Final Graduate Exhibition of 2013 Leads Five Shows Opening June 10

Emerging designers from four graduate design programs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) will showcase their final projects in SET OFF, a design exploration off the beaten path, presented at the SAIC Sullivan Galleries, 33 South State Street, June 8–July 5. The largest of five new exhibitions on view during NeoCon, North America's largest design exposition, SET OFF is free and open to the public Tuesday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. The opening reception is Monday, June 10, 6:00–8:00 p.m., and a panel discussion will be held in the galleries 4:00–5:30 p.m. SET OFF is online at

The result of an in-depth development process that began in April with more than 40 individual meetings with participants, the exhibition will be presented via the north entrance of the Sullivan Galleries, opening into a long, narrow hallway before emerging into wider space. Three sections further organize the presentation: Echoes Down the Corridor, comprising proposals for public spaces; Marks of Indifference, a section on political and social statements unified by removed perspectives; and Rare Bird Sightings, a modern “curiosity cabinet” where featured graduates address topics of structure and form. The curators reviewed essays and more than 15 different exhibitions and presentations together with participating designers prior to assigning design standards and developing the floor plan.

SET OFF is curated and designed by SAIC faculty member and architect Odile Compagnon and independent designer and SAIC alumna Lynn Lim (MDes 2010). The curators note several common threads behind the exhibition’s title. “Sharing a speculative and inquisitive energy, the 42 exhibited projects measure overlooked or assumed practices, urban spaces, and morphologies—and they do so by using heavy contrast, offsetting the issue or place from its usual context. Also, each proposal is a spark, initiating the future movement and direction of every graduating designer.”

The SAIC graduate programs represented in the exhibition are Master of Design in Designed Objects; Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment; Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture; and Master of Architecture. Participating students in SET OFF include Saad Alghamdi, Sara Alzawad, Aaron-Bereich Apilado, Sara Barrett, Ryan Beemsterboer, Mikyoung Chang, Adam Chau, Hsi Chen, Jennifer Coleman, Adele Cuartelon, Hannah Dulaney, Sarah X. Floyd, Faranak Farhang, Michelle Joan Galiano, Natalya Ganyukova, Ruyuan Ge, Lucas Goldbach, Simon Goldbroch, Sarah Hamzeh, Venessa Jimenez, Cher Jiang, Jessie LaFree, Joe Leamanczyk, Sunmin Lee, Misha Lee, Egor Machaca, Ali Husnain Malik, Jaclyn Marcus, Connie Martinez, Ada Mayer, Ian McEntee, Michelle O’Young, Carmine Ro, Lindsey Rogers, Brendan Kempe Scanlan, Kathryn Shehan, Carissa Smith, Adam Schmaedeke, Eli Sidman, Fu Hsueh Tsao, Anthony Wasmund, and Emily Wright.

Additional Exhibitions
SAIC’s Post-Baccalaureate Studio Exhibition, the GFRY Studio exhibition A View with a Room, and whatnot and Functional Fiction—a pair of design exhibitions originally presented in Milan and New York City, respectively—are also presented June 8–July 5.

Post-Baccalaureate Exhibition
Organized with curatorial assistance by Ionit Behar (MA 2013), this interdisciplinary exhibition features 20 students completing SAIC’s Post-Bac in Studio and Post-Bac in Fashion, Body and Garment curricula. The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio is offered in the Departments of Art and Technology Studies; Ceramics; Fiber and Material Studies; Film, Video, New Media, and Animation; Painting and Drawing; Performance; and Visual Communication Design. Participants include Mo Chen, Marisa Lynn Choate, Hyegyeong Choi, Kittisak Chontong, Jennifer Sharon Conrad, Mary Reinehr Gigler, Timothy David Gonchoroff, Lucia Gonzalez Botello, Andrei Zuma Hill, Erica Holloway, Julien Dylan Isaacs, Aubrey Marie Manson, Prarna Deepak Mansukhani, Gulsah Mursaloglu, Gabrielle Jordana Pescador, Leonard Reese, Karaline Marie Stark, Samuel Giorgio VeraSforzza, Lulu Zhang, and Allison Sara Zuckerman.

