Spring 2017 was a busy semester for the Department. Our collaboration with West Supply sent the 2017 Whatnot collection of Designed Objects to Salone del Mobile in Milan; while students in Chicago completed work for Kikkerland and Papersource. In Architecture and interior Architecture, thesis students worked with Center for Lost Arts to fabricate installations for the Design Show. We hosted Architects Rosanna Hu and Jeanne Gang, designers Formafantasma and Studio Swine, and others as part of our Mitchell Lecture Series, and guests from around the country and world at our public critiques of graduate thesis work in May.
The Fall of this year promises to be just as eventful; with the second Chicago Architecture Biennial opening in September. The Department will partner with the Biennial and Expo Chicago to to present programming including lectures by Gianni Pettena and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia of Superstudio, leaders of radical Italian architecture in the 1960s and 70s; Korean artist Do Ho Suh; and Hong Kong-based curator Sampson Wong. The Department will be joined in fall by Jack Craig, Visiting Artist in Designed Objects, and Ben Hooker, Mitchell Visiting Professor. New classes in fall include North Lawndale: Housing Otherwise and Post-Geographic City Workshop.
This semester, the Mitchell Lecture Series brought in an array of designers, architects, curators and speculators. From Jeanne Gang, recognized internationally for a design process that foregrounds relationships between individuals, communities, and environments to The Center for Genomic Gastronomy, an artist-led think tank launched in 2010 by Cathrine Kramer and Zack Denfeld that examines the biotechnologies and biodiversity of human food systems.
For the tenth year, emerging designers from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago debuted new work in Milan, Italy, during the annual Design Week, which ran from April 4 – 10, 2017. For the tenth anniversary SAIC partnered with West Supply—a Chicago-based artisanal foundry and fabricator of designer furnishings, lighting, and fine art—to develop a collection of heirloom-quality objects in glass and bronze. By working with form, texture, and finish in relation to phenomena such as transparency, reflection, refraction, and diffusion, the student designers have developed works that respond to light in unique and innovative ways, harnessing the inherent qualities of these precious materials.
Make An Anthropo-Scene
An installation in AIADO's 12th floor hallway gallery by Could Be Architecture (Joseph Altshuler & Zack Morrison) and Cosmo Design Factory (Julia Sedlock & Mark Rowntree), Make An Anthropo-Scene is located somewhere between two and three dimensions and couples the immersive world-making potential of the diorama with techniques associated with caricature—simplification, distortion, exaggeration, and humor. The Department also hosted exhibitions by Lewis.Tsuramaki.Lewis, Ollie Palmer and The National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) SAIC Chapter.
Graduate students in AIADO presented their work during a series a lecture throughout the spring semester. Topics ranged from bio-materials and textile technologies to new memorial buildings that "provide communities the opportunity to remember the past, vocalize concerns of the present, and utilize discussion to move to a different future."
Newcity recently released its 2017 "Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago" featuring the designers, curators, organizers, and educators who majorly influence the design scene of Chicago with many SAIC community members making the list.
As one of the five curators alongside: Olivier Peyricot, Joseph Grima, Alexandra Midal and Jerzsy Seymour; the St Etienne Design Biennale opened, exhibiting a total of 7 exhibitions; displaying over 100 works commissioned and curated around the theme of Working Promise. Ilona Gaynor's new piece and curatorial entitled The Ascent; a theatre play, devises the breakdown of workplace politics in the narrowing (deadly) margins of time and space.
The goal of the one-semester External Partnership Kikkerland Paper Source class was to design a new collection of objects and accessories in partnership with Kikkerland for an exclusive retail launch with Paper Source. Chantelle Choi won the Academic Award in the Paper Source Kikkerland Design Challenge for her Devil's Tear Cold Brewer. And Teagan Chatterley won the People's Choice award for her Multea Tool. The successful designs will be manufactured by Kikkerland and sold at Paper Source stores across the world and through their e-commerce sites.