"One of the biennial’s brighter ideas is to keep its attendees (some thirty-one thousand at the opening) the hell out of such archi-tourist traps as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park. Most of the programming outside the main venue, the Chicago Cultural Center on East Washington Street, is in such places as the National Public Housing Museum—lodged in the ruins of the former Jane Addams Homes, and exhibiting the engaging House Housing study from Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center."

—Ian Volner, Artforum, December 2015


"The exhibitions offer anything but a conventional museum experience — paint is peeling off the concrete walls and steel door frames are rusting. Yet as arranged by curator Todd Palmer, the shows collectively humanize the residents of public housing even as they reveal how public housing itself became so dehumanizing. "

—Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2015


"Chicago has a very particular historic context in terms of housing. "Partnering with the NPHM, which grew out of that context, aided both institutions to expand the conversation about housing as a public good. "

— Susanne Schindler (with Jacob Moore) interviewed by Samuel Medina, Metropolis, November 2015


“We’re trying to draw attention to a problematic history to galvanize public interest in resolving these issues,” says NPHM curator Todd Palmer...The exhibition’s setting—the shuttered Addams building, abandoned since 2002—demonstrates the consequences of not resolving these issues. Visitors stroll past boarded up windows, peeling paint, and rusted doorframes, once the dwellings of residents. The rabbit-warren corridors where audio clips whisper Frank Lloyd Wright’s qualified approval of the Soviet Union and Frank Gehry’s ambitions for his Santa Monica House creates an aura of domesticity torn apart from within and without.

— Zach Mortice, Architectural Record, October 27, 2015


"While you look at exhibits, you listen to stories that resonate with them. Voices blending in the air. A variety of perspectives."

— Liz Chilsen, Chicago Now, October 13, 2015

"Particularly notable [at the Biennial] are the opening of Theaster Gates’s Stony Island Arts Bank on the city’s South Side, and a staging of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center’s House Housing exhibition at the nascent National Public Housing Museum. Both are located in historic buildings that rival the Cultural Center in social significance."

— Michael Abrahamson, The Architectural Review (London), October 14, 2015