Article by Chardonnay Pickard for KBFA
Chardonnay is a Design Media Artist and Communications Consultant (see bio below)

With the tagline “Make New History” it’s no surprise that the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial played host to a variety of converging themes surrounding historical reference, preservation and architecture as intellectual inquiry. The organizers of the event wanted to encourage “looking back to look forward”- focusing on history as an important way to re-think the relationship with architecture’s practice today. The Biennial’s theme derived from the title of a book by artist, Ed Ruscha.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is an international forum on architecture and urbanism manifested by “Chicago’s Mayor” Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision for a major international architectural event featuring a constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations, and programming. This was the fair’s first year aligning with EXPO CHICAGO art fair which debuted at the same time on September 16, 2017. The 2017 EXPO CHICAGO art fair has come and gone but will return around the same time in 2018. The Chicago Architectural Biennial runs through January 7, 2018.

The Chicago Cultural Center displayed a variety of installations that explored this year’s theme. The more than 141 practitioners from more than 20 countries explored whether historical reference is a fascinating and inspiring lens through which contemporary architecture can take cues and derive creativity or if the weight of history and pre-existing structures causes restriction and stifles current design.

If you love architecture, then I highly recommend taking time to walk through the exhibition if you haven’t already. Biennial Exhibitions will remain on view until January 7, 2018.

I love staying at London House Hotel in Chicago because of its location, level of service and incredible artwork. The hotel, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, is on the river too so you can walk along the edge or jump in a boat for the famous Chicago Architectural Tours. The rooftop at the hotel is a great place for sunset cocktails.

For more information surrounding the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial visit their website and read through the blog article section of the site. Leo Shaw wrote a great article named “How to Explore the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial”.

A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Chardonnay Pickard has been passionate about art and design her entire life. Trained as a painter and textiles artist, she became fascinated with design media and marketing after moving to New York in 2007. While working in-house with Thom Filicia Inc., Clodagh Design and Bernardaud Chardonnay had great success managing communications and promotions for product licensing and partnerships. Following her interest in this area she’s become an invaluable consultant to designers and manufacturers. She most enjoys creating original programming (she acts as Senior Produce of the 92Y’s City of Tomorrow: Real Estate, Architecture and Design Summit) and fostering relationships between artisans, designers, architects, manufacturers and retailers. Cultivating these collaborations from introduction to final product has truly been the most rewarding part of her career and what motivates her as a professional and as an artist at heart. When she’s not working Chardonnay is inspired by her travels to visit museums, studios and ateliers to see beautiful things and learn how they’re made -around the world.


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