Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute

Location and Dates:
The Art Institute of Chicago
September 12, 2017- ongoing

Zoë Ryan, Alison Fisher, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor  





Architecture and design shape our lives in fundamental ways, from furniture and build-ings to urban plans and information systems. But these disciplines are about more than creating objects and solving problems. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, architects and designers have thought of their work as a speculative, experimental endeavor. They have used their practice to ask urgent questions about the present and to propose bold  visions for the future.

This thematic installation draws from the Art Institute’s permanent collection of  architecture and design, one of the oldest in the United States. The projects on view range from visionary architectural drawings and innovative industrial designs to user-generated products and theoretical research. Reflecting the idea-driven nature of architecture and design, this presentation touches on many of the most important issues of the past and present—including war and political movements, material and technological transfor-mations, and the effects of globalization—while challenging us to think critically about the objects, spaces, and networks that define the way we live.