An Activist Architecture Stirs in Chicago

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Oct. 9. 2019 Perhaps the most compelling installation in this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial doesn’t feature a single architectural model, rendering, or image of buildings (or of anything else). It’s a series of short blocks of text, probing the Chicago police’s killing of Harith Augustus on the city’s South Side in July of last […]

With Haus Gables, Architect Jennifer Bonner Celebrates and Critiques the American Single-Family House

Metropolis Magazine Ι March 2019  There’s an irresistible meta-critique at the heart of architect Jennifer Bonner’s Haus Gables in Atlanta, asking: What if you blurred the lines between real architecture and the media and methods used to simulate it, namely drawings and models? A professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) with a practice of […]

Interview with Yesomi Umolu

Architectural Record Ι March 19, 2018 Yesomi Umolu is interested in applying her multi-disciplinary expertise (with stops in architecture school, practice, and the elite contemporary art curatorial class) and globe-trotting personal and professional background to a biennial that speaks to an equally wide range of public audiences. “The biennial is for and of the city of […]

Marshall Brown is Putting the Pieces Together

November 2017 Ι Architect Magazine  The studio of Marshall Brown is located on the South Side of Chicago in the Overton Hygienic Building, built in 1922. One of Chicago’s many early-20th-century brick and terra-cotta modest masterpieces, it has survived the tides of development and disinvestment that have washed over this part of the city. It was a […]

Experimental City: The Sci-Fi Utopia That Never Was

Oct. 17, 2017 Ι CityLab To forestall the continuing growth of cities as “cancerous organisms,” the Minnesota Experimental City (MXC) was conceived in the mid-1960s by epochal technologist Athelstan Spilhaus. A modular settlement of 250,000 people or more, the city was to be powered by clean energy and run on public transit. Experimental City would be […]

Architecture Beyond the A-List

October 12, 2017 Ι CityLab Away from the main exhibit of the Chicago Architecture Biennial—the country’s biggest architecture festival, on show through January—there are a half-dozen smaller “anchor” shows, hosted by neighborhood arts organizations far from downtown. These reveal a different side to Chicago’s architectural legacy, famed for the White City of 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright, […]

From Filth to Fun: Big Designs for the Chicago River

CityLab Ι Sept. 29. 2017 Until its direction was reversed in 1900, the Chicago River was such a receptacle for effluent and filth that it poisoned Chicagoans’ beloved Lake Michigan (from which they drew their drinking water). Then it was channelized and entombed in concrete. The river has long been the city’s forgotten waterfront. But that’s […]

Is Beige the New Black in Architecture?

CityLab Ι Sept. 22, 2017 One of the most emotionally resonant exhibits in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is a quiet one: a set of tan-glazed tile arches in a hallway. The arches form a colonnade of sorts, which better defines a space that’s too wide for a hallway but too narrow for a gallery. For […]

UIC’s Instagrammable Moment

Architect Magazine Ι Aug. 31, 2017  The piñatas that hang over a wide, terraced stairwell are distinctly biomorphic but don’t resemble any earthly species of fauna. There are bulbous limbs and neon colors, but these David Cronenbergian monstrosities are rendered in papier-maché. Antonio Torres, the architecture professor whose studio created them, says the project was […]

Here Comes Chicago’s Architecture Bonanza

CityLab Ι June 29, 2017 In 2015, Chicago launched the largest contemporary architecture event in North America—the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Staged at multiple sites around the city (including the lakefront) and drawing more than half a million visitors over three months, it was a wide shotgun blast in terms of content, with techno-psychedelic body-horror sketches, demonstrations […]