The newest Architecture and Design exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago opened on April 11, 2015 with an unconventional, round table ‘salon’ in the middle of the second gallery. The exhibit focuses on five up and coming experimental architects who are challenging the criteria of the existing architectural canon. These young architects: Bureau Spectacular, Erin Besler, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Formlessfinder and John Szot Studio are what the wall-text in the exhibit refer to as digital natives with an enhanced knowledge of architectural history. Both of these qualities are utilized over a range of formats and presentations to convey the new direction these contemporary architects are taking this traditional medium.
The exhibition focuses on the ways in which these five architects are interpreting the use of digital technology while negotiating their place in the past and future of architecture. From Fake Industries Architectural Agonism’s Video Rooms: No Vacancy (2014), a video of baby chickens wandering around an architectural model, to Bureau Spectacular’s Cave Painting VIII/ White Noise from Another Past, a hysterical interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych using architecture instead of crazy monsters and humans, the exhibit is a conglomeration of every medium you can think of.
How exactly do Twitter and Instagram affect discussions around architecture? This question, among others, is explored in the second gallery where many aesthetically pleasing conversation starters are located. Organized by Chicago’s own publication Mas Context, the events in coordination with the exhibition take place here at a large round table.
Far from being a conventional exhibit, Chatter contrasts strikingly with the museum in which it is located. This exhibit, like many coming from the Architecture and Design Department at the Art Institute of Chicago push the boundaries of exhibiting in a traditional museum setting.