Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, May 25

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Design Wed Sep 09 2015

Center for Lost Arts: Beta-Testing a Maker Space

Center for Lost ArtsBy Bethel Habte

The old bowtruss building at 440 N. Morgan St. in the West Loop was a meat freezer. But for one month before its demolition, Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler made it a playground. He stocked the building with materials and tools, then let loose 40-plus designers, woodworkers, artists and engineers in the space and let them make stuff.

Anything at all.

The month-long experience - called Center for Lost Arts - served as a prototype for future "maker spaces" in Chicago that Adler hopes to build. But prototypes aren't perfect.

Listen to the full story:

Bethel Habte is an independent radio producer in Washington, DC. She recently completed a Master's Degree in multimedia journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, specializing in audio and print feature reporting. You can follow her on Twitter at @bethel_habte.


Film Wed May 27 2015

Talking 360° Video with GB's The Grid

360-degree source view
A 360° "Source" view of The Grid episode featuring the Art Institute of Chicago's MFA exhibition.

Last week, GB's short documentary series, The Grid, released three 360° videos shot with a special six-camera rig. The videos, which let you point the "camera" in any direction, were about the April 28th demonstration at the CPD headquarters, droning in the Chicago Park District and the Art Institute's recent MFA show. This week, we're talking with The Grid's Ben Kolak and Kiyomi Mino about working with this new format.

Continue reading this entry »

David Schalliol

Technology Tue Sep 03 2013

Science Fiction Comes to Life in a Public Library

These days, by using a digital model, you can make a solid object. The implications are enormous and with genie out of the bottle, a new world awaits the possibilities that are bound to be wonderful or misused depending on the motivation of the creator. So when the Harold Washington Library announced the opening of a Maker Innovation Labs featuring 3D printers, my interest was piqued and I knew I had to go.

The interactive exhibit runs through the end of the year, with workshops being held to familiarize participants with the design software, allowing you to create and then print items such as key chains and desk organizers.

Continue reading this entry »

Alan Lake

Art Sun Jun 02 2013

Intel's Global Tour Comes to Grant Park


Experience interactive art from Intel at Grant Park Friday, June 7 through Sunday, June 9 at "Experience Intel. Look Inside." This global tour aims to introduce customers to the Intel's broad array of innovative devices. The Grant Park installation will combine art, film, fashion, music, and interactive performances that are all powered by Ultrabook. The weekend will include an interactive installation from Universal Everything, a gaming experience from Hide & Seek and a visual history of computing by The Office for Creative Research. Bring your old laptops to be recycled and receive a discount coupon redeemable for a new Ultrabook. In addition, several Ultrabooks will be given away to guests every day of the installation. The event is free and open to the public.

Photo courtesy

Caitlin Bergh

Technology Thu Oct 18 2012

OpenWall at the 47th Ward Office

1+1 both dates.jpgArtists are always finding new ways of connecting with their communities, and what says community more than your Alderman's office. OpenWall is an initiative being executed in the 47th Ward office and by 47th Ward artists and Alderman Pawar. As a lifetime Chicagoan I realize the importance of the Ward office, if you have problems with the city and want them taken care of it, you can storm into the Ward office and yell "Who do I need to talk to to get (fill in with service you are looking for)" and that is how it work, or doesn't depending on the response you receive. This is an important fact because if most of the traffic you are attracting is angry or at the end of their rope it is important to not give the impression you, the Ward, is trying to hide behind politics and red tape. Alderman Pawar said it best while speaking to the artists and attendees at the opening of "1+1=Community," the current show up in the 47th Ward office, when he said, "The art disarms people."

Continue reading this entry »


Technology Mon Jul 09 2012

Designers Kickstarting a CTA App for the Greater Good

greater good studioHusband and wife designers George Aye and Sara Cantor Aye founded Greater Good Studio a year ago. In that time, they've worked on a variety of projects for nonprofit and academic clients, ran a successful Kickstarter project, and continued teaching -- George at the School of the Art Institute, Sara at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and elsewhere. But they're about to embark on something much bigger, and they're inviting you to help.

"We worked in the innovation sector for corporate clients working on business problems, and we wanted to do something that would engage a lot more people in their city," Sara says. "We feel that design is a pretty good way to do that because it's an accessible process that lots of people can do and lots of people are interested in right now. And we just love the CTA and want to help them out."

Tonight at a party in their Logan Square office, the Ayes will be pressing "Launch" on Designing Chicago: New Tools for Public Transit, a project to create a new CTA iPhone app that will be developed from the ground up, with the aim of going far beyond the run-of-the-mill train or bus tracker. They're funding it via Kickstarter, and are including some novel participatory contribution levels that move beyond what the crowdfunding model usually entails.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

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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 »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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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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