[images: Chicago 1000011101, by Joe Valerioa of Valerioa Dewalt Train]
Really, who doesn’t like extraordinary visions of the future of our cities? For instance, how about a 22nd century city covered in a transparent, biologically engineered, thermochromatic skin – which traps heat, that then rises through solar towers to power wind turbines [seen in the two images here]. Like a city covered in plastic wrap.
That’s what Joe Valerioa has proposed for Big. Bold. Visionary. – 22nd visions of Chicago, proposed in celebration of the centennial of the Burnham Plan. In considering the next century, contributors envisioned 22nd century big plans for the city, urban catalysts, public spaces, the Lakefront, towers, and transportation projects – all of which are on display through October 11th at 72 East Randolph Street, Chicago.
In 1909, Daniel H. Burnham and Edward Bennett helped Chicagoans look at the rapidly industrializing city with new eyes. Their 165-page Plan of Chicago presented a comprehensive rethinking of the entire region – from Kenosha to Dekalb to Michigan City. It was a vision for Chicago in the 20th century. And it established a precedent of dreaming big and thinking boldly that every generation of Chicagoans since has firmly embraced. This exhibition taps current Chicago architects, planners, and landscape architects for their visions of the city and region in the 21st century and beyond.
Some are comprehensive – proposing radically different forms that might someday make Chicago a place unrecognizable to our contemporary eyes. Some are simply big – tall new towers and vast urban spaces that could transform the skyline and the neighborhoods in which they are proposed. Others are big ideas – seemingly small inventions that if implemented could catalyze the city and region’s way of life for the better.
These proposals represent the best thinking of Chicago today. The ideas are rich and diverse, representative of many cultures and ideas that have made this city the world capital of Architecture. All are fundamentally Big, Bold, and Visionary – in the mold of Daniel Hudson Burnham.
Lots of interesting, thought provoking work that you should definitely go check out – in person, if possible, but at least view the images featured online here.