This weekend a flagship exhibition of Irish architecture and the built environment kicked off in Chicago. The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial will run until 2 January 2016 in the Chicago Design Museum. Selected by curators Nathalie Weadick of the Irish Architecture Foundation and Raymond Ryan of the Heinz Architectural Center at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, New Horizon_architecture from Ireland will present the work of three practices – A2 Architects (Peter Carroll and Caomhán Murphy), GKMP Architects (Grace Keeley and Michael Pike), and Ryan W. Kennihan Architects – for the first time in Chicago.
In response to the Biennial’s theme, ‘The State of the Art of Architecture’, the three Irish practices have been tasked to make an intervention – part installation, part exhibition – in the Chicago Design Museum. The architects have collaborated in constructing a temporary mirrored canopy, designing and fabricating a generous communal table, and presenting a selection of work fr0m their offices in Dublin. The intervention takes inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe’s geometric modernism and shines a light on the art of architecture and the specific interests of this new generation of architects. They play with preconceptions of old and new, Ireland and America, labour and pleasure, the room and the city. A programme of accompanying events will explore cultural, social and political connections between Chicago and Ireland. This will include a drop-in talk with the featured architects discussing the installation in the Chicago Design Museum and a talk by co-curator Raymund Ryan, discussing the international profile of Irish architecture and its relationship with Chicago from historic to contemporary times.