A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Outside Design Challenges Artists to Create Beyond their Discipline


An exhibition that runs through December 19 at SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries has been featured by Landscape Architecture magazine and The Dirt blog. Outside Designexplores the recent turn in design to biology and ecological systems. According to the The Dirt, “Jonathan Solomon, director of architecture, interior architecture, and designed objects at SAIC, called for leaving the usual behind and ‘re-weirding the discipline of design,’ which can allow designers and artists to innovate and move beyond disciplinary boundaries.” Solomon curated the show. 

Part laboratory and part exhibition, Outside Design features the work of five design firms.

A video featured by Architect magazine shows one the firm’s exhibitions,Amphibious Envelope by David Benjamin of The Living with Ali Brivanlou, head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Molecular Embryology, at Rockefeller University. The exhibition is a building façade that combines air, water, plants, and frogs to demonstrate how frogs can serve as living sensors that measure oxygen and benefit their environment. When the frogs surface for air, aeration is triggered and pollution is stripped from the water.

Outside Design is a collateral event of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Watch the Artist Talks here.