Celebrating Great Design in Chicago

“CHGO DSGN: Recent Object and Graphic Design” is an exhibition of more than 200 works—from functional objects and furniture to theoretical proposals—by more than 100 Chicago-based designers. On view at the Chicago Cultural Center through November 2, the exhibition is curated by Rick Valicenti, founder and design director of Thirst/3st, a communication design practice, and features displays designed by Tim Parsons, Associate Professor of Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute.


The exhibition features work from established Chicago design studios, including Crosby Associates, Morningstar, VSA Partners, Wright, the University of Chicago Press, the Department of Design at Leo Burnett, Threadless, and Holly Hunt. A few works by emerging designers are making their Chicago debut at the exhibition, including a limited edition bronze chair by furniture designer Jonathan Nesci, a bookshelf by Felicia Ferrone, and a sculptural leather chair by Jay Sae Jung Oh.


Exhibition view, the White Room. Works featured (from left to right): Plural, MDW Fair 2011/2012 Promotional Posters; Jonathan Nesci, GV Bronze Chair; Cody Hudson, Vibes Melt Down 2043; Alex Gilbert, Top Cash; Steven Haulenbeek, Pond Trays; Plural, Living Book. Platform designed by Tim Parsons.


Exhibition view, the Plaid Room. Works featured (from left to right): John Pobojewski, Metallics; VSA Partners, Sandro: Raw: Steppenwolf; Christopher Gentner, Bliss table; Materious, Fallen; Scott Reinhard, Art vs. Art; Maria Grillo, Untitled; Alisa Wolfson, Lampo Plaid. Platform designed by Tim Parsons.

“Chicago design is alive once again and on display for the world to see,” Valicenti says. “Almost a century ago, Chicago designers were at the epicenter of print. A few years later, Chicago was home to the New Bauhaus, and in the 1970s our designers championed international modernism. Today’s designers are reverberating with inspiration from storied times as they amplify Chicago design’s future.”

Valicenti is a 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, and his firm, Thirst, completed the redesign of Contract in 2011 as well as graphics and films for the 34th and 35th Annual Interiors Awards.

Holly Hunt, Odense Chair

Holly Hunt, Odense Chair


Jonathan Nesci, General Desk


Jay Sae Jung Oh, Leather Chair


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