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Art Institute of Chicago to Host SHARING SPACE Architecture and Design Exhibition, 4/6-8/18

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A new installation drawn from the Art Institute of Chicago's renowned collection of architecture and design explores the common ground between the two fields throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

On view April 6-August 18, 2013 in Galleries 283-285, Sharing Space: Creative Intersections in Architecture and Design showcases the depth of the collection by presenting works selected with an eye toward mutual creative concepts and strategies rather than the typical categories of media or period. By doing so, the exhibition creates exciting new "conversations" between works that are organized into six creative ideas or themes: color, geometry, structure, hybrid, surface, and technology. The result offers visitors the chance to see new and unexpected relationships among the related areas of architecture, urban planning, visual communications, and industrial design from a global mix of designers and architects spanning over a century of time.

Each of the six sections of the exhibition illuminates underlying formal or conceptual concepts in what might first seem to be disparate works. The use of color to camouflage or blur the boundaries of an object, for example, can be seen in architect Douglas Garofalo's 1991 Camouflage House as well as a vividly hued glass table by Johanna Grawunder (2010). Other groupings ask visitors to find common visual qualities, such as the use of pattern and surface treatments in Hella Jongerius's Embroidered Tablecloth (2002), which features a continuous pattern of stitching across a tablecloth and onto a plate, and Krueck & Olsen's 1983 design for a remodeled interior, Painted Apartment, in which layers of perforated metal screens, glass block walls, and veils of painted dots make surfaces appear to merge and flow, mimicking the experience of living inside a three-dimensional painting.

Another section demonstrates the rapid rise of innovation and technology in the past century from radio design in the 1940s to Yves Béhar's Jambox of 2011 and from Charles and Ray Eames's Leg Splint (c. 1942) to Van Phillips's Cheetah Flex Foot (c. 2000). Through the grouping of work not typically displayed together, questions arise: what might Lauretta Vinciarelli's 1981 conceptual drawings of Marfa, Texas; plywood furniture designed in the 1940s by Rudolph Schindler; and contemporary Pop-inspired posters by the young graphic design firm Sonnenzimmer have in common? Created across 70 years, these objects show the powerful lure of abstraction and geometry in architecture and design.

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