We have long been suspicious of anything that bills itself as world-class on the theory that if you have to say it, you ain’t got it. And maybe that’s why we have great hopes for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, whose co-creative directors Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima are much too astute to deploy boosterish slogans. Taken together, Herda’s and Grima’s credentials read like the resume of a design ubermench. Grima has curated the Istanbul Design Biennial, edited “Domus” and directed New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture (as has Herda, who currently serves as the head of the venerable Graham Foundation; more about her background in a feature interview in this issue.) The duo’s ambition for North America’s first architecture biennial are likewise outsized—they see it as nothing less than an opportunity to restart a critical conversation about the role of design in the world. We wish them luck in creating a Biennial that Chicago deserves.

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