The Synesthetic Plan of Chicago: A Multi-Sensory Journey Through Chicago and Its Neighborhoods is a hands-on exhibition, created by more than 40 artists and organizations. It celebrates Chicago neighborhoods through the five senses.

From Chinatown to East Garfield Park, this interactive journey through the neighborhoods uses images, sounds, fragrances, flavors and textures to make the city come alive and inspire visitors to venture out and continue to explore Chicago’s many diverse communities.

The Synesthetic Plan of Chicago is commissioned by the City of Chicago, and it is co-curated by Annie Heckman and Daniel Godston.

Artists throughout the city are marking 2009, the 100-year anniversary of Burnham’s Plan of Chicago, by exploring Chicago through all the senses in the Synesthetic Plan of Chicago. Focusing on a multi-sensory and experiential mapping of Chicago’s neighborhoods, over 40 artists and organizations are creating a collaborative, interactive installation for the Chicago Cultural Center’s Visitor Information Center. Projects range from a mapping of the tastes and recipes of Chinatown, to a detailed exploration of candy from East Garfield Park, to a revisiting of Chicago’s stockyards layered with the present-day familiar smell of cocoa wafting over the Near West Side. These individual contributions interact in the space through an interwoven installation of dioramas in stacked modules, created in an angled pattern reminiscent of Burnham’s diagonal streets emanating out from a central point in the original city plan. This installed environment activates the Visitor Information Center with a sense of the diversity of experience present in Chicago’s neighborhoods, and invites visitors to venture out to sites throughout the city to continue the journey.

Presented in collaboration with Chicago cultural and neighborhood organizations, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago Office of Tourism and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism.

annie heckman and daniel godston