September 30, 2022

American Framing examines the missed yet common architecture of the country’s most widespread development system—wood framing—and argues that a profound and highly effective upcoming for style can be conceived out of an common earlier. 

1st introduced as the U.S. Pavilion for the 17th Global Venice Architecture Biennale, this exhibition will come at a time when countrywide cultural procedures are battling with their histories. How do we come to phrases with our past choices? What sorts of futures can we create? 

The exhibition commences with its stunning entryway, a soaring, 3-tale wood body structure with an enclosed social place for reflection and conversation. It introduces the globe of wood framing as straight as feasible by allowing for individuals to encounter its spaces, varieties, and procedures firsthand. The complete-scale operate expresses the sublime and profound aesthetic electrical power of a structural technique that underlies most structures in the United States.

Inside of the galleries at Wrightwood 659, guests also will find out recently commissioned images from visible artist Daniel Shea, and photographer and videographer Chris Solid, that address the labor, tradition, and materials of softwood development. A collection of scale versions, researched and developed by college students at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Architecture, presents the background of wooden framing. Two sets of wooden furnishings by Ania Jaworska and Norman Kelley are installed in the gallery.

Wood framing has a intriguing history. Originating in the early 19th century, softwood design was a pragmatic alternative to the have to have for an obtainable setting up program between settlers with constrained prosperity, complex competencies, and making traditions. Wooden framing has been the dominant development system at any time since—more than 90% of new properties in the U.S. currently are wood framed. The accessibility that shaped its early improvement continues to affect modern daily life and reflect democratic ideals in subtle but powerful approaches. Softwood development is extremely egalitarian no sum of income can invest in you a much better 2×4 board. This basic sameness paradoxically difficulties the American tradition of individuality by unifying all superficial distinctions. Properties of just about every sizing and design and style are produced of wooden framing. 

In spite of its ubiquity, wood framing also is just one of the country’s most overlooked contributions to architecture. A range of prejudices and routines describe its absence from intellectual discourse, which tends to zero in on the unique although ignoring the everyday. In the circumstance of wooden framing, a absence of disciplinary prestige stems from the similar attributes that make it so prevalent—it is effortless, slender, and reasonably priced. Still it is these qualities which introduce a flexibility of kind, labor, composition, class, sensibility, entry, and design that open up new opportunities for architecture.

American Framing was co-curated by architects and professors Paul Preissner and Paul Andersen.

American Framing is presented at Wrightwood 659 by Alphawood Exhibitions in cooperation with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). American Framing was originally made probable by The Bureau of Academic and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of Condition and the College of Illinois Chicago for presentation at the Pavilion of the United States at the 17th Worldwide Venice Architecture Biennale.