The theme for this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial remains “and other such stories”. It will trail behind 2017’s theme Make New History, under Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee and the inaugural theme of the year 2015 under Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda called – The State of the Art of Architecture.
The curators of Chicago Architecture Biennial, including artistic director Yesomi Umolu and her co-curators, Paulo Tavares and Sepake Angiama are paying all their attention to the host city for this year’s event – unlike the previous few years.
As Chicago, they say "is an ideal site for investigation of the ways the built space reflects and impacts our understanding of the common, the collective, and the constitutional”, these people are trying and revive its urbanism which is "inextricable from the flows of people, goods, and capital" and "acute forms of spatial segregation that have been forged through uneven planning and housing policies”.
Backed by thorough research, using public talks, workshops, tours, and informal conversations in Chicago as well as São Paulo, Johannesburg, and Vancouver, this year’s theme and other such stories "will address the potency of space, architecture, and the natural world as they relate to four areas of inquiry.”
1. No Land Beyond: Reflects on landscapes of belonging and sovereignty that challenge narrow definitions of land as property and commodity.
2. Appearances and Erasures: Explores sites of memory and the politics of remembering and/or forgetting in contested spaces, considering space as a marker of past and present social imaginaries, visible or otherwise.
3. Rights and Reclamations: Interprets space—urban, territorial, environmental—as a site of advocacy and civic participation, investigating spatial practices that foreground the rights of humans and nature.
4. Common Ground: Engages and addresses a constituency of actors and agents invested in developing tactics and methodologies for producing and intervening in public space—both within and beyond the field of architecture.
Though it’s not easy to visualise the theme for the event, the team says that the event is going to be across "a wide range of disciplines”. Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 will be held at the Chicago Cultural Centre and other venues in the city from September 19, 2019, to January 5, 2020.