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Entries in Chicago (32)


the making of: dangerous liasons

Designed by Legendre+Rutter to pay homage to the 2009 theatre poster for the Canberra Repertory Society production of the 18th-century tale, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”; Chicago designer Lance Rutter’s original illustration and lettering achieved its rich coloration and detail with a unique process that included rendering every line with a brush pen and printing directly on bright red paper.

Hand-tufted—in reverse, then backed—using Indian and New Zealand wools, each dangerous liaisons rug takes approximately two days to produce. Execution of the design is a tribute to the talent of the craftsmen who interpret the original illustration into a tapestry using just six yarn colors.

To fully appreciate the drama of the design, contact your local hardware store for hardware to hang one on a wall as artwork.


27th annual christmas sing-along: chicago

photo courtesy of: 20 LettersWhat: The 27th Annual Christmas Show
Where: Music Box Theatre, Chicago
When: Friday, December 17-24, 2010

For the past 26 years, holiday revelers have come to the vintage Music Box theater to watch two classic films of the season—‘White Christmas’ and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.

What makes the evening a holiday tradition is when Santa Claus, accompanied by the theater organist, leads a sing-along of the most cherished Christmas carols before the screening of each film. In case you never knew the words to Auld Lang Syne, Follow the “bouncing ball” as the lyrics are projected onto the screen and enjoy!


month at the museum: begins today

What: Month at the Museum
Where: Museum of Science+Industry Chicago
When: October 20-November 18, 2010  

Today the Museum of Science and Industry’s new roommate, Chicagoan Kate McGroarty, begins a historical thirty days as their first live-in visitor. A 3-sided, 16x16’ glass cube just outside the main rotunda will remind daily visitors that Kate’s there 24/7—but she’ll also be out and about doing some research, collecting her thoughts, writing and blogging about living in this home to more than 35,000 artifacts and one of the largest science museums in the world—not to mention an architectural gem.

Built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, ‘The Palace of Fine Arts’ is the only surviving permanent structure from the fair. Designed to follow principles of the Beaux Arts movement highlighting symmetry and splendor, it officially opened as a museum in 1933.

In preparation for her stay, the out-in-the-open cube and behind-the-scenes living quarters were designed and set-up by another Kate, our Lincoln Park designer. Her job was to translate a briefing by selecting pieces to meet Kate’s needs. Architectural details provided a spectacular backdrop, but modern furniture and bold colors that add energy and excitement are all key to this very modern exhibit.

What pieces were chosen and why?
Our hope is that the cielo sectional will help Kate feel comfortable in her temporary home—she can cozy up in the corner or sprawl out on the chaise to write or watch TV on her laptop. To compliment it, the slot coffee table offers some privacy with its hidden compartment while she’s in the open, on display. In addition, the fold desk is durable and hints of an industrial lab for any science experiments she takes on—and while the glass cube allows visitors to see Kate from just about any angle, the positioning of the furniture allows them to observe without feeling intrusive.

Tucked inside the sprawling 14-acre museum, her living quarters are a prime example of small-space urban living—which also had to be modern, functional, and just as fun as the exhibits outside.

Painted a cool grey and with the architecture as a key element, brilliant white multi-functional furniture pieces set a bold stage and are great for small spaces. An odyssey dining table doubles for dining or work, and with city slicker as a side table, ottoman, or extra seating in a pinch—it’s lightweight so Kate can move it around as needed. Alpine was chosen for its space-saving headboard/nightstand and a theo duvet keeps the overall color palette strong and ties in with the Museum’s contest graphics. A parlour sofa is the focal point in lemongrass and a shop chest adds another pop of color to the room—not to mention ample storage for Kate’s 30 t-shirts, one for every day of her stay so you can’t miss her. Go to these links to follow her on twitter or facebook.

Thanks to kate, store designer lincoln park, for contributing to this submission.


month at the museum winner

What: Month at the Museum
Where: Museum of Science+Industry Chicago
When: October 20-November 18, 2010  

Earlier today, The Museum of Science + Industry Chicago announced the first Month at the Museum Winner who will have plenty of time to explore the Museum’s 35,000 artifacts privately, and talk about living with them 24/7.

With an enthusiastic crowd watching, the five finalists took part in a science demonstration that dilvulged the winner with orange bubbles exploding from a beaker glass.

Congratulations to Chicagoan Kate McGroarty who will begin her adventure October 20th—not to mention over 1600 contest entrants including fellow finalists Alexandra Dainis, Felix Jung, Krispijn Larrison, and Johnathan Wilson.


one of a finds: chop chop table

Using wood that’s harvested within the Chicago metro area—due to the effects of nature such as age, wind or storm damage—chop chop not only reduces the demand on our nation’s forests, they’re fabricated locally thereby minimizing the carbon footprint between the source, mill and production.

Designer Paul Pettigrew, Studio Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, pursued this project in response to a surplus of felled ash trees in our urban forests.

Collaborating with Horigan Urban Forest Products, each piece is stripped of its bark and squared into rectangular logs. Then they’re kiln-dried, sanded, oiled, and protective feet are added.

The natural variations in grain, dimension and color of trees that define the urban forest mean each table is unique. Kiln-dried to reduce moisture content, wood checks (ie. splits or cracks) may appear as the wood acclimates to its environment—expands and/or contracts—but they enhance each table’s special character without affecting its structural integrity.

Congratulations to Horigan Products’ co-founders Erika and Bruce Horigan, who’ve been recognized by the Illinois Arborist Association for advancing the cause of wood recycling and by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center for significant achievements in protecting the environment.

harvesting a damaged treecut logs ready for milling
raw tables drying in a kiln