What’s On? Architectural Exhibitions, September 2015 Edition

by | 17. Sep 2015


In this month’s round-up of upcoming exhibitions we bring you the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial – a new platform that showcases the theorists and practitioners that are redefining what architecture is in today’s evolving world. We’re also presenting an interesting exhibition that delves into the blurry line that separates appropriation from plagiarization in architecture and an in depth look into the first foreign projects by Pritzker winner, Alvaro Siza. Finally, there are two different but related exhibitions that question the idea of the contemporary city.


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Photo © Iwan Baan

Chicago Architecture Biennial

October 3 – January 3 2016
Chicago, USA

What is The State of the Art of Architecture today? More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that permeates fundamental registers of everyday life-from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks. In an age of accelerated change, today’s architects, artists, designers, planners, and activists are developing an extraordinary range of visionary ideas that test the limits of these realms of everyday life. As a platform for the creative breakthroughs that are reimagining the ways we inhabit and shape the world around us, the Chicago Architecture Biennial will bring an international and intergenerational network of architectural talent together to explore the ambitions, challenges and possibilities that are fueling the architectural imagination today and steering the future of the field.

The State of the Art of Architecture will offer an opportunity to take stock of architectural projects and experiments from around the world, establishing a broad foundation for future editions of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. With an incredible breadth of design approaches, research interests, and cultural perspectives, it will offer a global stage for debate and the exchange of ideas.


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Image © RISING

RISING Architecture Week

15 – 18 September 2015
Copenhagen, Denmark

RISING is about architecture and new horizons. RISING is about disconnecting and re-connecting, challenging and provoking. It is a meeting place. For architects, visionaries and everyone who believes in creating and shaping buildings, spaces and lifestyles.

With four days of more than 50 events throughout the city, comprising of debates, interviews, presentations, sites, concerts, films and much much more, this year’s event will challenge your perception of architectural norms, stimulate your imagination and invite you to create. RISING is not only your lecture hall but your playground to explore as well.

This year’s theme is Growing Cities.


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Image © Centre for Architecture

Un/fair Use

September 10 – January 2 2016
Centre for Architecture
New York City, USA

Un/fair Use is an exhibition of research and proposals related to copying and copyright in architecture.

Appropriation is as much a part of architecture as the expectation of novelty, and so it is at the very core of the discipline. Architecture advances via comment, criticism, parody, and innovation, forms of appropriation that fall under the umbrella of fair use. But what about when appropriation is deemed unfair? Where and how are the lines drawn around permissible use? Un/fair Use probes that legal boundary.

The law as it applies to the workings of architectural practice is unglamorous. It’s a collection of statutes and legal language that is most often associated with litigation, with contentious neighbors, and with costly reviews. Architecture law is rarely interrogated as a cultural artifact, as a trace of how architecture discourse enters and is digested in public thought. Each time a case is brought before a court, new terms are defined and new notions of architectural creativity and operation are tested for legitimacy. This exhibition is invested in an idea of the law as participant in the construction of the public’s architectural imagination.

In Un/fair Use, models of common, and therefore uncopyrightable, tropes and formal themes are juxtaposed with those protected under the Architecture Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990.


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Image © Canadian Centre for Architecture


Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities: Alvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague

24 September – 7 February 2016
Canadian Centre for Architecture
Montreal, Canada

Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor-also known as Bonjour Tristesse-in Berlin and Punt en Komma in The Hague are Siza’s first built works outside his native Portugal. The two projects resemble one another in size, scale, program and ambition: both were built in the 1980s, both are results of a distinct attitude towards the city, and both were social housing projects developed to accommodate immigrant communities through participatory design processes. Yet they are also remarkably different. They present local solutions to global questions about the reconstruction and densification of urban centres, reflecting and reviving the specific character of their respective locations, Berlin’s Kreuzberg and the Schilderswijk in The Hague.

Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities presents maps, drawings and sketches of Bonjour Tristesse and Punt en Komma, as well as photographs of the two projects by Giovanni Chiaramonte, Alessandra Chemollo and Peter de Ruig. In addition to two large-scale models, documentary photographs and interviews contextualize the projects in their urban, social and political settings. The work by Siza included in the exhibition offers a first glance into his architectural archive, a large part of which he donated to the CCA in 2014 as part of a wider cooperation agreement with Fundação de Serralves in Porto and the Fundação Gulbenkian in Lisbon.


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Image © Berlinische Galerie

The Dialogic City: Berlin Wird Berlin

16 September – 21 March 2016
Berlinische Galerie
Berlin, Germany

The exhibition The Dialogic City : Berlin wird Berlin, planned by Brandlhuber+ Hertweck, Mayfried, reveals perspectives of dialogic behavior in the city in seven chapters; the publication of the same name provides its central point of departure. Going beyond the rudiments of participation, possibilities for combining seemingly irreconcilable differences are sketched from various points of view. The first issue of Dialogic City is dedicated to Berlin, where these antagonisms are more extreme than elsewhere.

Following the subject matter of the publications chapters, seven comments will be installed in the large exhibition room of the Berlinische Galerie. The presentation comprises about 500 models from the Berlinische Galeries architectural collection; in its capacity as federal state museum for architecture, the gallery stores the documentation and models of Berlin building competitions. Due to a lack of funds and manpower, only a small part of the material has been digitalized so far. The exhibition addresses this problem by entering the models that are transported from the depot to the exhibition room into the museum database in the presence of visitors (until 08.11.2015, Fri-Mon 12:00 am to 6:00 pm). An important part of museum work that is usually hidden from the public eye thus becomes visible. On the one hand, the models help to imagine an alternative Berlin, which may be reconstructed on the basis of the competition entries; on the other, they illustrate a history of ideas that continues also in its unimplemented form and which may be used as a source of inspiration for present-day debates about the city.