The Design Show is the thesis exhibition in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Designed Objects, and Fashion at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The Design Show demonstrates the range, interest, and impacts of design students at the School, and provides the opportunity for new and ambitious work to be presented to the public.
Learn about the exhibition, the designers, the curatorial team, and more here.
Public Critiques: In addition to our faculty, we are pleased to welcome guest critics from Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne, Indianapolis, London, St. Louis, Syracuse, Reykjavík, and more.
Thórunn Árnadóttir is an independent designer based in Reykjavík. Thorunn's multi-disciplinary work spans a host of different topics and techniques, driven by curiosity, experimentation and interest in various cultures, materials and processes. She has worked on numerous commissions and collaborations, ranging everywhere from a small fishing net factory in Iceland to global brands such as Disney and IKEA. She is also the head designer and co-founder of the brand 54 Celsius. 54 Celsius designs and sells unusual candles in over 40 countries and hundreds of stores around the world. Thorunn graduated with MA in Design Products at Royal College of Arts in London 2011. Before that she finished BA in Product Design at Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik in 2007. More here.
Suzie Attiwill is Associate Dean Interior Design, School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University, Melbourne. Since 1991, her practice has involved exhibition design, curatorial work, and writing on interdisciplinary projects in Australia and overseas. She has curated exhibitions and published book chapters, conference presentations, journal and magazine articles locally and internationally. Research is conducted through design attending to arrangements (and re-arrangements) of spatial, temporal and material relations. Her practice research experiments with questions of interior and interiority in relation to contemporary conditions of living, inhabitation, subjectivity, pedagogy, and creative practice. More here.
Felix Burrichter is a German-born New York-based creative director and writer. He studied architecture at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture and the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville in Paris as well as at Columbia University in New York. In 2006 he founded PIN–UP magazine of which he is the editor and creative director. Felix also works as an independent editor and curator. He has organized design and architecture exhibitions, notably at the Haus der Kunst in Munich (Paper Weight, 2013), at the Swiss Institute in New York (Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau, 2015), and at Friedman Benda gallery in New York (Blow Up, 2019), among others. He has edited books for architects and artists such as Francesco Vezzoli, Rafael de Cárdenas, Sarah Ortmeyer, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and contributed to monographs of renowned design brands such as Cassina and Herman Miller. Felix is a regular contributor to a variety of magazine, including Fantastic Man, W Magazine, Departures, Baumeister, and Girls Like Us. More here.
Elizabeth Bowie Christoforetti is founding principal at Supernormal, an architecture, urban design, and research practice that explores the implications of digital practice for 21st century design. Supernormal uses emerging digital processes to balance cultural relevance with the contemporary imperative to scale beyond a single design, to reach more people and more urban places. Elizabeth’s work pays careful attention to urban systems, human cultures, and the evolving constraints of physical development; it utilizes new analytic techniques to prioritize methods of understanding and projecting change over time and change over location as first principles in design practice. More here.
Sekou Cooke is an architectural practitioner and educator based in Syracuse, NY. He is currently Assistant Professor at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture where he teaches design studios and seminars that value breadth of exploration over formulaic production. Through his professional practice, sekou cooke STUDIO, he brings thoughtful processes and rigorous experimentation to a vast array of project types from commercial and residential works in New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina, to mixed-use projects and tenant improvements in California, to speculative developments in Liberia and his native Jamaica. More here.
Alexander Eisenschmidt is a designer, theorist, and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago. He directs the Visionary Cities Project, a research-based platform devoted to the study of the contemporary city and to speculations on new forms of architectural urbanism. Eisenschmidt is the author of The Good Metropolis (2019) and the editor of City Catalyst (2012), Chicagoisms (2013), and other volumes. From 2012 to 2013 Eisenschmidt was the reviews editor of the Journal of Architectural Education. He has curated and his work has been exhibited in venues such as the Architecture Biennale in Venice, the Art Institute of Chicago Museum, the Shenzhen Biennale on Urbanism, and the Lisbon Architecture Triennale. More here.
Stephen Gray is an Assistant Professor of Urban Design at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal at Grayscale Collaborative. Stephen's architecture and urban design research as well as practice spatializes and rectifies social inequities through processes of radical inclusion and design intermediation by: (1) Operationalizing the political and cultural contexts of cities; (2) Advancing socio-ecological design approaches to resilience; and (3) Exploring the intersectionality of humanitarian aid and urban design. More here.
