• American Framing: US Pavilion, 17th International Architecture Exhibition
    Ania Jaworska, Norman Kelley, Daniel Shea, and Chris Strong
    Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
    17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice
    May 22, 2021 to Nov 21, 2021
    University of Illinois at Chicago-College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Pavilion of the United States at the 17th International Exhibition of Architecture La Biennale di Venezia, 2021. Courtesy: American Framing

Wood framing has always been wood framing and no amount of money can buy you a better 2 x 4. This fundamental sameness paradoxically underlies the American culture of individuality, unifying all superficial differences. The exhibition presents the subject of wood framing in a collection of works throughout the galleries and grounds of the United States Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. A four-story installation forms a new facade for the historic pavilion; photographic work from Daniel Shea and Chris Strong address the labor and design of softwood construction; scale models by students at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, study the history, common forms, and potential of wood framed construction; and furniture explorations by Ania Jaworska and Norman Kelley encourage connection to the work.

Paul Andersen is the director of Independent Architecture, a Denver-based office whose projects speculate on the roles that form, repetition, and pop culture play in architecture. He shapes the office’s agenda and practice, conducting design projects in professional and academic contexts. In addition to teaching at UIC, Andersen has taught at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Cornell University. He was appointed a Fulbright Specialist in architecture, has been a guest curator at the MCA Denver and the Biennial of the Americas. He is the author of The Architecture of Patterns (W. W. Norton & Company, 2010) and other books.

Paul Preissner runs Paul Preissner Architects, which is located in Chicago. He has written a few essays about architecture for publications including Volume, Clog, PLOT, and NewCity. Preissner’s work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Buenos Aires International Biennale of Architecture, and the Rotterdam Biennale, and is a part of the permanent collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Preissner has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and served as the Hyde Chair at the University of Nebraska. He is the author of Kind of Boring: Canonical Work and Other Visible Things Meant to be Viewed as Architecture (Actar).

The School of Architecture at UIC promotes architecture as a cultural practice of organizing information, of intelligently identifying and deploying patterns—conceptual, visual, structural, behavioral, and material—in the world. The program prepares its graduates to project all scales of these spatial and organizational patterns through the systematic development of an aesthetic attitude, a technical confidence, and a theoretical opportunism.