In Fall of 2017 SAIC announced it would commission the US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale with University of Chicago. The exhibition, "Dimensions of Citizenship" will be curated by AIADO Assistant Professor Ann Lui with UChicago Associate Professor Niall Atkinson and independent curator Mimi Zeiger. AIADO Lecturer Iker Gil will serve as associate curator. The project puts SAIC and AIADO at the forefront of an important and contemporary conversation in art and design.
It was a busy semester throughout the Department! Our Mitchell Lecture Series included Designer Fiona Raby, Artist Do Ho Suh, Architect Yolande Daniels and more. AIADO faculty and students participated in programs and affiliated events of the 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennial, and in the Chicago Design Museum's inaugural pop-up Design Market. In spring we are preparing for a semester of events centered on Department Alumni, including exhibitions in our gallery and a daylong symposium on the past, present and future of design at SAIC.
This semester, the Mitchell Lecture Series brought in an array of designers, architects and curators. From Do Ho Suh, who believes the spaces we inhabit also contain psychological energy, and in his work he makes visible those markers of memories, personal experiences, and a sense of security to Rural Urban Framework, a firm that believes building architecture in sites of uncertain transformation calls for a design approach that embraces contradiction as a strategic response.
Crosstalk: Conversations on Architecture and Citizenship
The Crosstalk symposium encouraged inquiry into the role of architects in responding to and crafting contemporary understandings of citizenship and belonging. The event was organized by the School’s chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS), with support from faculty advisors. Guest participants included Keith Krumwiede, Scott Fortino, David Schalliol, Carlos Roa, Katherine Darnstadt and Paola Aguirre.
AIADO's 12th floor hallway gallery continues to the be the site of new and exciting installations and exhibitions. At the beginning of the semester, award winning architect John Szot presented “Mass Market Alternatives”. “Mass Market Alternatives” seeks to exploit the economic leverage and aesthetic principles of mass-market suburban housing in order to diversify its potential customer base and challenge the reputation of the suburbs as enclaves of conservatism and political conformity.
The year-long External Partnership: Milan course enables students to hone their voice as individual designers while working as a team to execute a thematic collection of highly refined and relevant work. This semester, the culminating works of several students throughout the years were exhibited and sold in a pop up shop at the Chicago Design Museum.
ManifesTEA at The Chicago Design Museum
The result of a protest workshop with Mitchell lecture Sampson Wong, ManifesTEA was a student run collective space at the Chicago Design Museum that dove into the process of "colonialoscopy". In a series of sessions visitors addressed how tea addresses various historical and contemporary practices of hegemony, erasure and assimilation. ⠀
CLAIRVOYANCE is part of Superfluous: An Architectural Project, an exhibition based on Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and organized by the Alliance Française de Chicago. As one of eleven projects proposed by students of the Architecture and Interior Architecture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, CLAIRVOYANCE was chosen by a jury of professionals to be realized at the Alliance Française.
Peter Exley, FAIA, RIBA, and educator/designer Sharon Exley, MAAE, ASID, cofounded the Architecture Is Fun as a multidisciplinary studio in 1994. Their firm devotes itself to the architecture of play and driving the process of participation to engage stakeholders of all ages in this constructive foundational activity. AIA Chicago recently recognized Architecture Is Fun as their 2017 Firm of the Year.
AIADO has continued to maintain strong ties with our alumni throughout the fall semester. Our alumni value SAIC's interdisciplinary curriculum, emphasis on experimentation, and strong culture of making. Strong relationships with faculty and comfort working in diverse contexts give SAIC alumni the confidence to pursue their interests wherever they may be.
Ben Hooker was the fall semster's William Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Visiting Professor. Hooker’s practice-led research investigates novel ways to understand and inhabit technologically dense spaces and landscapes. He recently installed The Grotesque Interfaces, an exhibition of in-progress work by Hooker and collaborator Shona Kitchen.
Students from SAIC participated in a pop-up studio at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. As part of the AIADO class, North Lawndale: Housing, Otherwise, they recreated their workspace from the Nichols Tower in North Lawndale, where they have been spending the semester exploring new strategies for a better access to affordable housing. The class has analyzed several housing developments in North Lawndale and conducted numerous mapping exercises with the goal of producing new models for housing in under-served neighborhoods. Collaborating with local community organizations, schools, and businesses, the students, divided in three teams with 3 different North Lawndale sites, have listened to the needs of the community and addressed them through their distinct proposals, which they displayed at the pop-up studio in the Chicago Cultural Center.