• Dimensions of Citizenship: US Pavilion, 16th International Architecture Exhibition
    Amanda Williams & Andres L. Hernandez, Design Earth, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Keller Easterling, SCAPE, and Studio Gang
    Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, Mimi Zeiger, and Iker Gil
    US Pavilion, 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice
    May 26, 2018 to Nov 25, 2018
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago & The University of Chicago

Amanda Williams + Andres L. Hernandez, in collaboration with Shani Crowe, Braid Study (2017), from Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See a Line). Courtesy of Shani Crowe.

Dimensions of Citizenship challenges architects and designers to envision what it means to be a citizen today. As transnational flows of capital, digital technologies, and geopolitical transformations expand, conventional notions of citizenship are undermined. How might architecture, then, express today’s rhizomatic and paradoxical conditions of citizenship? The US Pavilion explores seven spatial scales: Citizen, Civitas, Region, Nation, Globe, Network, and Cosmos. These scales, telescoping from body to city to heavens, broadly position citizenship as a critical global topic. Installations by architects, landscape architects, artists, and theorists investigate spaces of citizenship marked by histories of inequality and the violence imposed on people, nonhuman actors, and ecologies. The installations and the film and video works on view do not solve the complex relationships of governance, affinity, and circumstance that bind us, citizen to stranger, self to other. Instead, they use architecture’s disciplinary agency to render visible paradoxes and formulations of belonging. Only when spatial understandings of citizenship—legal, cultural, and ecological—are in sight might we struggle free from antiquated definitions, forms, or bureaucracies and activate potent spaces for design. Dimensions of Citizenship engages public participation through three outreach components: the project website, workshops, and performances in the Citizen Lab in the US Pavilion courtyard, and the off-site programming series CitizenSHIP in and around the city of Venice.

Niall Atkinson is associate professor of architectural history in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture, and Florentine Urban Life (Penn State University Press, 2016), an excavation of the historical meaning of sound and construction of urban space in Renaissance Florence. His research focuses on the experience of space and the reception of architecture in early modern Europe, which has led to several collaborative projects involving the digital reconstruction of the social life and spatial context of Florence in the 15th century. His articles have appeared in I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, Grey Room, and Senses & Society. His investigation of “Wandering in Rome in the Enlightenment,” cowritten with Susanna Caviglia, is forthcoming in Word & Image.

Ann Lui is an assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a registered architect. She is also a cofounder of Future Firm, an architectural practice working at the intersections of landscape territory and curatorial experiments, whose work has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and as part of the New Museum’s Ideas City. She recently coedited Public Space? Lost and Found (SA+P/MIT Press, 2017), a volume on spatial and aesthetic practices in the civic realm.

Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, curator, and educator. She has curated, contributed to, and collaborated on projects that have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, pinkcomma gallery, and the Architectural Association. She cocurated Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, which received the Bronze Dragon award at the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Shenzhen. She teaches in the Media Design Practices MFA program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

Iker Gil, associate curator, is a Chicago-based architect and urban designer who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and serves as director of MAS Studio, a collaborative architecture and urban design firm. Founder and current editor-in-chief of the quarterly design journal MAS Context, he also curated the exhibition BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago, included in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. He has received several grants and awards for his work, including the 2010 Emerging Visions Award from the Chicago Architectural Club, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation grants and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts grants in support of MAS Context.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, selected by the US Department of State, serve as commissioners of the United States Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. As commissioners, the two institutions will organize Dimensions of Citizenship, the exhibition they proposed as the official United States contribution to the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.

For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by US News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.

The University of Chicago is a leading academic and research institution that has driven new ways of thinking since its founding in 1890. As an intellectual destination, the University draws scholars and students from around the world to its home in Hyde Park and campuses around the globe. The University provides a distinctive educational experience, empowering individuals to challenge conventional thinking and pursue research that produces new understanding and breakthroughs with global impact. At the University, UChicago Arts, which includes nearly 100 arts organizations, initiatives, and academic programs, brings together the efforts of students, faculty, artists, and community partners to infuse creativity throughout the intellectual life on campus while solidifying the University’s role as a cultural destination and resource on Chicago’s South Side.