“New Materialisms: Histories Make Practice | Practices Make History” brings together historians, critics, and practitioners to discuss the complex ways in which architecture is imagined, made, and interpreted. Whereas in the current intellectual climate, accounts of architecture’s materiality by historians often pivot on a fealty to the influence of contexts and networks, new materialist histories must account for the very particular inscription of architectural affects and their peculiar ability to resonate across shifting contexts and times. And while some design practices too often reduce material to the mere stuff of building (however sophisticated that stuff may be), new materialist practices have begun to explore deeply human drives and desires that construct architectural experience as performative, indeterminate, and multiple. Key in these discussions will be the potential reciprocities between history and practice, and hence the unraveling of the traces of the one within the other.
The symposium will be divided into halves: Panel 1. Practices Make History Mohsen Mostafavi Sharon Johnston Antoine Picon Tatiana Bilbao Emanuel Christ Frank Barkow Francis Kéré
Panel 2 Histories Make Practice Michael Hays Mark Lee Antón García-Abril Anna Neimark Sofia von Ellrichshausen “New Materialisms: Histories Make Practice | Practices Make History” will take place on Thursday, September 14 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. in Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater. The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018. The 2017 Biennial is directed by Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee.