Architecture and the City Ecosystem

Architecture and the City Ecosystem explores the intersections of architecture, urban wildlife conservation, and community engagement through a series of short presentations and a panel conversation aimed to uncover resonant overlaps between design, ecology, and climate justice.

Architect and Professor Joyce Hwang of Ants of the Prairie and University at Buffalo will discuss her research and design for nonhuman species habitats as a 2021 Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellow.

Henry Adams, Wildlife Management Coordinator of the Urban Wildlife Institute will discuss principal concepts of urban wildlife ecology and One Health and future directions for their research and programming at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Forrest Cortes, Director of Community Engagement for the Nature Conservancy in Illinois and Chicago Audubon Society Board Member will discuss the importance of intentionally creating space for people in the environmental movement and in our urban green spaces.

This program is presented in partnership with Exhibit Columbus


Joyce Hwang (she/her) is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and Founder of Ants of the Prairie, an office of architectural practice and research that focuses on confronting contemporary ecological conditions through creative means. For over a decade, Hwang has been developing a series of projects that incorporate wildlife habitats into constructed environments. She is a recipient of the Exhibit Columbus University Research Design Fellowship (2020-21), the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2014), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship (2013), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Independent Project Grant (2013, 2008), and the MacDowell Fellowship (2016, 2011). Her work has been exhibited at Matadero Madrid, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale, among other venues. She is a co-organizer of the Hive City Habitat Design Competition and a co-editor of Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice, published by Actar. Hwang is on the Steering Committee for US Architects Declare, and serves as a Core Organizer for Dark Matter University.

Henry Adams M.Sc. (he/they) is a wildlife ecologist, educator, and illustrator originally from Atlanta, GA. Under the tutelage of Dr. Sonia Hernandez at the University of Georgia, Adams cemented a fascination with and appreciation for wildlife disease ecology and the intersections of wildlife, ecosystem, and human health, also known as the One Health concept. In their career, Adams has had the privilege of investigating the health impacts of urbanization on White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) in South Florida, as well studying amphibian pathogens and conservation in Costa Rican salamanders. Additionally, they have cultivated a passion for conservation education and artwork: a life-long and self taught illustrator, Adams has frequently incorporated scientific artwork in their work as an educator, believing that both the creation and appreciation of nature-inspired artwork brings an audience emotionally closer to conservation issues. Adams now serves as the Wildlife Management Coordinator at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute. His work is inspired by a drive to better understand how wildlife utilize the Chicagoland urban landscape and to contribute to equitable, community driven wildlife conservation, so as to better serve historically excluded communities and the greater Chicago ecosystem.

Forrest Cortes (he/him) holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Management but often says that his knowledge stems from hitting the trails, putting his hands in the dirt for habitat restoration, and spending time listening to the wisdom found in Chicago's communities. Forrest’s interest and expertise are in urban ecology, habitat restoration, volunteer program development, partnership building and community engagement. Forrest has a deep passion for nature in cities and has over 10 years of volunteer and professional experience working with people and nature in Chicago. He currently works as the Director of Community Engagement for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois, where he leads a team dedicated to fostering the connections between people and nature to improve the health of both. Additionally, Forrest serves on the Chicago Audubon Society volunteer board and coordinates an LGBTQIA+ outdoor meetup group called Out In Nature.


Chicago Architecture Biennial's InDialogue Series is supported by Hindman Auctions.

Hindman, an internationally recognized fine art auction house, offers its clients an unyielding focus on service and holistic solutions to connect to the global art market. Hindman conducts over 100 auctions annually in 52 collecting categories such as fine art, jewelry, modern design, books and manuscripts, furniture, native American art, decorative arts, antiquities, couture, and Asian works of art. Founded and headquartered in Chicago, Hindman is now represented in 13 cities in the United States and operates five salerooms, more than any other auction house in the country.

Installation view, "To Middle Species, With Love", Joyce Hwang, Exhibit Columbus, 2021.