Where are you now and what kind of work/projects are you currently working on?
I live in Chicago, where I have been practicing design for the past 20 years. I am currently working on several custom interior projects, where the designs reside at the intersection of furniture and architecture. I am also in the beginning stages of a collaboration with a rising star of the slow fashion movement, which I am very excited about.
How did SAIC prepare you for where you are today? What particular classes/projects/approaches to subjects influenced you?
SAIC was absolutely the springboard for the evolution of my design practice. The biggest influence was its emphasis on cross-disciplinary exploration. The SAIC program provided the support, excellent faculty and facilities to enable my work to develop beyond the pre-defined parameters of architecture and interiors. I explored relationships between sound and physical forms, texture, materiality, dream-states and the body. The program also allowed the space for me to find perfect faculty members to approach for mentorship, within a variety of disciplines and with very specific areas of expertise. This sort of opportunity is rare and invaluable for self-motivated designers.
What career advice do you have for current students, looking at how you see your field evolving, what is critical for the future practitioner?
I think it is critical to work hard and not expect an obvious path toward success – the path is one you create and carve out for yourself with persistence and passion. Those with a fastidious work ethic and laser focus will rise to the top. I definitely see the field evolving in an interdisciplinary way, so I would encourage students to look past barriers between design disciplines, and to explore that crossover wherever it seems relevant to their research.
With whom did you study at SAIC or who influenced you?
Eve Fineman is an award-winning designer based in Chicago. She has been a design educator since 2002, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor of Interior Architecture and Product Design at Columbia College Chicago. Eve is the owner of Eve Fineman Design, LLC, a practice whose services include custom furniture and millwork design, as well as interiors and architecture. Her projects range from residences and restaurants to commercial spaces and specialty projects, which include custom lighting, textiles, rug design, and yacht interior.
Eve's work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, most recently at the Museum of Outstanding Design (MOOD) in Lake Como, Italy. Eve's practice is focused on interdisciplinary collaboration, bridging into other design disciplines such as fashion, jewelry, graphic design and exhibit design. She has curated numerous design exhibitions, and is currently co-programmer for the League of Women Designers Chicago.