Edinburgh College of Art at Connect, Sofa Chicago

Exhibition  /  01 Nov 2013  -  03 Nov 2013
Published: 01.10.2013
Navy Pier's Festival Hall
600 E Grand Ave
IL 60611 -  Chicago
0131 651 4400
269 405 5174
Ginger Piotter
Hazel Thorn. Piece: Fractured Vessels, 2013. Hazel Thorn
Piece: Fractured Vessels, 2013
© By the author. Read Copyright.

A group of top art and design schools has been selected for Connect at Sofa Chicago. The schools are bringing fresh, new perspectives to the fair and highlight the artists and designers of tomorrow.

Artist list

Stephen Bottomley. Susan Cross, Grant McCaig, Jo Pudelko, Jessica Turrell, Elizabeth Turrell, Stacey Bentley, Alice Bo Wen Chang, Ciara Bowles, Jee Hyun Chung, Beth Legg, Kelly Munro, Mariko Sumioka, Kirsty Sumerling, Hazel Thorn, Heather Woof, Cristina Zani, Poly Collins, Rhona Mccallum, Marine Stampfli
Celebrating its 20th annual presentation in 2013, SOFA CHICAGO, the world’s foremost fair devoted to Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design, marks its landmark year with the debut of CONNECT, a student design exhibition and competition. Presented alongside nearly 70 galleries, the five unique design environments created by top art and design schools will be on display throughout the fair. "CONNECT is an exciting new component of the fair that will highlight the innovation that is occurring in design at these schools,” says SOFA CHICAGO director Donna Davies. “When you celebrate 20 years, it’s not only a time to reflect upon the past, it’s an essential time to look forward. CONNECT is an opportunity to look ahead at what trends are coming in design.”The winning CONNECT installation, selected by a jury of design experts, will be announced at SOFA CHICAGO’s Opening Night Preview on October 31. SOFA CHICAGO’s sponsor of nine straight years, Chubb Personal Insurance, is also sponsoring the launch of CONNECT, awarding a $2,500 prize to the winning school.

Selected by SOFA CHICAGO to participate in the inaugural CONNECT exhibition and competition, the five schools include Edinburgh College of Art (eca), the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland); Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY); University of California, Davis (Davis, CA); and University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA). The schools will present immersive installations, located throughout the fair, where SOFA CHICAGO visitors can relax and talk while engaging with the schools and their unique environments. All of the seating, lighting, and design elements comprising each 576-square-foot environment will be created by students, under the guidance of faculty advisors. CONNECT schools are also invited to collaborate with the internationally renowned Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG). Each school will submit proposals for unique design objects to be executed in glass based on the theme of “Celebrating 20 Years.” CMOG will select three winning concepts for its glass artists to create. Two pieces will be made prior to the fair and the top design will be created on-site at SOFA CHICAGO during CMOG’s Hot Glass Roadshow demonstration program on Friday, November 1. The winning designers will join the CMOG artists on stage to experience the process firsthand. All three winning CONNECT glass design objects will be displayed at SOFA CHICAGO in the Chubb Personal Insurance booth. Chief Operating Officer of Chubb Personal Insurance Kathleen Tierney says “Chubb is delighted to be part of SOFA CHICAGO’s 20th annual presentation the new CONNECT exhibition and competition. SOFA has always introduced the very best in art and design to collectors and the five unique CONNECT environments will showcase the art and design masters of the future in a way we haven’t seen before.” Asked how this year’s CONNECT schools were chosen, Davies explains, “We selected a group of top art and design schools whose programs are exploring exciting new concepts in design and technology. They are bringing fresh, new perspectives to the fair and it’s important to us to highlight each school’s curriculum while supporting the artists and designers of tomorrow.”

University of Edinburgh’s CONNECT installation will be designed by students in its Jewellry & Silversmithing department, which is located within the Edinburgh College of Art’s internationally renowned School of Design. According to department head Stephen Bottomley, the School of Design wanted to participate in CONNECT “to develop new and exciting international partnerships with galleries, schools and collectors, while also attracting bright new students to join us for study in Scotland.” Taking inspiration from Bauhaus traditions as well as the practical ‘make do’ and ‘thrift’ cultures, Bottomley notes that “eca’s CONNECT display will incorporate bespoke shipping cases reapplied as exhibition plinths and seating, alongside the exhibits that have a special focus on showcasing the work of recent Jewellry & Silversmithing alumni in an exhibit which is striking, practical and utilitarian.”


Opening Night Preview
Thursday, October 31: 5 to 9 p.m. VIP Passholders only, 7 to 9 p.m. Public Preview $50 tickets available

General Admission Hours
Friday, November 1: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 2: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 3: Noon to 6 p.m.
General Admission includes admission to the fair, related lecture series, special exhibits and events.

General Admission: $15
Three-Day Pass: $25
Students/Seniors/Groups (10 or more with advanced reservations): $12
Tickets for all SOFA CHICAGO events, including the Opening Night Preview are available online or at the door.