Monday, October 16, 2006

The new Carson's: Floor 12 - woodshop, laser cutting and 3-D digital printing, courtesy of the SAIC

We still don't know what will happen to all that space when the Carson Pirie Scott department store vacates its landmark Louis Sullivan Building early next year, but the top floor, just behind the newly restored cornice and ornately columned arcade has already been claimed by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On October 10th, the school dedicated it's new Architecture, Interior Architecture & Designed Object department in 31,000 square feet of newly renovated space. Motorola CEO Ed Zander was on hand for the dedication. The Motorola Foundation contributed $100,000 to SAIC to the GFRY Design Studio, honoring the memory it's late Chief Marketing Officer Geoffrey Frost.

The opening took place just as SAIC announced three new graduate design programs: Master of Architecture, Master of Architecture–Emphasis in Interior Architecture, and Master of Design in Designed Objects. The new facility may be aggressively high-tech, but the view out over the city through the prism of Sullivan's organically-inspired ornament provides a valuable counterpoint both of Chicago's rich design history, and of the persistence of an art informed by nature in our own, often relentlessly synthetic world.

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