Master of Fine Arts, Writing; Master of Fine Arts, Designed Objects
William Merchant R. French Fellowship Recipient
Master of Fine Arts (MFA), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
Master of Education (EdM), Harvard Graduate School of Education
Bachelor of Science (BS), Chemistry, University of California, San Diego
Experience at SAIC
The ability to range across departments and the opportunity to classroom teach and guide work in the shops all contributed incalculably to my growth as a designer and artist. I can’t imagine a similar degree of latitude can be found at any school of comparable caliber.
I design objects that engage material and space with the aim of humanizing industrial aesthetics and common forms. I begin with engineered materials that are readily available and associated with utility more than beauty. Realized through a combination of digital and traditional fabrication techniques, my designs are charged with a simple depth that gives an otherwise ordinary and sometimes necessary object—whether austere, playful, or unconventional—the opportunity to speak of other things, to quietly emit social and sensual information.
My design practice provides the ropes that save me from the corners into which I deliberately back myself. And my methods are sometimes as mixed as the metaphor. This is the most general circumstance influencing my project work—make a problem, solve a problem. But I always pay particular attention to materials and processes. Currently, I’m interested in various kinds of partnerships, including the roles corporations can play in speculative, independent design practices.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.