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riding an Incredible, and overdue, wave of new architecture and urban improvements in its city, and hoping to amplify it, the Chicago Architecture Biennial kicked off this weekend inside the Chicago Cultural Center. It’s the first event of its kind in the United States, and, according to its organizers, the largest architectural exhibition in the history of North America.
Spearheaded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and led by artistic directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda, the Biennial features the exhibits of over 100 practices from more than 30 countries, many of them young, untested offices dedicated to disrupting the established platforms of architecture, both in Chicago and internationally. The goal is to “figure out the future of building,” says Herda.
Among the four floors of proposals are full-scale architectural mockups, advanced installations (both altering the building and filling its galleries), thought-provoking architectural drawings and renderings, and ambitious plans for urban and even societal transformation.
Few of the offices in the show have had the opportunity to build anything much larger than a house, due largely to their age and their unorthodox approaches. But one of the glaring exceptions is Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, who, in a city that has produced some of the most significant innovators in architectural history, is widely regarded as the city’s biggest star. […]