The board of the Chicago Architecture Biennial announced this morning an initial list of 51 contributors to its 2019 event, which is titled ...and other such stories. The group represents approximately half of the projected participants and includes architects, artists, collectives, and researchers from 19 countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Each will exhibit either new or specially commissioned projects that together compose a multifaceted exploration of how architecture and the built environment relate to land, memory, rights, and civic participation on a global scale.

Unlike the 2017 Biennial, Make New Historycurated by Los Angeles architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, which looked inward to contemplate the importance of historical precedent in current practice, the 2019 exhibition does not consider architecture with a capital “A,” but instead explores how the field is implicated in the production of space, historically, politically, and socio-economically. According to this year’s artistic director, the Chicago-based curator and writer Yesomi Umolu, contributors’ projects “resonate deeply with our four curatorial focus areas,” and address “some of the most pressing issues of our time while advancing new forms of thinking and practice across architecture and beyond.”

The four thematic categories were developed by Umolu along with co-curators Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares during a pre-Biennial research initiative that included dialogue and exchange with architects, urbanists, artists, designers, writers, members of social movements, community groups, and everyday citizens in the cities of Chicago, São Paulo, Johannesburg, and Vancouver, which were selected as places in which this year’s themes are materialized in interesting and diverse ways.

Among the participants named today are MASS Design Group, Theaster Gates, Center for Spatial Research, and Forensic Architecture—all known for work that addresses social and political injustices in areas across the globe. This year’s group, said Biennial executive director Todd Palmer in a press release, will “tell important stories about who we are, and who we may become.” According to board chairman Jack Guthman, they will “both challenge and entertain audiences.” The remaining exhibitors will be announced over the coming months; the Biennial, which is free and open to the public, will open in the Chicago Cultural Center on September 19, 2019.

So far, the list of contributors includes:

  • Adrian Blackwell (Toronto)
  • Akinbode Akinbiyi (Berlin)
  • Alejandra Celedon & Nicolas Stutzin (Santiago, Chile)
  • Architects for Social Housing (London)
  • Avijit Mukul Kishore & Rohan Shivkumar Kishore (Mumbai)
  • Black Quantum Futurism (Philadelphia)
  • Borderless Studio (Chicago)
  • CAMP (Mumbai)
  • Carolina Caycedo (Los Angeles)
  • Center for Spatial Research (New York)
  • Clemens von Wedemeyer (Berlin)
  • Cohabitation Strategies & Urban Front (New York)
  • ConstructLab (Berlin)
  • DAAR (Beit Sahour, Palestine)
  • Detroit Planning Department (Detroit)
  • Do Ho Suh (London)
  • FICA–Fundo Imobiliário Comunitário para Aluguel (São Paulo)
  • Forensic Architecture & Invisible Institute (London and Chicago)
  • Jimmy Robert (Berlin)
  • Joar Nango (Norway)
  • Keleketla! Library (Johannesburg)
  • Maria Gaspar (Chicago)
  • MASS Design Group (Boston, Poughkeepsie, New York, and Kigali, Rwanda)
  • Ola Hassanain (Sudan and Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • RMA Architects (Mumbai and Boston)
  • Sammy Baloji & Filip de Boeck Baloji (Brussels and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Settler Colonial City Project (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
  • Somatic Collaborative (New York)
  • studioBASAR (Bucharest, Romania)
  • Sweet Water Foundation (Chicago)
  • Tania Bruguera & Arte Útil (New York)
  • Arte Útil (Havana)
  • Tanya Lukin Linklater & Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (Ontario, Canada and Alberta, Canada)
  • Territorial Agency (London)
  • The Funambulist (Paris)
  • Theaster Gates (Chicago)
  • Usina - CTAH (São Paulo)
  • Vincent Meessen (Brussels)
  • Wendelien van Oldenborgh (Berlin)
  • Wolff Architects (Cape Town)