Open Call – Chicago Mobile Workshop 22-25 November, 2019

Making Futures participation in the 3rd Chicago Biennial
Application deadline: November 4th, 2019

“From a perspective of care, architecture and urbanism is situated both in locally specific conditions and in a planetary context. If architecture and urbanism are to take care seriously, these professions will adopt ways of working that will do everything possible to maintain, continue and repair our world – ranging from the provision of housing to the environment of our planet.” 

Elke Krasny in conversation with Teresa Dillon & Rosario Talevi

Thinking beyond how to construct the future, we could begin by asking: What sustains the future as a construct in itself? A linear narrative of the future characterised by progress-driven, forward-facing expansion perpetuated by the West has brought us to our current “now”: An exhausted Earth. A Damaged Planet. A Broken World. The Anthropocene. The Racial Capitalocene.

Against this backdrop, spatial practices have long been complicit in furthering the fast-paced growth and speculation driven production of space. The construction sector, in particular, evidences a gross imbalance between the energy and matter it consumes and its capacity to repurpose it. And, in keeping with the ethos of neoliberalism, the field of architecture has immortalised the individualist, solution oriented, white, cis-male “architect-hero”.

Moving forward from this broken state demands not only holding architecture and the architects accountable but a radical re- imagining of being together. It requires to respond with care and to advance longer-lasting dynamics in the ongoing recuperation of territories, climate and communities.

From September 2019 – January 2020 the third Chicago Architecture Biennial invites practitioners and the public to reflect through the prisms of architecture and urbanism “upon the social, geopolitical and ecological processes that affect our collective past, present and future”. The Biennial engages beyond the built environment with spatial injustice forged through uneven urban planning and housing policies and reflects at the same time on architecture and public space as sites for social action and advocacy.

This mobile workshop will interrogate the potential of architects and urbanists to act as caretakers, maintaining, repairing and restoring from objects, materials, buildings, systems, relations to processes, while at the same time being wary of the intention behind these acts: If architecture and urbanism should be practiced as a form of care-taking: Who are we caring for? What are we maintaining?

Moreover, Making Futures would like to pose the question to the Biennial itself,  up to what extent can a biennial maintain, restore and care for the city and its inhabitants and act as an agent-of-care?


Making Futures travels to Chicago with its mobile workshop. Mobile workshops are ambulatory learning constellations geared towards dialogue, deep collaboration and lasting relations that hope to expand the traditional field of academic research and its network. Most importantly, these real-time constructions reaffirm the project as an open, reflexive and practice-driven format.

Taking part will be invited participants as well as those selected via an open call. The 4-day programme encompasses visits to the biennial, public readings and site-explorations with local partners.

Anyone based in the Chicago-area can apply to the Mobile Workshop—students from any discipline, practitioners, research- ers, government employees, city activists, artists, enthusiasts, etc. Please fill in the questionnaire including a small introduction (who you are), why do you want to come to Chicago with us (we expect full commitment during the four days) and how do you imagine contributing to the programme.

Apply by fillng in this application form

Application deadline: November 4th, 2019

Selected participants will be informed on November 6th, 2019. Programme starts Friday November 22nd, 10am CST and finishes on Monday November 25th, 2pm CST. Participants travel at their own costs. The mobile workshop does not have a fee.