Deirdre Jordan is the Design Director and Founder of Troscan Design in Chicago. She obtained her Masters of Fine Art in Interior Architecture at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, and later taught at SAIC for eight years. After working for Holly Hunt, Deirdre married her partner Bob, the same year they founded Troscan. More here.
Ang Li is an architect and Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at Northeastern University. Alongside her teaching she maintains a research-centric design practice that works through material experiments and built interventions to explore the role of reference and reuse in contemporary architectural production. Her current work examines the latent design opportunities that arise out of architectural obsolescence, from radical approaches to preservation and adaptive reuse to the emerging second-hand material economies of demolition practices. More here.
Monika Parrinder is a design educator and critic. She has twenty years’ experience teaching Critical and Contextual Studies internationally, including the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins / University of Arts, London. Through design journalism, curated events, and public speaking, she addresses contemporary issues relevant to design and communication. Publishing includes international magazines ID, Print, Eye, Blueprint, Grafik, and Elephant and her book Limited Language: Re-writing Design – Responding to a Feedback Culture. She is a Trustee of the Arts Foundation Futures Awards, which support artists and designers at a breakthrough moment. More here.
Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. A curator and author, her projects focus on exploring the impact of architecture and design on society. She has taught graduate seminars on design history and theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the Design Trust International Advisory Council, Hong Kong. More here.
Linda C. Samuels is an Associate Professor in Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis. She teaches the Infrastructural Urbanism studio in the Master of Urban Design program and a series of core seminars on seminal urban theory and advanced sustainability in the Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism program. Samuels received her doctorate in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master’s in Architecture from Princeton University. Before coming to Wash U, Samuels was the founding Director of the Sustainable City Project, a multi-disciplinary research, teaching, and outreach initiative at the University of Arizona. More here.
Lola Sheppard is a professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and a founding partner, with Mason White, of Lateral Office, a Toronto based practice. Her workoperates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. She is committed to design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the wider context and climate of a project– social, ecological, or political. In particular, she been pursuing research and design work on the role of architecture in rural and remote regions, particularly the Canadian North, for the past ten years. Lola is co-author, with Mason, of the book Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory (Actar 2017) and of Pamphlet Architecture 30, COUPLING: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2011). More here.
Anne Surak is an innovative cultural leader, curator, and art dealer living in Indianapolis with more than 15 years of experience creating collaboration-based projects and exhibitions. In her role as Director of Exhibitions for Exhibit Columbus––an exploration of architecture, art, and design set in the context of Columbus, Indiana that alternates programming annually between a symposium and public exhibition––she spearheaded the production and implementation of the critically-acclaimed inaugural exhibition in 2017 that featured 18 monumental site responsive installations. Anne is currently producing Exhibit Columbus' 2019 exhibition, which will open on August 24, featuring installations by internationally-recognized designers including Frida Escobedo Studio, MASS Design Group, and SO-IL. Anne also created the consulting firm art + space and was the inaugural director of Project 4 gallery in Washington, D.C. More here.
Norman Teague is a Chicago based designer and educator who focuses on the complexity of urbanism and the culture of communities. Specializing in custom furniture design and designed objects that deliver a personal touch and or function to a specific user and unique aesthetic detail. Norman's past projects have included consumer products, public sculpture, performance and spaces. Norman prides himself for working within communities that offer ethical returns and human centered exchanges. Norman has worked on exhibitions and decussions at The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Documenta 13, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Architecture Center & Harvard Graduate School of Design. More here.
Bess Williamson is an Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently the Graduate Program Director in the Art History department. Bess is a historian of design and material culture with a particular interest in social and political concerns in design, including environmental, labor, justice, and rights issues as they shape and are shaped by spaces and things. Her book Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design traces the history of design responses to disability rights from 1945 to recent times. Earlier versions of this work appeared in Winterthur Portfolio (“Getting a Grip: Disability and American Industrial Design of the Late Twentieth Century”) and American Studies (“Electric Moms and Quad Drivers: People with Disabilities Buying, Making, and Using Technology in Postwar America”). More here.
Chris Woebken (b. Hamburg, DE) is a speculative design practitioner, educator, and co-founder of the Extrapolation Factory, a participatory-futures studio. Chris lives and works in New York City and he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Parsons School of Design. Chris earned a Masters Degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London. Recently his work was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship, the Shed‘s Open Call grant, and he received the NYFA Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts. His work has been exhibited widely including the MoMA in New York, NCCA National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, and the China National Museum in Beijing. He has created special commissions for Z33 in Leuven, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and ZKM in Karlsruhe. More here.