Newcity gets to know the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial contributors. This segment highlights fala atelier, an architecture practice based in Porto, Portugal that “takes lightness and joy very seriously.” Ahmed Belkhodja, who alongside Filipe Magalhães and Ana Luisa Soares created fala—a mashup of their combined academic, professional and curatorial experiences across the world—shares insights about the upcoming Biennial and beyond.
How has your background prepared you, and how will it inform your role at the upcoming Chicago Architecture Biennial?
We are an international and diverse architecture practice based in Portugal. We evolve in an urban fabric that has been transforming at an extremely fast pace. Within this context, we have developed strategies around what we call the b-sides of the city: backyards, domestic interiors, publicly reclaimed spaces of several kinds; in other words, the available city. We hope these strategies can find a valuable echo at the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Can you talk about the importance of a festival like CAB amid a pandemic and social and political unrest?
The current context underlines the often-forgotten importance of the architectural fabric in our existence. The Chicago Architecture Biennial is central in unfolding these questions.
What are you hoping viewers will take away from this exhibition?
Less fear, a very good bullshit detector and a lot of tenderness. (Taking cues from one of our favorite Illinoisans, Laurie Anderson.)
What are you most excited about moving forward?
We’re very much looking forward to opportunities to exchange between the various actors.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rigouvasia.com