For the inaugural 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Norman Kelley was tasked by the curators to make a drawing that is one part sign, one part invitation, and all parts spectacles. The site is the Chicago Cultural Center, designed in 1897 by the Boston firm of Shepley, Coolidge, and Rutan (i.e. the people’s palace). More specifically, the site included the 65 reflective windows on the building’s Michigan Avenue façade. For this drawing, or drawings, each window is lined with cut white opaque vinyl to moderate how one looks into the building and out onto the city. The graphic motif presents an oversized survey of historical window mullions and dressings, ranging in style from Arts & Crafts to both Chicago Schools as well as a range of vernacular window treatments, like Venetian blinds. This is not to say that the project is entirely indexical of what has happened or is happening. At times, the drawings exist only to mitigate views. By sourcing new, old, historical, and common ways through which Chicagoans look at their city, Norman Kelley presents a plurality of points of view as a collective vision of the city.



1:1 Drawing Installation


Sarah Herda, Joseph Grima


2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial: State of the Art of Architecture


Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St., Chicago, Illinois, USA


October 3, 2015 - January 3, 2015

Project Team

Thomas Kelley, Carrie Norman, Spencer McNeil


Spencer McNeil