CAB 1: The State of the Art of Architecture
What is The State of the Art of Architecture today? More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, and from local communities to global networks. In an age of accelerated change, today’s architects, artists, designers, planners, and activists are developing an extraordinary range of visionary ideas that test the limits of these realms of everyday life. As a platform for the creative breakthroughs that are reimagining the ways we inhabit and shape the world around us, the Chicago Architecture Biennial brings an international and intergenerational network of architectural talent together to explore the ambitions, challenges, and possibilities that are fueling the architectural imagination today and steering the future of the field.
The State of the Art of Architecture offers an opportunity to take stock of architectural projects and experiments from around the world, establishing a broad foundation for future editions of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. With an incredible breadth of design approaches, research interests, and cultural perspectives, it offers a global stage for debate and the exchange of ideas.
The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial takes its title, The State of the Art of Architecture, 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 Chicago Architecture Biennial expands the spirit and scope of this event. It invites both emerging and established practices from across the world to Chicago to demonstrate how groundbreaking advances in architectural design are tackling the most pressing issues of today. In this way it enriches Chicago’s unique role in history as a crucible of architectural innovation. The setting for a succession of pivotal episodes in modern architecture and urbanism, and a context in which architects such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe developed revolutionary projects, Chicago operates as a nexus for the ideas and practices that are driving global architectural culture in the 21st century.