GRIDS + GRIOTS by Sekou Cooke Studio @ Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 - Photo by Nathan Keay.

GRIDS + GRIOTS by Sekou Cooke Studio @ Chicago Biennial 2021 – Photo by Nathan Keay.

Architecture – Under the theme The Available City, the Chicago Biennial 2021 takes over the city with urban architectures and landscape art installations by international studios teaming up with local communities and associations.

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And check our special report!

RIVER FRAME by PORT @ Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 - Photo by Nathan Keay.

RIVER FRAME by PORT – Photo by Nathan Keay.

Curated by David Brown, designer, researcher, and educator, The Available City presents projects and programs that ask and respond to the question of who gets to participate in the design of the city by exploring new perspectives and approaches to policies. “The Available City illuminates the potential for immediate new possibilities, highlights improvisational organizers of the city, and underscores the exponential impact of small elements in aggregate.”

THE GARDEN TABLE by Studio Ossidiana @ Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 - Photo by Nathan Keay

THE GARDEN TABLE by Studio Ossidiana – Photo by Nathan Keay.

Inspired by the potential of vacant lots in American cities, Brown has engaged in an ongoing initiative to document, explore, and reimagine these spaces for over a decade. The 2021 Biennial continues this work, forming a dynamic and multifaceted exploration of an urban design proposal for what can become of unused space and vacant lots in the urban context through a process of community-driven design.

ENGLEWOOD'S COMONS by Atelier Bow-Wow @ Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 - Photo by Nathan Keay.

ENGLEWOOD’S COMONS by Atelier Bow-Wow – Photo by Nathan Keay.

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot commented, “The Biennial always represents a remarkable time for our city, when residents, visitors, cultural organizations, and businesses come together to explore new ideas and potential for Chicago and cities worldwide. It is inspiring to see the projects and ideas developed by Chicago residents and the contributors highlighting the potential for vacant spaces. We’re thrilled to be able to bring that conversation to a global platform.”

SOIL LAB by James Albert Martin, Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh, Anne Dorthe Vester and Maria Bruun @ Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 - Photo by Will Quam.

SOIL LAB by James Albert Martin, Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh, Anne Dorthe Vester and Maria Bruun – Photo by Will Quam.

The Biennial is free and open to the public beginning on Friday, September 17. It will be on view at sites and in locations throughout the city, activated through in-person and online programming through December 18, 2021.

  • All photos by Nathan Keay and Will Quam – courtesy of Chicago Biennial 2021.
PROJECT HOOD by Norman Teague Design Studios and BNMO Design @ Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 - Photo by Nathan Keay.

PROJECT HOOD by Norman Teague Design Studios and BNMO Design – Photo by Nathan Keay.