaborated with the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Chicago Park District in 2019 to support Cabbage Patch, an installation of 10,000 planted cabbages along with an outdoor kitchen and related programming at the Garfield Park Conservatory.
Over the coming months, CAB will continue to announce local and global partnerships and collaborations aligned with The Available City.