May 24 to September 1, 2013
Popuphood plans to join the Chicago exhibition with a special workshop in July but we wish we were in Chicago to see the grand opening of the Venice Biennale's US Pavilion's first exhibition on its united states tour! Below is the press release with details of the stateside exhibition of this caliber. Soon the Chicago programming will be updated here: programming calendar.
If you missed Venice here is a fantastic gallery here of the exhibition at the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. We hope to see you in Chicago in July!
"American urbanism always seems to circle back to Chicago: grid, fire, skyscraper, Burnham, rivers reversed, White City, sociology, Jane Addams, the Daleys, the projects, community organizing, urban renewal, greening,”
-Michael Sorkin, New York architect, president of the Institute for Urban Design, and founder of Terreform.
“Our ambition has always been to travel Spontaneous Interventions, continually updating the exhibition contents to include more recent developments in the tactical urbanism movement, and using the show to spotlight local urban issues and activities.” –Curator Cathy Lang Ho
Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good
makes U.S. debut at Chicago Cultural Center, May 24 to September 1, 2013
(New York, NY) — The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special
Events (DCASE) is bringing Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the
Common Good to Chicago for its first U.S. appearance. The exhibition—the official
U.S. presentation at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice
Biennale (2012)—will be installed in the ground-floor Michigan Avenue Galleries of the
Chicago Cultural Center from Memorial Day (May 24) to Labor Day (September 1).
Spontaneous Interventions, organized by Cathy Lang Ho on behalf of the New York
nonprofit Institute for Urban Design, is devoted to the growing movement of
architects, designers, artists, and everyday citizens acting on their own initiative to
bring improvements to the urban realm, creating new opportunities and amenities for
the public. The exhibition received over 178,000 visitors in Venice, and earned a
Special Mention from the Golden Lion jury, the first time the United States has been
honored in the history of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
“We’re so pleased that Chicago is the first destination for this thought-provoking
display as the City has always been at the forefront of architecture and design,” said
DCASE Commissioner Michelle T. Boone.
The Chicago installation will recreate the lively exhibition design of pull-down banners,
created by Brooklyn design studio Freecell and Berkeley-based communication
design firm M-A-D. The contents of the exhibition have been updated to include more
recent and more local projects. Among the 84 projects that will be presented, more
than a dozen are from Chicago, including several that also appeared in Venice.
"American urbanism always seems to circle back to Chicago: grid, fire, skyscraper,
Burnham, rivers reversed, White City, sociology, Jane Addams, the Daleys, the
projects, community organizing, urban renewal, greening,” said Michael Sorkin, New
York architect, president of the Institute for Urban Design, and founder of Terreform. “We
are honored to bring a view of a new, democratic design movement that is growing
across the country but with deep roots in America’s most essential city."
In conjunction with the exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, Spontaneous
Interventions will include a pop-up “outdoor living room” in Millennium Park, designed by
Chicago-based MAS Studio, led by architect Iker Gil. The space will serve as an outpost
for the exhibition and a venue for exhibition-related programs, including talks, panels,
tours, workshops and more. The space will feature a colorful canopy and seating made of
salvaged lumber by local artist/woodworker John Preus of Dilettante Studios.
“Our goal is to use the exhibition as a framework for understanding a larger movement, in
which citizens all over the world are devising and implementing clever, low-barrier urban
interventions to make their cities more inclusive, sustainable, pleasurable, and safer,” said
Cathy Lang Ho, a New York–based design journalist and curator. “For this reason, we
have organized a rich roster of programs that will place the trend of tactical urbanism in
the context local urban issues and citizen action.” Program director is Samantha Topol, a
Chicago editor and writer.
All summer long, programs will take place at the Cultural Center, in the pop-up pavilion in
Millennium Park, and at various offsite locations. Many of the programs are organized in
partnership with Chicago-based designers, nonprofits, community organizations, and city
agencies. A calendar of events will be posted to www.spontaneousinterventions.org in May.
Artists and organizations featured in the exhibition:
Candy Chang, Change Administration (Aurash Khawarzad), Center for Urban Pedagogy,
COMMONstudio, CROP, Design 99, DSGN AGNC (Quilian Riano), Alexander
Eisenschmidt with Cheng+Snyder, envelope a+d (Douglas Burnham), Experimental
Station, Theaster Gates, Fritz Haeg, Hester Street Collaborative, LA Green Grounds,
Latent Design, Public Media Institute (Ed Marzewski), Moving Design (Ric Valicenti and
John Pobojewski), Neighborland, OpenPlans, Rockwell Group, Stamen, Street Plans
Collaborative (Mike Lydon), Team Better Block, Jordan Seiler, WORKac, and many others.
About the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE):
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching
Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of
Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses;
providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012
Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and
presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.
About the Institute for Urban Design
Since 1979, the New York–based Institute for Urban Design has served as a central
platform for debate among architects, planners, policy-makers, developers, academics,
journalists, and urbanists. The Institute, directed by Anne Guiney, operates as a think tank
and advocacy group, drawing on the collected experience and knowledge of its large
fellowship to bring important issues into wider public debate through lectures, events, and
The organizers of Spontaneous Interventions are grateful for the sponsorship of Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill (engineering), Better Life Technology/BLT G-Floor (graphic floor), Applied
Image (environmental graphics), Avery Dennison (adhesive materials), Coloredge (banner
printing), Fenner Drives (pulleys), and Gladding Braided Products (ropes).
For more information, please visit cityofchicago.org/dcase or spontaneousinterventions.org.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Samantha Topol, firstname.lastname@example.org. Email inquiries only, please.