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Art Tue Jun 14 2011

Here is Where: New Works at Sullivan Galleries

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Daniel R. Whiteneck

On the seventh floor of the former Carson Pirie Scott building, the graduating students from the School of the Art Institute's Departments of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO), and Fashion, presented works befitting the classic Louis Sullivan-designed building. Aesthetically speaking, their designs and concepts - ranging from mobile food cart projects to illuminated public art works to multi-functional furniture - are a far cry from Sullivan's steel-framed Chicago landmark. But the goals of the students' designs, often touching upon ideas of recycling, conservation of resources, and streamlined communication, were grounded in multi-generational sustainability.

"It was a chance to do something really beautiful, really challenging, and a challenge for myself," said Alysse Filipek (BFA 2013), the Grand Prize winner of the Designers of Tomorrow competition. Filipek's work addresses both her personal history in Southern California and her reaction to the harsh, Seasonal Affective Disorder-creating winters of Chicago.

Other works on view include LOADED: SAIC in Milan, originally presented during the 2011 Milan International Furniture Fair; Industry Partners: Living in a Smart City; a five-year GFRY Design Studio retrospective; and Where is Where, the graduate thesis exhibition.

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Valerie DeKeyser

Zero-Out (not pictured), by Lindsey Warner (MA Architecture with emphasis in Interior Architecture) examined the future needs and convertibility of space in the East Pilsen neighborhood. Warner created a series of systems that rely on cooperative and recyclable methods that reuse existing infrastructure to reinforce community. Another project by Patricia Vermeulen (MA Architecture with emphasis in Interior Architecture), asks, "What is light?" Vermeulen proposed and created a sample of illuminated objects to line Diversey Parkway. Although many would argue that the parkway was well established as a retail and cultural venue, Vermeulen argues that her site-specific objects would form a connection between the people of the street and their surroundings. As our interpretations of and relationship to the city around us continues to grow, so too must develop more harmonic surroundings that create a greater sense of community.

Chin-Yun Lai's (MA Fine Arts in Studio, Interior Architecture) developed a multi-purpose garment for Home Sweet Street that addresses needs of the homeless such as warmth, space for living and storage. Lai's garment, which she described as a "jacket-blanket-bag" can be worn as a jacket that is both waterproof and can retain body heat and a shoulder bag. The jacket can be unzipped to form a blanket and two jackets can create a tent. Lai's conceptual garment is practical. If the purpose of design is to make creative solutions for everyday problems, then Lai has developed not only a functional solution but one that fosters agency for a misunderstood population.

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Zhe Zhang

Be Longing, a new work by Zhe Zhang (Master of Design in Designed Objects), addresses interpersonal and communicative problems in a playful presentation. Be Longing asks, "How do we use objects to build new interactions between people who are apart?" Using four magnetic halves, Zhang's work is a testament to silent communication. The work is not complete without another person, and the objects illuminate when people uses them at the same time. The complete work is sweet, simple, and a far cry from the numerous intrusive yet depersonalized forms of communication in contemporary society.

Where is Where: School of the Art Institute of Chicago AIADO and Fashion Graduate Thesis Exhibition 2011 runs through Saturday, June 25. Sullivan Galleries is located at 33 South State, 7th floor and is open Tuesdays - Saturdays from 11am to 6pm.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

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Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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