The Design Objects program at The School Of Art Institute Of Chicago (SAIC) focuses on the critical rethinking of objects and the changing relationship between things, ideas, people, and contexts. We provide a creative and intellectual environment in which designed things are examined, reconfigured, and reimagined. Future designers need to be thinking designers, practitioners willing to explore unknown territory and work with problems not yet defined. By establishing open platforms for rigorous thinking and making, the department encourages students to challenge the fluid borderline that outlines design, opening the profession to unexpected possibilities.
For Sight Unseen OFFSITE 2018, students in the Designed Objects program have self-produced a collection of ceramic drinkware. Drinking vessels–from military canteens to wine glasses–are inextricably linked to larger histories of art, craft, and design, and highlight complex relationships between material innovation, marketing, religion, war, gender, health and wellness, and mass consumption. Led by Pete Oyler and Jonah Takagi, with support from teaching assistant Ben Harle, students in this intensive studio have created a collection of work that highlights both industrial and craft-based modes of production while providing a new formal perspective on age-old drinking vessel archetypes.