A View with a Room: 2013 GFRY Studio Exhibition
Supported by a grant from the Motorola Foundation in memory of their Chief Marketing Officer Geoffrey Frost, the GFRY Studio is a collaborative, trans-disciplinary design and fabrication studio that actively cooperates with industry to produce work for targeted public opportunities such as art, design and technology expositions, design competitions, and topical research publications. A View with a Room, the 2013 GFRY Studio led by SAIC faculty members Doug Pancoast and Bo Rodda, uses informatics to explore how participatory, embedded, and ubiquitous computing, as well as access to public data, help reveal and improve the complexity and dynamism of urban existence in Chicago. Featured designers include Maria Paula Loayza, Elise Noel Sydora, Colin Hutton, Miguel Perez, Moe Beitiks, Brooke Collins, and Ian McEntee.

Following a successful showing at the renowned gallery Spazio Rossana Orlandi April 9–14 during the Milan International Furniture Fair, the 2013 whatnot collection makes its American debut during the 2013 graduate design exhibition. Created by students enrolled in a yearlong design studio directed by Professors Helen Maria Nugent and Jim TerMeer, the collection of American-made contemporary lifestyle products builds on the successful launch of the whatnot brand in both Milan and New York City last year. The 16 designers of the 2013 whatnot collection explore the visceral, perceptual, associative, emotional, and conceptual potential of color in all its permutations—muted, primary, fluorescent, functional, natural, and erotic. Designers include Morgan Brill, Hsi Chen, Faranak Farhang, Ruyuan Ge, Justin Hu, Jay Hyun Kim, Allon Kapeller-Libermann, Taylor Littrel, Samuel Matson, Ada Mayer, Daniel Moynihan, Carlos Ortega, Yiqian Peng, Venessa Rosely Jimenez, Kempe Scanlan, and Eli Sidman. High-resolution press images from the project, participant bios, and additional materials are available by contacting John Eding.

Functional Fiction
Nine SAIC students originally presented Functional Fiction at the 2nd annual NADA NYC May 10–12. SAIC’s first display at NADA, the exhibition is the culmination of The Collectible Object, a two-semester course conceived and taught by SAIC professors Dan Price (Sculpture) and Tim Parsons (Designed Objects). Along with Messy Prototypes, taught by faculty members Tristan d'estreé Sterk and Christine Tarkowski, the class is part of a new school-wide initiative to promote interdisciplinary work at the nexus of art and design. Participating students include Melissa Arielle Callender, Adam Chau, Andrea Rose Chiu, Jasmine Lee, Nalisha Chouraria, Sarah M. Doonan, Sky White, Tyler Willis, and Zeke Raney. High-resolution press images from the project, participant bios, essays by the instructors, and additional materials are available by contacting John Eding.

SET OFF: SAIC AIADO and Fashion Graduate Design Thesis Exhibition
+ Post-Baccalaureate Exhibition, A View with a Room, whatnot, and Functional Fiction
June 8–July 5
SAIC Sullivan Galleries
33 S. State St., 7th Floor
Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Closed July 4
Opening Reception: Monday, June 10, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Monday, June 10 4:00–5:30 p.m.
For more information:, 312.629.6635,

About the Sullivan Galleries
Comprising over 30,000 square feet, the Sullivan Galleries are the largest single contemporary gallery space in Chicago’s Loop, and are located in the recently renovated Sullivan Center, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The building was originally designed by architect Louis Sullivan and was home to the flagship store for Carson Pirie Scott and Company for more than a century.

About the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO)
SAIC’s Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects encourages a vibrant engagement with design on all scales—from body to environment—and outside disciplinary boundaries. Its faculty believes that future designers need to be thinking designers, practitioners willing to explore unknown territory and engage problems not yet defined. Its students are inspired to become entrepreneurial agents of design, developing hubs of activity linking art, design, science, business, and culture. For more information, please visit

About the Department of Fashion Design
SAIC’s Department of Fashion Design, home to the Master of Design and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate programs in Fashion, Body and Garment, is internationally recognized for its unique interdisciplinary program within a fine arts foundation. Its programs build on the connections and relationships between art and fashion that have been evolving in the past century, and that reach an unprecedented level in contemporary practices today. For more information, please visit

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to more than 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also provides adults, high school students, and children with the opportunity to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit

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Emerging designers from four graduate design programs will showcase their final projects in SET OFF, a design exploration off the beaten path.

Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)