September 2021
Free admission • Chicago Cultural Center & partner locations

Experience the future of architecture at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. This ground-breaking event, which is the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America, will feature projects created by more than 80 contributors from more than 20 countries at free exhibits and events throughout the city.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is held at the Chicago Cultural Center with a selection of off-site projects, related exhibitions, and programming all across the city. All events and exhibits are free and open to the public.

Chicago Archiecture Biennial

What is the Chicago Architecture Biennial?

The Biennial is a bi-annual, city-wide architecture exhibition that showcases the latest innovations in design and architecture from across the globe. This year, the Biennial is titled “…and other such stories” and will explore main four themes: landscapes of belonging and sovereignty, sites of memory, rights and advocacy, and civic participation.

The diverse types of Biennial programs include:

  • Exhibition (consistent hours, a month or more)
  • Pin-up (pop-up short-term exhibition)
  • Site activation (intermittent and/or brief site-based experiences)
  • Public lecture
  • Talk or convening
  • Workshop or conference
  • Youth educational activity
  • Community festival
  • Performance/film/video/media screening
  • Tour
  • Open house at a place of architectural significance

The 2019 Biennial team includes Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu, a contemporary art curator; co-curator Sepake Angiama, focused on education; and co-curator Paulo Tavares, a Brazil-based architect and academic. The 2017 Biennial was the largest such exhibit in North America, welcoming more than 550,000 attendees from the U.S. and around the world, along with 140 architects and designers from 20 countries.

Where will the Biennial take place?

The Biennial events will be centered in the Chicago Cultural Center. There will also be more than 40 partner sites and organizations across Chicago, both serving as host venues and producing independent exhibitions.

This includes six Community Anchor sites — museums and institutions that will expand the presence of the Biennial beyond the Loop and into neighborhoods across Chicago. These sites are the Beverly Arts Center, DePaul Art Museum, Hyde Park Art Center, DuSable Museum of African American History, National Museum of Mexican Art, and National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture,

Check the Chicago Architecture Biennial website for more information and exhibit details.

Horizontal City by Andrew Bruah, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017
Horizontal City by Andrew Bruah, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017