• Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects
    Zoë Ryan and Karen Kice
    The Art Institute of Chicago
    Sep 22, 2012 to Feb 24, 2013
    Art Institute of Chicago

Photo: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Studio Gang Architects.

Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, the first-ever solo exhibition of Studio Gang Architects, presents a full-range of projects highlighting the Chicago-based firm's approach to cultural centers, urgent ecological issues, and tall buildings, while offering visitors the opportunity to participate in the firm's collaborative design process and community-focused solutions within the museum environment. Organized under the curatorial leadership of Zoe Ryan, John H. Bryan Chair and curator of architecture and design, and Karen Kice, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator, in partnership with Jeanne Gang, the exhibition aims to rethink traditional exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is on view from September 22, 2012, through February 24, 2013.

Visionary architect and 2011 MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang is the founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective of architects, designers, and thinkers whose projects confront pressing contemporary issues. Driven by curiosity, intelligence, and radical creativity, Gang has produced some of today's most innovative and award-winning architecture. The transformative potential of her work is exemplified by such recent projects as the 82-story, mixed-use high-rise Aqua Tower (the tallest building in the world designed by a woman and named the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the Year), the Northerly Island framework plan, the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Columbia College Chicago's Media Production Center. Gang has also designed the Hyderabad O2, a high-rise community in Hyderabad, India; the Zhong Bang Village residential towers in Shanghai; and Oculus, a concert venue and public park in Taipei, Taiwan. A distinguished graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, she has taught at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and IIT, where her studios have focused on cities, ecologies, materials, and technologies. Reveal, her first volume on Studio Gang's work and working process, was released in April 2011 by Princeton Architectural Press.

Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining the museum, she was senior curator at the Van Alen institute in New York and a curatorial assistant in the Architecture and Design Department of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She holds an MA in art history from Hunter College and a BA from the University of Sussex. She often serves as a juror for design and architecture awards and has spoken at numerous international conferences and panels. Her writing on art and design has been published in the Architect's Newspaper, Blueprint, Contemporary, Monument, Icon, and Log, among others. Most recently, she was curator and catalog author for the Art Institute's 2011–12 exhibition Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention.

Karen Kice is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago. A researcher, writer, and curator in the field of architecture and urbanism, she most recently studied in the doctoral program in UCLA's Department of Architecture and Urban Design. During this time, she was a senior research associate at UCLA's cityLAB, a think-tank concerned with contemporary urban issues, urban design, and the architecture of the city. Prior to her time at UCLA, Kice was a research assistant at the Van Alen Institute in New York, where she worked on multiple projects, including the 2006 exhibition and publication The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation and the 2007 exhibition catalog Coney Island: The Parachute Pavilion Competition. She earned her MSc in architectural history and theory from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and her BFA in ceramics and art history from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Founded in 1879, the Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world's diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with the museum profession's highest ethical standards and practices. With an encyclopedic collection comprising 270,000 objects and spanning fifty centuries of human creative achievement, the Art Institute is recognized worldwide as a leading center for the preservation, exhibition, and study of visual art across all eras and cultures.