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The BIG Idea In Chicago

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 28, 2008 6:10PM

While a Chicagoland Legoland is years away, The Graham Foundation’s latest exhibit is architectural fun with Lego models. “Models” doesn't quite describe them. No, they’re “7 New Architectural Species from the Danish Welfare State,” the brainchildren of Copenhagen’s Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). BIG’s big idea is to find new practical utopias by “investing in the overlap between radical and reality,” to create a “new breed in urban life forms.”

We assume they're speaking metaphorically. Either way, that idea’s been realized in dozens of commissions worldwide (which you can explore on their site’s nifty Flash presentation) and will be rockin’ the Gold Coast for three weeks more. Friday night at 6, Mr. Ingels holds court at UIC's School of Architecture, Gallery 1100, to explain his vision and the complex considerations of every Lego tower:

Bjarke Ingels will speak at UIC’s Gallery 1100, 845 West Harrison, Friday at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

The BIG CPH Experiment continues at The Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton, through March 22. The gallery is open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, admission is free.