2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Patricia Saldaña Natke Interviewed on Spanish Public Radio’s “Chicago Voices”

By | December 18, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Publications, Staff Happenings | No Comments

SPRFlatLogoUrbanWorks Principal, Patricia Saldaña Natke, was interviewed on Spanish Public Radio’s “Chicago Voices” regarding the state of architecture and how the Chicago Architecture Biennial is facilitating the potential for a democratic exposure of world class art and architecture to Chicago’s residents. The firm’s award winning designs in Chicago’s Latino communities were highlighted in the discussion. The “Chicago Voices” program aired on November 15, 2015. Spanish Public Radio’s mission is to cultivate and sustain the Spanish-speaking community through a multi-media platform broadcast through the Internet. SPR broadcasts a highly relevant news, music, arts, culture, financial, and educational content in Spanish. Patricia was interviewed by Vincent Paglione, Executive board member of SPR.

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Current Exhibition of Productora/Urbanworks University of Chicago Green Line Art Center Design Team Submission Until Jan 8

By | December 15, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Exhibits | No Comments

GLACAs part of the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Arts Incubator in Washington Park is holding an exhibition titled Forms of Imagination, exploring “the way Arts + Public Life creates ambitious public design and architecture projects that foster creative communities in Chicago’s mid-South Side.” Among works by other notable firms, Productura/UrbanWorks’ vision for the Green Line Art Center is on display. Productora from Mexico City and local firm UrbanWorks have teamed in an invited design competition for a new arts center to support the ambitions of artists and creative entrepreneurs. Led by artist and faculty member Theaster Gates and his team at Arts + Public Life, the new arts center will demonstrate the commitment to design excellence and creative reuse of existing vacant buildings.

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UrbanWorks is Shortlisted in ChiDesign Competition

By | October 9, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Architecture Foundation, Awards, Exhibits | No Comments

CHI ICE aerial winter 05The UrbanWorks concept ICE CADE is shortlisted in the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) design competition ChiDesign – an international ideas competition. The concept includes the new headquarters, visitor center and exhibition spaces of the CAF; a new headquarters for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH); a design and allied arts high school; and flexible learning spaces for out-of-school-time youth programs. The ICE CADE building is an homage to an ice sculpture rising from an urban street. All ChiDesign entries are on display at the CAF Atrium Gallery.

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Chicago Architecture Biennial – What Will Be Our Legacy?

By | October 7, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial | No Comments

CABHosting America’s first Architecture Biennial is a great honor for all of us practicing architecture in this global city. At the same time, it implies an enormous responsibility. It comes with the pressure of living up to Chicago’s reputation of being the birthplace of the skyscraper and one of the cradles of modern architecture. In many ways, it is today’s version of the 1893 World’s Fair, which provided a platform for design dialogue, criticism, innovation and, most importantly, exposure. Exposing and engaging the public in the discourse surrounding architecture and the public realm, raising awareness – and expectations – of the built environment is a powerful proposition. Beyond that, empowering the public with the understanding that everyone is responsible and capable of shaping our world, has the potential for a limitless positive rippling effect.

What is most immediately exciting about the Chicago Architecture Biennial is the potential for a democratic exposure of world class art and architecture to all of our city’s residents – the possibility of a diverse, multi-cultural, multi-generational melting pot of creativity, ideas and critical involvement. Our firm’s mission statement is rooted in the desire to bring good architecture to every neighborhood we serve, and we have experienced first-hand the powerful influence that uplifting spaces can have in a community’s self-perception. The educational component of the Biennial, via field trips, classes and instructive programs for teachers and students, is expected to expose thousands of Chicago-area youth to art, design and architecture – for many, this will be their first experience with the most fundamental character of our city. The repercussions of such exposure are unpredictable and immeasurable, but will absolutely influence the city’s next generation of creative thinkers and doers.

What is most critically necessary and opportune is the exploration of solutions to the myriad environmental issues we face today and in our immediate future. It is our responsibility as space makers and problem solvers to find effective, inspiring and forward thinking solutions to the environmental crises we face. A comprehensive assessment of The State of the Art of Architecture cannot be complete if this challenge is not addressed for all Chicago residents and all citizens of the globe. Intelligent, outspoken, innovative, outlandish ideas need to be discussed during this forum, resulting in new inspired solutions that can be tailored and implemented the world over to repair our environmental infrastructure.

A new manifesto combining social and environmental healing can be our legacy – a united, optimistic voice that embraces diversity, focuses on empowering the public, and proposes that a vibrant, healthy planet is not only possible, it is also our highest responsibility as shapers of the built environment. The world is watching – let’s respond to the call.

-By Maria Pellot, Associate Principal at UrbanWorks

UrbanWorks Staff Featured at Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA) Exhibit

By | September 29, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Exhibits, Staff Happenings | No Comments

07272015 Revised Logo 2Patricia Saldaña Natke, Maria Pellot and Ameera Ashraf-O’Neil are being featured at the CWA a.DOT “Architects. Doing Our Thing” exhibit, as part of the 2015 Chicago Architectural Biennial. The a.DOT exhibit highlights the work of women in Chicago’s architecture, their personal inspirations, as well as their work’s influence on the future of architecture itself.

The exhibit will be held October 1-4, 2015 at the SAIC Sullivan Galleries, 33 N State Street, Floor 12, Chicago IL.

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Maya Ruiz Leads Public Tours for Art Institute of Chicago

By | September 25, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Lectures/Presentations, Staff Happenings, Tours | No Comments

MayaUrbanWorks Communications Associate and Business Manager, Maya Ruiz, led public tours of the exhibition “Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye” for the Art Institute of Chicago Family Festival. The tour engaged families with children under 12 with concepts of visual language, cultural context and socially-responsible design. The Family Festival served over 300 visitors with free arts programming in the museum’s Ryan Education Center.

The “Making Place” exhibition is a Partner Program of the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

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Tim Wang to Speak at Forming Functions Artist Talks

By | September 28, 2015 | 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Lectures/Presentations, Staff Happenings | No Comments

UrbanWorks Designer, Tim Wang, will be featured with seven other artists and architects at Forming Functions, as part of this year’s Chicago Artists Month. The event, held at the Euro Furniture, will be a series of talks allowing the artists and architects to discuss “their work and the ability of the arts and architecture to shape the functions of community, culture and our everyday lives.” Tim will be speaking about “The Sustainable Future of Architecture.”

The event will be held on October 24th, from noon until 4:30 pm, at 2145 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL.