Tele Vision Network Programming Preview
by Maura Lucking and Morgan Walsh
After a few lidded looks at the water cooler and flurry of flirty emails these two are ready to take it to the next level. Thankfully the Office Fling is nearby. This worktable can be hastily cleared for adult play and then speedily reassembled with a tug of silk ribbons, blending the absurdist with the suggestive. The exciting and playful office is not, as it turns out, dependent upon sophisticated equipment or happy hours but rather the ordinary office cubicle, ripe with the potential for a spontaneous encounter.
As the Hull House closes its doors after more than a century of social reform and service to the women of Chicago, a new form of memorial has sprung up in honor of the members of the needle trades that constitute the center’s primary residents. A flax and indigo garden is planted inside the gallery space as a familiar, yet constantly evolving, reminder of the materials that restricted but also enabled the livelihood of generations of Chicagoans.
Ripped from today’s headlines, Ad Hoc Catharsis imagines futures for war-torn structures without returning to their pre-trauma programs; Unsolicited Architectures and Tools for Protesters provide activists with objects for stability and community-building and physical infrastructures for gathering and mobilization. Surface to Air leaves the existing cityscape entirely in a self-stabilizing, aerial structure that needs only to be moored at a convenient location to develop its own anthropological and infrastructural systems, blurring the line between aviation and settlement as society looks beyond its earthbound existence.
It was not in just any factory, but Rossana Orlandi’s famed Milanese showroom, that SAIC’s emerging designers first presented the Whatnot collection, later shown at New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Whatnot, so-named for the collection’s affordable, “fit it in your suitcase” ethos as well as the eponymous Victorian English drawing room shelf to showcase valued collections, will be a recurring SAIC line at the Salone in coming years. Kaleidoscopic umbrellas, traffic cone trellises, fragrant wood-milled pencils and pressed-paper trophies are just a few of the objects on view in Tele Vision.
Though we are not the things we own, objects become visual and physical placeholders for ourselves. Homes, despite their large scale, are the most intimate of man-made objects. They provide shelter for our emotions in addition to our belongings and ourselves. But their importance in our lives comes at a cost—homes are expensive, and many can no longer afford what they once could. When the house that used to welcome now causes worry, what do we do, where do we go and who do we become; has the American dream become Too Good To Be True?
Recipes abound online for delicious dishes and Pinterest is perfect for DIY table settings—bring on the guests! But what about all those leftovers? These colorful containers bake alongside dinner and their size allows for only a lunch-worth of leftovers. Made from the feast’s excess food scraps, you might even find yourself adjusting the menu to get just the right hue. More than simply a clever way to send extras home with guests, Mimic allows the user to relive the celebratory experience and perhaps muddle over why merriment and excess often go hand-in-hand.
This science-lab reminiscent project explores the complex relationship between sight and smell. Materials are infused with unexpected odors in order to both subvert expectations and, perhaps, bring personal emotional experience and the olfactory closer together. Wedding rings aren’t typically thought of as odorous, but their iconic imagery calls to mind marriage, love and, likely, a special someone. Do these symbols need to be visual? Could a wedding ring smell like your partner, or the beach on your wedding day? Open your eyes and inhale—and engage your senses in unexpected ways.
As war-torn veterans return from combat, adjustment and change doesn’t come easy. Crying babies and a trip to the convenience store can push soldiers to the edge. But at this recovery center, lofted bedrooms for restless nights, intimate spaces for family and individual counseling, and one very large living room help take the edge off. Housed in the south side of Chicago with eastward views to the lake, this open plan, wood and glass structure becomes a framework for healing. Though family and friends mean well, sometimes architecture offers the support and shelter they cannot, securing for itself a starring role.
A series of objects, collectively comprising TOUCH, reveal their function through the deliberate display of material wear. Eschewing aesthetic complexity, the simple wooden forms both communicate the embedded affordances from their designer but also begin a new dialogue with their user as they quickly evolve through daily interaction. Burnished metal, grooved wood, and other familiar surfaces suddenly make visible the hidden relationships we’ve been in all along.