Play Room

Play Room invites its guests and participants to embrace the youthful abandon that accompanies play, though it is, at the same time, a space of protocol. Its gaming tables follow in a long lineage of furniture that has defined the military encampment, the Victorian-era pastime, and the corporate board room. This somewhat inconspicuous stage-setter — the table — invites, levels, ‘civilizes’, or entraps. In Play Room, the table delivers board- and card-games, whose rules and mechanics are designed to examine a series of contemporary topics in architecture: starchitects, gentrifcation, and urban development” violence and the abstractions with which historical complexity is sanitized and made palatable” markets for architecture portfolio prep schools” the entangled and multifarious identity of the contemporary global subject” and experiments with collectivity and control. Come engage in these games with us. In Play Room we will contemplate their topics together through play.

Identity Gamble
Allegiances revealed, divergences divulged at the Keller Gallery, Spring 2020 
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  • Game creators
    Ryan Clement
    Trevor Herman Hilker
    Ana McIntosh
    Jie Wu
    Cloe Yun Wang
    Daisy Ziyan Zhang
    Rodrigo Escandón Cesarman
    Ingrid Roede
    Melissa Gutierrez Soto
    Nof Nathansohn
    Nitzan Zilberman
    Sydney Cinalli
    Stratton Coffman
    Sarah Wagner
    Nare Filiposyan
    Katharine Kettner
    Jinyoung Sim

  • Exhibition support
    Arts at MIT
    MIT Department of Architecture

    Exhibition team
    Trevor Herman Hilker
    Jeffrey Landman
    Ana Miljacki
    Jie Wu
    Ana McIntosh

  • Special thanks
    Jung Seo
    James Harrington
    Jennifer O’Brien
    Jayson Kim
    Amanda Moore

David Brown (03/12/21)

    David Brown is the Artistic Director of the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Brown is a Chicago-based designer, researcher, and educator. His project The Available City has had a few iterations since he first began working on it for the Venice Biennale in 2012, it has been exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Expo 72 (2013), the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015), received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 2011. He is the author of Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvisation, and Architecture with the University of Minnesota Press, 2006, and of a number of other articles on improvisation and the “ available city.” David has taught at Florida A&M, at Rice University and is currently a Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

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    Object Lessons in Collective Repair
    The Bench by Catalina Bascuñán 

    Object Lessons in Collective Repair with and at MARQ, School of Architecture at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. At the invitation of Alejandra Celedón Forester Director of MARQ, Ana Miljački worked with Alejandra Celedón, Patricio Mardones, Bárbara Rozas, Nicolás Navarrete to deliver a four week-long workshop.

    Workshop Works

    The 20 Liter Bucket by Francisco Galindo

    The Bus Stop by Josefina Caram

    The Pot by Florencia Villalón

    The Door by Francisca Kassis


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    Story Boards
    Object Lessons

    Lonely Together by Christopher Caro, Damián Castro, Nicolás Chekal, Sergio Fuenzalida, Tomás Gonzáles

    Repair, Reuse and Resignify: an Endless Cycle by  Valentina Valdebenito, Catalina Saavedra, Catherine López, Francisca Torres

    Infinite Table by Florencia García, Francisca Kassis, Antonia Ocares, Cristián Valdés, Rodrigo Vesperinas


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    • Inaugural Studio Local Team
      Teachers: Alejandra Celedón, Patricio Mardones
      TAs: Bárbara Rozas, Nicolás Navarrete
      Invited Critics: Enrique Walker (GSAPP), Nicolás Maturana (Arcada), Cristián Izquierdo (MARQ)

    • Student Participants
      Damián Castro
      Sergio Fuenzalida
      Christopher Caro
      Nicolás Chekal
      Tomás Gonzáles
      Danae Sillard
      Montserrat Martínez
      Matías Reyes
      Victoria Arancibia
      Vicente Osorio
      Daniel Saenz

    • Florencia Noguera
      Hernan Sanchez
      Juan Concha
      Enrique Meñique
      Valentina Valdebenito
      Catalina Saavedra
      Catherine López
      Francisca Torres
      José Meza
      Florencia García
      Antonia Ocares
      Rodrigo Vesperinas
      Francisca Kassis

    • Cristián Valdés
      Isidora Elton
      Josefina Caram
      Rocio Marin
      Jose Pedro Ramirez
      Hugo Galvez
      Constanza Arenas
      Catalina Bascuñán
      Rodrigo del Campo
      Francisco Galindo
      Florencia Villalón
      Florencia De la Maza

    A  collaboration with

    Supertall Tetris is a critical game of stacking tetrominos of New York’s super tall buildings into a 2 dimensional width of Manhattan at 57th street.

    You can rotate, speed up, as well as flip facades of a series of 19 buildings developed in New York since 2000, ten of then over 1000 feet tall. We included BIG’s Via 57 West because it seemed to follow some of the same financial logics, even if not all the now widespread supertall machinations with air rights. We also included buildings from Trump’s empire as precursors of the pencil towers, and of course New York’s original (1931) supertall: the Empire State building. With each new building tetromino descending, the game lists basic information on its architect, developer, engineers, contractors (where available), building height, as well as the financial information we were able to comb from different property renting and selling websites. The profit line here is indeed an absurd(ist) approximation of rent/sq foot sum, sometimes based on exact data other times interpolated from values we found in the area, and our ability to assess the square footage of the buildings.

    Following the logic of tetris, the game asks its players to eliminate lines, though “the house”—developers’ bottom line—inevitably wins as the New York Skyline fills up impossibly. Still, we hope you enjoy playing CBL’s Supertall Tetris, and get a little more curious (or madder) about it all every time you do.

    Developed by Ous Abou Ras


    is a space and a platform for the production of discursive interventions in architecture culture. Its key medium is the architectural exhibition, broadened to include experiments with the entire contemporary ecology of broadcasting media. Its aim is to critique the contemporary, expose its deep histories, and mount a form of a strategic preparation for the possibility of seeing and thinking a better and more just future for, and through, architecture.