From Oct. 3, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016, the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial will showcase innovation in contemporary architecture with exhibitions, installations and a slew of engaging events. The programming appeals to both the stuffiest of architecture geeks to the everyday visitor wanting to better understand ideas in architecture today.
The theme for the biennial - which will be the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America - is the "State of the Art of Architecture." The "art" of architecture refers to the visionary ideas that architects, artists, designers, activists and planners employ for creating architecture that shapes the functions of our daily lives. The depth of influence that architecture exhibits in our environment spans from the ways we work, learn and live, to bigger ideas in how we connect with communities both locally and globally. The events, exhibits and discussions will be seeking to answer the question of "What is the State of Art and Architecture"?
The Chicago Architecture Biennial will be an experiment to take local ideas and connect them to a global conversation. The concept of bringing a major architecture event to Chicago is an innovative idea in itself, so it's already off to a good start.
Free and open to the public, the biennial will gather more than 60 architects, studios and artists from more than 25 countries across five continents. It's an unprecedented global affair, one that will gather in a host of notable Chicago venues. While the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) will be the hub, other locations include the beautiful Gold Coast mansion of the the Graham Foundation, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Stony Island Arts Bank will be a particularly interesting location, as it is a South Side bank from the 1920s that has been closed for decades and is now being restored.
If you're visiting from out of town, or if you're a local who's looking for a little staycation while you explore the biennial, make sure to check out Chicago's exclusive hotel offers. These deals at some of the city's most popular hotels are available from Oct. 1, 2015 to Jan. 4, 2016 (unless otherwise noted), so make sure your visit is in style! Added bonus: a lot of these hotels are architectural marvels in their own right, certainly worth exploring both inside and out.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with a comprehensive cultural plan developed by DCASE, drove the creation of this exciting new international forum on architecture and urbanism. We all know Chicago is famous for its architecture, so this new event will further Chicago's standing in the world as a powerhouse in the field.