What's trending in Chicago for the month of October? All things architecture.

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To be in Chicago is to be in an open museum of modern architecture and ingenuity. It is where bold design, innovation and artistry meet.

This month the birthplace of the skyscraper will have its architectural legacy and forward-thinking designs centerstage, beginning with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Further adding to the celebration is the annual weekend-long architecture festival, Open House Chicago presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Dive deeper with a dedicated exhibition to architect David Adjaye at the Art Institute of Chicago; explore works of modern design at the MCA; or join in the conversation with some bright minds at Chicago Ideas Week.


Chicago Architecture Biennial
(October 3, 2015 - January 3, 2016)

This inaugural celebration will showcase "The State of the Art of Architecture," giving special attention to design innovation in architecture, its influence on modern living and its power to shape the world we live in for the days ahead.  There are more than 100 participants — architects, designers, firms — from around the world.

The centerpiece of this city-wide celebration occupies the Chicago Cultural Center with installations throughout this historic landmark building. The main exhibit at the Cultural Center will be complemented with programs, panels and discussion throughout the city and for the duration of the event.

A component of the Biennial is its Lakefront Kiosk competition. The competition, sponsored by BP and an initiative to enhance the city's treasured lakefront, called for design entries worldwide and the winning kiosk, along with three additional commissioned kiosks, will be on display throughout the event — the BP prize winner is currently on display along the lakefront between the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum, and one of the commissioned kiosks can be seen at Chicago's iconic Millennium Park — before being permanently installed along the lakefront in 2016. Let this calendar of events be your guide and see what others are sharing about this inaugural event at #chicagobiennial.


Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye at the Art Institute of Chicago
(through January 3, 2016)

A survey of the work of internationally-recognized architect, David Adjaye, this exhibition looks to examine Adjaye's unique approach to design, space and function. Adjaye is said to bring an "Afropolitan" perspective to his work, one that both envelops and transcends diverse cultural influences. A life-long "nomad" Adjaye places great emphasis on space and location.

Coinciding with the Biennial, the dual-level exhibit features models, sketches, mock-ups, furniture, and more in the museum's Modern Wing, in addition to a special film with stories and commentary by Adjaye's collaborators and the exhibit's curators on his work and impact on the world of modern architecture.


Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) exhibits running concurrently with the Chicago Architecture Biennial

In partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the MCA is hosting several exhibits that each explore the role of design and architecture.

  • BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Ania Jaworska (open now through January 31, 2016) features two projects by architect and designer Ania Jaworska as she looks to tell the story of architecture's relationship with society through monochromatic black sculptures and drawings.

  • Johnston Marklee: Grid is a Grid is a Grid is a Grid is a Grid (open now through January 3, 2016) is a special installation in anticipation of the museum's newly designed restaurant. Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee was hired to redesign the on-site restaurant along with other public spaces, and this exhibit features in installation in the museum's café that both pays a nod to the dominant grid design of the building and also alludes to what will be part of the redesign of the space.

  • Additionally, guests to the museum can check out MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Alexandre da Cunha (open now through July 24, 2016), a design installation by Brazilianartist AlexandredaCunha who is known for his creative use of repurposed objects. His work is on display in the museum's plaza as part of the MCA's summer plaza project series.


Open House Chicago
(October 17-18, 2015)

In its fourth year, Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago, a free weekend festival of architecture continues to expand, including a roster of 200 participating buildings for this year's program. For 48 hours the public is granted access to some of Chicago's architectural treasures offering the opportunity to explore the city's downtown districts and diverse neighborhoods through the buildings, homes and spaces that give Chicago its architectural identity.

Many of these places are not normally open to the public and some new additions this year include the green roof of the McCormick Place West Building, the vault at The Rookery, Chicago Athletic Association hotel, the newly reopened Chicago Motor Club (Hampton Inn Michigan Ave.), Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and many more. View a list of participating Open House buildings and join the conversation at #OHC2015.


Chicago Ideas Week
(October 12-18, 2015)

The mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste, and this event does not take that lightly. Designed to celebrate the brilliance and possibility of new ideas and cultivate the sharing of said ideas, Chicago Ideas Week is a seven-day program of talks, labs and conversations across a wide-range of topics aimed at creating and launching the next set of big initiatives.

This year's Chicago Ideas Week will feature events and talks around the theme of architecture and design, including a discussion on Chicago's influence in modern architecture with a talk presented by ABC 7 titled "Architecture: From the Skyscraper to the Riverwalk."  Other events include a behind-the-scenes of the Chicago Architecture Biennial with Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Michelle Boone and the Biennial's Artistic Director Sarah Herda. There will also be a special event with CIW Artist-in-Residences Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell of PORT Urbanism as they showcase their designs for The Big Shift, a proposed initiative that will look at ways to expand the use of Chicago's public spaces. View a full schedule of the week's events and follow the ideas, innovators and discussions at #CIW.


Hotels for Architecture Buffs

Another way to enjoy Chicago's treasured architecture is to stay at one of these beautiful properties:


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