Editor’s note: Coco Picard’s comic for this issue examines artists Jennie C. Jones and Norman Teague on the occasion of their respective exhibitions this summer at Patron Gallery and Converso Gallery. Edited text from the comic is transcribed here to ease readability. Two summer exhibitions repurposed and remixed materials to make designed objects, furniture, paintings, […]
Out of the box
The long-awaited School of the Art Institute of Chicago fashion show was back in May after a two-year hiatus brought on by COVID-19. In the previous pandemic years students presented their work in beautiful highly-produced videos, but nothing substitutes the experience of seeing their garments IRL—especially so up close and personal. And this year’s show […]
Best new inquiry-minded design studio
“Material artifacts are the most concrete things that surround us in our homes,” writes Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book The Meaning of Things. Most of us, particularly since the pandemic started, spend the majority of our time in our homes—giving the objects and environments therein an oversized role in shaping our moods, our days, and […]
Best boutique that started on the back of a truck
The cat sign on the shop window says everything. “I have two cats [Sweet Pea and Naomi] that I bring to the shop when I’m in,” says Adrianne Hawthorne, 36, the owner of Ponnopozz Studio and Store in Ravenswood (4839 N. Damen). “The shop has a sign in the window indicating if a kitty is […]
50th Anniversary Button Pack, in partnership with Busy Beaver Button Co.
The results are in . . . This summer we hosted a button design contest, in partnership with Busy Beaver Button Co., celebrating five decades of the Reader being Chicago’s go-to alternative media source. Here are the winning designs chosen by the Reader community to be a part of our 50th anniversary button pack. Thanks […]
The midwest, tweet by tweet
When Josh Lipnik answers the phone for our interview, he’s pulled over on a drive to Cleveland, on his way to take photos for his popular Midwest Modern Twitter account (62,500 followers and counting). Think of Midwest Modern like a photographic road trip through the region. Lipnik hunts out the hidden gems beyond the city […]
Sheila Rashid makes possibilities you can wear
Chicago designer Sheila Rashid makes unisex clothes that give people the freedom to define themselves.
Eviction is more than just a bureaucratic process
An architecture critic and a housing reporter visit a new exhibition in Milwaukee.
Warm milk for the fast-fashion weary
Milk Handmade spotlights local design.
‘African-American Designers in Chicago’ is an important corrective to art history
The new Cultural Center exhibit shows how much design innovation came from black artists in Chicago.
Shop sexy, local, and political this weekend at Shop Sensual
Shop Sensual features erotic items made by local designers, performances, and workshops from this Friday, December 16, to this Sunday, the 18th, at Reunion in Humboldt Park.
A Chicago designer and LA band Autolux take aim at Trump with a vagina full of rainbows
Chicago artist Tom Feltenberger based his anti-Trump design on the cover of Autolux’s current album, Pussy’s Dead.
Moholy-Nagy isn’t the only major modernist in town right now
Over at the Graham Foundation, a retrospective of the work of Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji is an unlikely and unintentional companion piece to the Art Institute’s “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present.”
The Guerrilla Truck Show returns after a brief hiatus
Photos of the Guerrilla Truck Show at Merchandise Mart during the annual NeoCon commercial design show.
UIC students take a class in Kickstarter
Local designer—and crowd-funding success story—Craighton Berman gives young designers a hands-on lesson in self-promotion in the new Entrepreneurial Product Development class.