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Maxwell Street and Maxwell Street Market Tour for the Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Making Futures collaboration between the University of the Arts Berlin and the practitioners’ collective raumlabor requested a Maxwell Street walking tour, drawn to board member Dr. Janelle Walker’s dissertation posted on the Maxwell Street Foundation website.  The group convened in Chicago to conduct a mobile workshop for the Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020) about “care-responsive architecture” and the politics of urban aesthetics.  In their words: “For the Chicago Architecture Biennial we plan a mobile workshop  from 22-25. Nov. Within the frame of Care-responsive architecture we want to discuss the potential of architects and urbanists to act as caretakers,  maintaining, repairing and restoring from objects, materials, buildings, systems, relations to processes, while at the same time being cautious of the intention behind these acts: If architecture and urbanism should be practiced as a form of care-taking: Who are we caring for? What are we maintaining? Moreover, Making Futures would like to pose the question to the Biennial itself, up to what extent can a biennial maintain, restore and care for the city and its inhabitants by acting as an agent-of-care?  The workshop is geared towards dialogue, deep collaboration and lasting relations that hope to expand the traditional field of academic research and its network and is addressing anyone interested to join us during the 4-days through an open call.” 

On Sunday November 24, MSF Director Dr. Walker and MSF President Lori Grove co-led a walking tour that began on Maxwell Street and then continued at the New Maxwell Street Market where the group was introduced to DCASE Market Manager, Nikki Butler.  MSF board member Professor Steve Balkin met the group there and facilitated conversations with Maxwell Street Market vendors. The group concluded its tour with “tasty treats” at the Market, and of course no Market visit is complete without a stop to hear “Lefty” Vince Johnson, the last Maxwell Street Market blues musician still performing at the Market (and a member of the Maxwell Street Foundation Advisory Council), pictured below:
Photo by Lori Grove, November 24, 2019