Spontaneous Interventions: Call for projects

Chicago exhibition Summer 2013

by eleonora usseglio prinsi
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Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good the official U.S. representation at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2012, will travel to Chicago in May 2013, and is seeking new projects—urban interventions realized in U.S. cities in the past two years—with an emphasis on Chicago and Midwest projects. The exhibition will be on view through Summer 2013.

Spontaneous Interventions, curated by Cathy Lang Ho, captures one of the most compelling contemporary urban trends, wherein individuals are taking it upon themselves to create projects that expand the amenities, comfort, functionality, inclusiveness, safety, and sustainability of cities. 

From parklets to community farms, guerrilla bike lanes to urban repair squads, outdoor living rooms to pop-up markets, sharing networks, and temporary architecture, Spontaneous Interventions highlights viable citizen-led alternatives to traditional top-down urban revitalization tactics. Together, these projects offer an opportunity to examine the history of the American city, painting a critical and dynamic portrait of its most pressing issues today and a vision of its future. At heart, SpontaneousInterventions is a reflection of country’s complex attitudes towards civic participation, social justice, and the built environment.

Architects, designers, planners, artists and citizens who have realized an intervention in a U.S. city—and in particular, in Chicago and the Midwest—in the past 2 years (2011 or 2012) are encouraged to submit their projects by Wednesday, March 6 to be considered for inclusion in the Chicago exhibition.

The project should be initiated by the architect/artist/planner/landscape architect/hacker/activist/ citizen (in other words, no one asked for it), or was initiated by an alternative client, for example, a non-profit or a community group. It also should improve a problematic condition (solves a problem by making a place more accessible, inclusive, sustainable, beautiful, etc.), be located in an urban context or tackles urban issues and realize, deploy, in action or use (not theoretical).

Photo courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia