Fall 2016 marks the addition of new voices and the continued expansion of projects in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects. We welcomed one of our largest classes ever of graduate students who have brought fresh energy to our studios and workshops. This has been seen particularly in our MFA studios, where new students in Design for Emerging Technologies have joined our cohort.
Three additional tenure-track faculty and two Visiting Artists joined the program and Stuart Candy, our Mitchell Visiting Professor, is teaching classes on design and futurism. The Mitchell Lecture Series hosted eight events, bringing leaders in the field and emerging voices to our students. At the same time, our collaborative approach to teaching continued with opportunities such as our bLUMEN pavilion, which opened this summer, as well as our partnership with West Supply for our Whatnot course.
AIADO was particularly proud this fall to see the work of the students, faculty and alumni of the Department featured in Newcity's Designed Objects issue! The work in our Department and the conversations we have around it are a source of continual inspiration.
The Spring semester promises more inspiring moments: from the Mitchell lecture series featuring Chicago's Studio Gang to the artist lead think tank, the Center for Genomic Gastronomy. We will also be featuring several new courses including Contemporary Issues in Design: Safety in Numbers, Narrative Proximities: Art, Design, Politics of Maps, a new External Partnership: Kikkerland and Paper Source and Stuart Candy's Contemporary Issues in Design: Future Documentary. All of this plus much more will culminate with our 2017 Design Show/Public Critiques in which we will be hosting several international, national and local critics. Please check in with us periodically to learn more about these events.
bLUMEN is a site-specific sculptural pavilion combining art, architecture, and technology to create a flourishing plant-growth environment that engages and connects with the Homan Square community. With bLUMEN, we envision how design can transform and activate sites into fertile ground for creativity, innovation, and social interaction. This first time class consisted of both undergraduate and graduate students from all departments at SAIC.
Spectacular Vernacular is the first major solo exhibition of work by the design studio Parsons & Charlesworth, formally founded by British husband and wife Tim Parsons and Jessica Charlesworth in 2014 after years of informal collaboration. Showing three distinct aspects of their creative practice – observation, experimentation, and speculation – across the three galleries of the Chicago Rooms, the exhibition reveals how Parsons & Charlesworth mix their craft and industrial design backgrounds with influences from fiction, science and the arts.
This semester, the MItchell Lecture Series brought in an array of designers, architects, curators and speculators. From Thomas Thwaites, whose recent project to take a holiday from being human by becoming a goat, to Assemble, a London/New York based practice who champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realisation of the work.
SAIC undergraduate BFA students swept the Amita Design Challenge, 24 hour hackathon. SAIC students won first and second prizes, over the University of Chicago, Northwestern, UIC, Harper College, IIT, Governors State University, NIU, Dominican University and DePaul University.
Newcity recently released its 2016 Designed Objects Issue, guest edited by SAIC faculty member and Thirst guru Rick Valicenti, which features alumni, faculty, and SAIC community members. The issue looks at Chicago’s designed objects as “conceptually crafted, fearlessly functional, provocative, inquisitive.”
Ann Lui is a founding partner of Future Firm, a Chicago-based architecture office. Her work focuses on the role of architecture as an infrastructure for discourse. She holds a B.Arch from Cornell University and a SMArchS from MIT’s History, Theory and Criticism program, where her research focused on corporate architecture in the postwar period. Previously, Ann practiced at offices including SOM, Bureau Spectacular, and Morphosis Architects. She was Assistant Editor of OfficeUS Atlas (Lars Muller, 2015), co-edited MIT’s journal Thresholds (MIT SA+P, 2015), and is editing a forthcoming volume with Gediminas Urbonas on the role of architects and artists in the civic realm, titled Public Space? Lost and Found.
The co-founder of Assembly Design, an award winning NYC-based furniture design studio, Peter Oyler holds a BA in American Studies and an MFA in Furniture Design from RISD. Oyler’s work has been recognized and showcased internationally and in 2012 was named one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 30 under 30 for Art & Design. He currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design.
Stuart Candy, 2016-17 Mitchell Visiting Professor, is an award-winning experiential futurist and strategic facilitator who has brought possible worlds to life in festivals, museums, and city streets worldwide. Over the past decade he has raised the visibility and impact of foresight through collaborative innovation in games, media, and design. He has taught at top design schools and worked with organisations including the United Nations Development Programme, IDEO, the University of Oxford, Burning Man, and the National Film Board of Canada, and helped create the 2016 Museum of the Future exhibition for the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Ang Li is an architect and Visiting Artist in the department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her recent work explores questions of appropriation and historical sampling in contemporary design culture through drawings, publications, and built installations. She is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary approaches to architectural production that focus on the material history and cultural agency of existing building practices.
Eric Rothfeder is an architect practicing in Chicago and New York City. His research and design projects have been exhibited at the BSA Space in Boston, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Fondazione Sandretto in Italy; and published in Domus, Bidoun, La Vanguardia (Barcelona), Competitions Magazine and the Architect's Newspaper. He has worked as a designer and project architect at the offices of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, KieranTimberlake and LevenBetts. He received a B.A. with Distinction from Yale University and an M.Arch from Princeton University. In 2013 he was an Artist in Residence at the Cape Cod Modern House Trust.