A Lock Not So Grimm

Sitting in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago is an astoundingly intricate lock depicting the Grimm Fairytale, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”. The lock was created by the German-born metalworker Frank L. Koralewsky in 1911, after he immigrated to Boston and became a member of the Boston Society of Arts and […]

Exploded Chair – Joyce Lin

The ubiquitous form of a wooden chair is called into question by artist and designer Joyce Lin with “The Exploded Chair”. Lin’s chair is a “response to themes of inter/dis-connectivity with our environment”, and is an unanswered question of the relationship between materiality and permanence. By encasing the separate pieces for the chair in acrylic, common notions […]

Norman Kelley: Young Artists to Know About

Does one have to design a building to be called an architect?  Perhaps, but then there must be something else, a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the design more than the sum of its parts.  One group of architects continually prodding into these questions is the practice of Norman Kelley.  Founded by Carrie Norman and […]

Collage in Architecture: a New Image

More than its predecessors the typewriter and printing press, the computer has had a profound impact on human life.  This humble post was written on one and is likely being read on one as well.  Indeed, we are surrounded.  So, how do we adapt to this technology?  Architects have been working on this problem in […]

Diverse and Stylish New Hotels in Chicago

We love our hometown, and of course we should, but we know that Chicago pride runs deeper than that of most places.  Here we have rich institutions, some of the best universities, parks, museums, and architecture in the world.  The words “I’m from Chicago” carry some weight no matter which corner of the world we […]

Ed Wormley, a Lesser-known Master Modernist

Among the ranks of the Eames’s, Corbusier, Breuer, Nelson, and Bertoia is a Chicago native by the name of Ed Wormley.  Born at the end of 1907, Wormley began his professional development in interior design while still in high school.  He went on to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1926, dropped out […]

Depth and Illusion at the Graham Foundation

The Graham Foundation is a Chicago Institution that continually inspires the arts and design world through exhibitions, talks, and performances, mostly held in the historic Madlener House in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.  The Prairie-style mansion is gorgeous from its outlook to the street to the detailing of its grand staircase. The Madlener House from W […]

Design and Science, Past and Future

Design practice and scientific methodology became increasingly intertwined in the twentieth century.  This shift may have begun at the Bauhaus school in Germany, where designers, artists, and architects explored the relevance of industrial materials with an experimental curiosity.  The question that arose then remains much the same today: with our ever-expanding empirical understanding of the […]

Pezo Von Ellrichshausen: Simple Forms, Complex Spaces

Architecture’s interpretations are as varied as the individuals who practice it.  The world’s second oldest profession is kept alive by a constant stream of new designers offering fresh insights into the realm of space.  Two such architects are the duo of Maurizio Pezo and Sofia Von Ellrichshausen of Chile.  In their writings they speak of […]

Daydreaming at The Rookery

Chicago is a visual wonderland. We could walk downtown every day and still see something new and intriguing. One delightful location to sketch and let your eyes wander is The Rookery.   The lobby or “light court,” designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has an airiness unlike any other skyscraper in the Financial District. The openness gives […]