exhibit _ Félix Candela’s Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for Mexico and Chicago

Curating and exhibition design of Félix Candela’s Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for Mexico and Chicago, Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago, January 19 – March 3, 2018 (with research and models originated by Juan Ignacio del Cueto Ruiz-Funes and with contributions by Lorelei Stewart). …

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In Search for an Architectural Urbanism exhibition at The World in Our Eyes as part of the 4th Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon, Portugal, October 6, 2016 – January 15, 2017.

In Search for an Architectural Urbanism juxtaposes two large-scale panorama drawings of visionary cities in search for new forms of architectural urbanism that are able to navigate the contested but highly productive realms of contemporary urbanization. One drawing, “City of Architectural Fictions,” represents unbuilt but architecturally significant proposals while the other, “City of Urban Facts,” shows built innovations that are largely unknown. In addition, each drawing is supplemented by a catalog that documents the examples that can be found in the drawings — a 400-page catalog on the history of visionary projects on the city and a 250-page catalog on the breath of urban innovation. olhos_exposicao_c_tiagocasanova_19


Collective City exhibition at the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzhen, China, December 4, 2015 – March 1, 2016.

Collective City, explores spatial, organizational, and material ingenuities born out of the forces and pressures of the contemporary city, answered by the architectural amateur, and used by everyone. As such, the exhibition foregrounds an essential terrain instructive for architecture. The examples highlighted here are important to the way the world is built, influential in its capacities to mobilize, and mesmerizing in its strangeness, yet outside the architectural radar. The exhibition documents, organizes, and projects a catalog of existing inventions and tactics found across the globe (often outrageous, sometimes humorous, but always embedded in the here and now) with the ambition to establish a dictionary of ideas that can act simultaneously as a reality-check and sourcebook. We are interested in how the dynamics of global urbanization effectively influence architecture; or to put it more bluntly, how the intelligences of the existing city can be engaged by architecture. From a street-runway intersection in Gibraltar, via the Osaka baseball stadium-turned-model village, to stilt houses in international waters at Biscayne Bay, these examples form a new city that in the exhibition creates a massive urban panorama, describing different forms of architectural urbanism.

1) Collective City, VCP copy


6a) Chicagoisms Exhibit

Co-organizer and curator of Chicagoisms exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Kurokawa Gallery, April 24, 2014 – January 4, 2015. Exhibition design by Studio Offshore (Eisenschmidt) in collaboration with graphic designer Matthew Wizinsky.

120 images, nine models, and five principles. The exhibition builds on the premise of the book Chicagoisms. Revisiting the characteristics, attitudes, and mentalities of the city’s past, it mines the history of Chicago to define principles of architectural action and urban engagement: Vision Shapes History, Optimism Trumps Planning, Ambition Overcomes Nature, Technology Makes Spectacle, and Crisis Provokes Innovation. These Chicagoisms are also deployed here as springboards for new experiments as local and international teams of architects conceived visions inspired by the city that project as models from an array of historical imagery, together constructing a panorama of alternative urban worlds.

In collaboration with architectural historian Jonathan Mekinda and graphic designer Matthew Wizinsky, and with contributions by Bureau Spectacular, DOGMA, MVRDV, ORG, PORT, Sam Jacob Studio, Sean Lally/Weathers, UrbanLab, and WW.



Designer and curator of City Works: Provocation for Chicago’s Urban Future exhibition at the City of Chicago’s Cultural Center – Expo 72 Gallery (72 E. Randolph Street, Chicago), May 24 – September 29, 2013.

City Works was previously exhibited at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice (2012) and has now returned to the city of its origin. The exhibition re-envisions a series of urban environments that are typical for Chicago in order to examine alternatives to the way architecture engages the city. In collaboration with David Brown, Studio Gang Architects, Stanley Tigerman, and UrbanLab / Sarah Dunn & Martin Felsen (who each produced one large models 12’x3′), the installation sets out to find potentials for spatial, material, programmatic, and organizational invention within the city. The four models are surrounded by a 160′-long panorama that shows a visionary city … a drawing entirely composed of historical unbuilt visions for the city of Chicago (created by Eisenschmidt and his team at the Visionary Cities Project). In addition, an iPhone app links the visionary drawings on the wall to the existing city by locating the different schemes and presenting vital information about the projects. Over the duration of the exhibition, the models will travel throughout the gallery, visit the different parts of the city’s visionary history, and, finally, come together to create a new collective project of the city – one that is intended as Provocation for Chicago’s Urban Future.


The Visionary Cities Project developed an iPhone app in collaboration with Cheng+Snyder (www.chengsnyder.com). This app not only visualizes the large amount of visionary proposals for the city of Chicago but also accompanies the Visionary Chicago Panorama at the exhibition City Works in order to give access to the many projects in the drawing. While the panorama composes a parallel unbuilt city within the confines of the gallery, the iPhone app makes connections to the existing city outside. Here, knowledge about these schemes escapes the gallery and ventures into the city. It allows users to locate and visualize past utopian schemes while traveling through Chicago, with the goal of encouraging playful urban speculation in the present. Download the free iPhone app here.



Designer and curator of City Works exhibition at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, August 27 – November 25, 2012.

Invited by David Chipperfield, director of the 13th Venice Biennale, Eisenschmidt designed and curated an exhibition that re-envisions a series of urban environments that are typical for Chicago in order to examine visionary alternatives to the way architecture and planning engage the city. The installation is a collaborative effort of 5 teams that involves a large model (12’x12′, produced by David Brown, Studio Gang, Stanley Tigerman, and UrbanLab) of a visionary Chicago as well as an encompassing drawing (100’ long) that creates a visual backdrop. The outside of the screen (produced by the Visionary Cities Project/Alexander Eisenschmidt) is a panorama of a Phantom Chicago, entirely composed of unbuilt visionary proposals for the city. …

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