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BAM Biennial 2021 Architecture & Urban Design

November 5, 2021 - April 24, 2022

A colorful structure, patterned elaborately with earthy reds and flashing purples, fluorescent greens, and a number of symbols depicting scenes of action, hovers against a black background.

In 2010, Bellevue Arts Museum launched the BAM Biennial, a juried exhibition which focused on the work of established and emerging Northwest artists, craftspeople, and designers, with an emphasis on new work. Every two years, Bellevue Arts Museum has designated a new focus of exploration, be it a specific medium, technique, process, or theme in art, craft, and design. In 2018, it was decided that the fifth edition in the series, BAM Biennial 2018: BAM! Glasstastic would be the last Biennial to focus on a single given material. After five different media—fiber, clay, wood, metal, and glass—the next five Biennials will instead examine specific fields and areas of studies within the realm of art, craft, and design.

The 2021 BAM Biennial kicks off this new format by inviting designers, artists, and makers of all kinds to interrogate the fields of architecture and urban design.

With the Eastside being connected to Seattle through a light rail extension in 2023, and Amazon’s HQ2 project under construction in downtown Bellevue, Bellevue Arts Museum—itself a signature and important piece of the architecture of King County—seeks to promote a discussion on the essential role of effective and equitable design in what seems to be an ever-expanding urban environment.

The events of 2020 have underlined that Western society’s assumptions around the utility and progression of the city are precisely that: only assumptions. They can be subject to the challenge of a pandemic, the imperatives of long-ignored injustices, or the excessive imposition of state power. The upheavals of recent months have raised important questions about the way we think of architecture and urban design. Should sustainability and density be continually reassessed to respond appropriately to the issues of tomorrow? Are we striving to create places to live and work that aims to be harmonious, equitable, and true?


Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004 United States
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