The Art Institute’s Architecture and Design Department Collaborates With New York–based graphic design firm Project Projects

New York–based graphic design firm Project Projects is well-known for its innovative work on publications, exhibitions, and identities for a range of cultural institutions and educational organizations, as well as for creating self-initiated curatorial and research projects. Project Projects: Test Fit—commissioned as part of an Art Institute of Chicago series in which architects and designers are invited to explore their own interests and instigate new thinking and practices within and beyond their professional disciplines—is envisioned as a model for an exhibition that could serve as a framework for addressing issues of representation and reproductions in playful, yet critical ways. Test Fit, on view in the Modern Wing’s Kurokawa Gallery through April 28, 2013, includes nearly 40 printed facsimiles of works in the Art Institute’s permanent collection that reflect Project Projects’ broad interest in the history of design practice.

Project Projects was founded in 2004 by Prem Krishnamurthy and Adam Michaels. The studio has worked with a wide range of clients in the cultural sector including the Berkeley Art Museum, Harvard GSD, the Museum of Modern Art, Phaidon, the Guggenheim Museum, and Princeton Architectural Press. Project Projects was named a Finalist in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards in 2009 and 2011 and has been recognized with the AIGA 365 Award, the Art Directors Club Bronze Medal and Young Guns 5 Award, and several Society of Publication Designers merit awards.

For Test Fit, Project Projects carefully selected over three dozen works from the Art Institute’s permanent collection that reflect the concerns of its partners. The studio began with an interest in European modernism, namely its Chicago-based practitioners László Moholy-Nagy and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but then expanded the scope of the exhibition to indicate a broader sweep of design practice from Louis Sullivan to Bertrand Goldberg and beyond. Project Projects has also included an unexpected dimension to a mainstay of museum exhibitions—the wall label—by including statements such as “This is a building that’s clear and open, at least in appearance” and posing questions to visitors such as “Why are you standing still?” and “Why do the forms appeal to you?” Project Projects: Test Fit not only presents an innovative exploration of the Art Institute’s acclaimed permanent collection, but also encourages viewers to consider the exhibition as a mode of creative and cultural expression in and of itself.

Lecture by Project Projects
April 16, 2013
Price Auditorium
$5 students, $10 A&D Society members, $15 general public

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Project Projects: Test Fit was made possible by the generous support of the Architecture and Design Society. The exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and curated by Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design.

By AIGA Chicago
Published February 1, 2013
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