Zak Group worked on the visual identity of the Chicago Biennial using the form of the grid, emblematic of both the urban plan of Chicago and the practice of architecture itself.
The London-based design office Zak Group have served as the art directors of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Zak Group’s identity for the Chicago Architecture Biennial was conceived as an intentionally contradictory grid, supporting a dynamic range of content including research, projects and statements on the state of the art of architecture. The visual form of the grid is emblematic of both the urban plan of Chicago, where every eight blocks equals a mile, and the practice of architecture itself.
The identity can be found on display throughout the city of Chicago in the form of a large scale advertising campaign and signage accompanying the contributions of over 100 architects and artists at the Chicago Cultural Center and other sites including Millennium Park, City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, Expo 72 and the Stony Island Arts Bank. A forthcoming catalogue to accompany the biennial will feature 83 original conversations with leading theorists, artists, and curators and will be published in winter 2015–16 by Lars Müller Publishers.
In addition to introducing the biennial in its inaugural edition, the website, designed and developed by Zak Group, will serve as an ongoing presence between editions. It is intended to be highly modular and flexible as it presents an extensive variety of content, events and multimedia. Special details in execution – such as AJAX-driven dynamic content loading, the use of a grid line as a loading bar and animation of the logo upon scroll – contribute to the interactive quality of the website.