Written by ADR contributor Emily Taliangis. Images appear courtesy of UTS.
Academics and students from the University of Technology Sydney are presenting one of two Australian projects at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.
The three-month festival entitled ‘The State of the Art of Architecture’ is the first of its kind to be held in the US, with a vision to rival the Venice Biennale in its scope. CAB aims to provide a platform for ground breaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.
The multi-platform event will facilitate new thoughts about what the built environment should be in the 21st century, celebrating Chicago’s loud and proud history as a landmark of architectural significance.
Representing UTS is Indo Pacific Atlas, a project developed by Urtzi Grau and Cristina Goberna with their masters students: Endriana Audisho, Christina Deluchi, Kane Pham and Gonzalo Valiente. The project is a series of maps and installations, and addresses the controversial decision to place Australia at the centre of the newly formed Indo-Pacific region.
Indo Pacific Atlas references a 2013 Australian Defence White Paper, which relocated Australia to the centre of the region spanning from Africa’s east coast, the west coast of South America, South East Asia and the Gulf. Its central focus is on the various planning structures and spatial challenges of six diverse cities from within the great region: Beirut, Cape Town, Medellin, Perth, Qatar and Valparaiso.
Over 4000 photographs taken during excursions were transformed into an impressive 10-metre collage that promotes comparative insights into these thriving cities. An accompanying four-channel sound piece guides audiences through the complex historical journey of each city.
It has been an impressive year for Grau and Goberna. Their practice Fake Industries Architectural Agonism was one of six practices shortlisted in Guggenheim Helsinki, the world’s biggest design competition.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial will run until 3 January.