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The 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial announces programming calendar

The season-long expo will include numerous performances, lectures, public forums, and film screenings

The Biennial will include an exhibit that presents a contemporary take on the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design competition in the Cultural Center’s Yates Hall.
Chicago Architecture Biennial

Poised to return to the Windy City this fall following a successful 2015 inaugural event, the 2017 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) has announced its calendar of special programming and events. Taking place between September 16th and January 7th, the season-long Biennial encourages public thought, discussion, and participation regarding the future of architecture on a global stage.

Curated by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of LA-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee, this year’s edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial aims to bring the past and future together under the banner of “Make New History.” In addition to the static installations at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Biennial’s numerous neighborhood anchor sites, the newly-announced programming will feature performances, talks, forums, and film screenings to “explore issues at the heart of urban experience and architectural practice,” according to CAB organizers.

Known as CAB Pillars, a series of high-profile lectures from Biennial participants have been scheduled such as a conversation between architects Cesar Pelli and Art Gensler in the soon-to-open Wintrust Arena. Other Pillar discussions include a new look at the work of Frank Lloyd Wright in the context of the 21st Century organized by the Society of Architectural Historians.

A series of renderings previewing some of the planning and design ideas to be discussed at River Edge Ideas Lab.
River Edge Ideas Lab

These lectures will be supplemented by weekly Tuesday evening talks that will cover a number of topics and initiatives such as Luftwerk’s ‘White Wanderer’ climate change art installation and the River Edge Ideas Lab organized by Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. Wednesday programming will feature special screenings in collaboration with the Chicago International Film Festival dubbed Spotlight: Architecture+Space+Design.

The line-up will also feature so-called ‘CAB Sessions’ presenting extended panel events and long-format discussions with architectural professionals. Meanwhile, the Cultural Center’s Randolph Square will be transformed into an indoor amphitheater by Mexico City participant Frida Escobedo to engage visitors on a variety of discussion topics. A rotating selection of pin-up exhibitions will also be on display in the building’s Garland Room

“The programs offered by the 2017 Biennial are designed to appeal to many audiences,” said Chicago Architecture Biennial Chair Jack Guthman in a recent release. “They also serve to showcase the quality and diversity of the city's cultural institutions.”

In addition to announcing this year’s program calendar, the Biennial also put out a call for event volunteers to interact with hundreds of thousands of anticipated visitors. Organizers are hoping to fill a variety of positions including greeters, exhibition guides, and program hosts at the Cultural Center as well as participant satellite sites. More information about volunteering opportunities can be found here.