Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design

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Spring City in Mexico, 2008 © Courtesy of the artist and The Art Institute of Chicago
Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design

111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
December 11th, 2010 - July 20th, 2011

Michigan Ave/Downtown
Mon-We, Fri-Sun 10:30-5; Thu 10:30-8;
Multimedia, furniture, architecture, conceptual design


The Internet has undoubtedly transformed the world we live in; its unprecedented access to and layering of information lead to greater interaction and engagement, and a complex understanding of our place in the world. However, this innovative method of accumulating and remixing data is also occurring across the fields of architecture and design. A fluid exchange between these disciplines—fueled by advances in production processes, materials research, social and environmental concerns, and influences drawn from scientific and biological research—is resulting in new attitudes to architecture and design that are opening up these subject areas and stretching their range of influence.

With an eye to these inventive links between practices, this exhibition presents more than 30 projects that span from architecture and furniture to multimedia and conceptual design from an international group of architects and designers, including Florencia Pita/mod, Jurgen Mayer H., R&Sie(n), Experimental Jetset, Emergent/Tom Wiscombe, Arik Levy, Studio Makkink & Bey, Shigeru Ban, Joris Laarman, Nacho Carbonell, and Matali Crasset. Not always intended as ends in themselves, these multidisciplinary practices are often experiments that motivate reflection on the values, mores, and practices often overlooked in society. Projects such as Nacho Carbonell’s 2009 Lover’s Bench poetically explore private and public space, while the design studio Stamen’s 2010 social mapping project,, provides a public forum for updating online information. Architect Keiichi Matsuda’s 2009 film Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop investigates the potential of environments enhanced by advanced technologies, and Troika’s 2010 Plant Facts Plant Fiction demonstrates the possible ecological benefit of natural and artificially generated species of plants. Hyperlinks also includes specially commissioned works such as inventive new furniture elements by architect Greg Lynn and a multimedia project by Simon Heijdens that attunes the ambience of an interior space to exterior climatic conditions.

Diverse in perspective and output, the works included in Hyperlinks make clear that by fostering rigorous cross-disciplinary relations, architects and designers are carving out new avenues for experimentation that are helping shape insightful solutions to urgent issues, ultimately enhancing the quality of our daily lives.