Chicago to Host Architecture Biennial in 2015

The city of Chicago will host a global exhibition next year of international contemporary architecture that aims to build tourism and showcase the Windy City's design heritage. The event, known as the Chicago Architecture Biennial, will run from October 1, 2015 through January 3, 2016 and explore the latest in technologies and ideas in architecture. 

The Chicago Cultural Center will act as the biennial hub, with digital renderings, photographs, scale models, and "more unconventional displays" on exhibit, according to the Chicago Tribune. Appearing in Millennium Park and other neighborhoods, installations by both established and emerging architects will address social, environmental, aesthetic, technological, and economic issues shaping today's world.

Despite similar design and architecture exhibitions throughout the world,  the city "holds a trump card in that architecture is the great calling card for Chicago," Robert Ivy, CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), told the Tribune. Officials said that although the Chicago expo will take cues from the esteemed Venice Biennale, they do not deem it as direct competition since the two events will take place in different years.

Sarah Herda, director of the Graham Foundation, and Joseph Grima, an architect and writer who co-curated the Istanbul design biennial in 2012, will serve as co-artistic directors of the Chicago biennial. They will confer with an advisory committee that includes local architects Jeanne Gang and Stanley Tigerman, as well as Frank Gehry and Peter Palumbo, chairman of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has secured a $2.5 million grant from oil and gas company BP for the biennial, but another $1.5 million still needs to be raised from private benefactors. There will be no admission charge for the event.