The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) announced its fourth edition will take place in 2021 under the purview of new artistic director David Brown, a designer, researcher, and professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Titled The Available City, the Biennial’s new edition will also feature a major collaboration with the Danish Arts Foundation.

Brown’s vision for The Available City will “create opportunities for conversations about the intersection of architecture and design and such critical issues as health, sustainability, equity, and racial justice,” according to a statement released by CAB. The next Biennial will open in September 2021 with a slate of free, public programming in neighborhoods across Chicago and on multiple digital platforms.

Brown’s long-term research for The Available City began with an inventory of more than 10,000 vacant city-owned lots across Chicago. For more than a decade, Brown has used this research in an ongoing urban design proposal to create spaces that reflect the unique needs of local neighborhoods. He is a long-time collaborator of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, having participated in the 2015 edition and presenting two pop-up exhibitions and youth programs in 2019.

David Brown. Photo © Nathan Keay

“Platforms such as the Biennial offer a unique space for exploring and experimenting with new ideas and projects,” Brown said in a statement. “Since 2015, collaborations with CAB have helped shape The Available City and I look forward to how this next phase of the project will bring new perspectives to my work with community organizations and residents while also broadening the conversation—as amplified by current issues—about the role that collective space can have in cities around the world today.”

The Danish Arts Foundation will also commission a work by a visiting Danish artist for the 2021 Biennial, which will also focus on the themes of community involvement and need. The DAF previously contributed to the 2019 Biennial.