Re-Shaped by Crisis, an “Anti-Biennial” Reimagines Chicago

Oct. 2, 2021 Ι Bloomberg CityLab  The 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial was held, like its two predecessors, in the Chicago Cultural Center, a sumptuous late-19th-century meeting hall in the downtown Loop. Two years later, rocked by Covid-19 and local protests against police violence, North America’s largest architecture and design show finds itself in very different surroundings. […]

At MCA Chicago’s latest blockbuster, there’s more to comics than just the funnies

Oct. 1, 2021 Ι Architect’s Newspaper  The parallels between architecture and comics have not gone unremarked upon. There is, of course, a shared proclivity for world-building, as well as a reliance on grid, contour, line. But there’s one other point of commonality: both mediums tend to suffer when transplanted to the gallery context. That Chicago […]

When Monuments Go Bad

June 7, 2021 Ι Bloomberg CityLab The stately eagle atop the 50-foot-tall fluted column of the Illinois Centennial Monument can be seen from blocks away. Located in the gentrifying Logan Square neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, the memorial was designed by Henry Bacon and Evelyn Beatrice Longman and built in 1918 as an allegorical representation […]

Is this library politics?

April 28, 2021 Ι The Chicago Reader  Drive south on the Bishop Ford Expressway to Altgeld Gardens and you’ll pass plenty of reminders you’re in a landscape not meant for inquisitive visitors. There are looming grain silos next to a parked shipping freighter, a village-scaled water reclamation plant, and plenty of anonymous warehouses. But once you […]

Design Trust Chicago seeks to address systems beyond structures

Architect’s Newspaper Ι December 30, 2020 The recently unveiled Design Trust Chicago will coordinate the work of Chicago’s activist designers, placing community, racial equity, and social justice ahead of for-profit, developer-led agendas. Publicly announced in November, the Design Trust was founded by Katherine Darnstadt of Latent Design, and Elle Ramel and Paola Aguirre of City […]

In One of Chicago’s Most Affluent Neighborhoods, Hidden Stories of Resistance Unveiled By App

Next City Ι November 20, 2020 The Armitage-Halsted historic district in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is renowned for its well-preserved collection of 19th-century architecture and commercial streetscapes, filled with Victoria-era ornamentation, pressed metal bays, and classic Chicago corner turrets. Today, Lincoln Park is a thoroughly gentrified site of winners-circle complacency; dog parks, stroller moms in […]

Chicago Teens Unveil Vision for Change and Public Safety in Their Neighborhood

Next City Ι Sept. 23, 2020 The Chicago teens enrolled in urban design non-profit Territory’s programs usually spend their time exploring public spaces, designing prototype installations, and building them in a studio. But with this summer’s COVID-19 lockdown, the youth-focused design, public art, and community planning organization founded in 2012 had to figure out how […]

Bertrand Goldberg’s Temple to Futures Past

Architect Magazine Ι March 2020 In October of 2013, Luis Collado and Jose Luis de la Fuente visited Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago’s seven campuses, located in the city’s far northwest side bungalow belt. Founders of the architecture firm STL Architects, who often work on education projects, they were interested […]

Chicago’s 1855 ‘Beer Riot’ Is a Bridge to the Unrest of 2020

Bloomberg’s CityLab Ι Aug. 14, 2020 It’s been one of the most striking images of this summer’s season of urban uprising: bridges over the Chicago River drawn up to block access to downtown Chicago’s Loop, the raised structures standing like iron sentinels guarding nearly deserted nighttime streets. Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the drawbridges raised early Monday morning […]

Three Walks in the Woods

The Chicago Reader Ι May 1, 2020 There’s an overpass hill that arches Lake Shore Drive over Foster Avenue where we could make camp and inflate the beach ball and spread out our snacks. It’s a space I’ve walked and driven by hundreds of times without a glance or a thought, but my four-year-old daughter […]