Studio Barnes presents Block Party in the 2021 Chicago Biennial

September 16th, 2021

Studio Barnes presents Block Party, as a part of the 2021 Chicago Biennial, The Available City. The proposal is born from Chicago’s West and South Sides rich history of annual block parties that provide necessary resources to vulnerable and engaged residents. This local ritual is self-funded, self-organized, and self-policed. It is one of the many acts of civic responsibility that occur routinely in disenfranchised neighborhoods when residents take matters into their own hands. A certifiable act of celebratory vigilantism, the Block Party does not obey traffic regulations, it does not obey permit jurisdiction, and it most certainly does not obey traditional urban principles. These characteristics of community and accountability inspired our project.

The play structure is composed of 2 foot by 2 foot blocks, stretched, rotated and aggregated. The final design is a 14 foot tall sculptural object that invites observation and recreation.