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Happenings: News

Macbeth returns to the Athenaeum Theatre March 29

Chicago Repertory Ballet's original production of Macbeth returns to Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre beginning March 29th! Thirst's John Pobojewski will be adapting the digital projections from the 2016 production for a new stage and a new era. See our work that the Chicago Tribune called "especially potent".

The Athenaeum Theatre

March 29 & 30 at 7:30pm | March 31 at 2:00pm
Get Tickets

Two Chicago restaurants branded by Thirst win the Jean Blanchet Awards!

The Pizzeria Bebu Team at the 2019 Jean Blanchet Awards
Jeff, Rachel, and Zach from Pizzeria Bebu at the Jean Blanchet Awards. Photo by Pizzeria Bebu.

Congratulations to Pizzeria Bebu and Temporis for both winning 2019 Jean Blanchet Awards. Bebu was awarded as the best neighborhood restaurant, and Temporis received an award for best service.

Visit them both and check out our case studies for the graphic identity of Pizzeria Bebu and Temporis.

Pizzeria Bebu Logo
Pizzeria Bebu Logo
Temporis Logo
Temporis Logo

Satoru Nihei: 3st Artist in Residence 2018

We are pleased to announce Satoru Nihei as our 2018 Artist in Residence. 

Through the 3st Artist in Residence (AiR) program, we create four quarterly projects in collaboration with an emerging Chicago artist/designer. We place great value in the works of the artists in our community who delight our imaginations and open our minds. During the year we indulge ourselves with the creative stretch that these collaborations bring to our studio.

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Thirst is one of Newcity’s Design50


Thirst's Bud Rodecker, Rick Valicenti, and John Pobojewski (L to R) are honored to be part of Newcity’s Design50 — Chicago's annual survey of design leaders who shape our city. We are thrilled to share this year's list with all fifty luminaries, especially our collaborators Jeanne Gang, Iker Gil, Matthew Hoffman, Tim Parsons & Jessica Charlesworth, John Ronan, Alberto Vélez, and Tanner Woodford.

Photo by Nathan Keay

Lecture: John Pobojewski at MAS CONTEXT: ANALOG

John Pobojewski recently presented at MAS CONTEXT : ANALOG this past fall. His presentation, entitled Design of Music, was the first focused on his work in sound, as well as a brief, somewhat silly primer on the role of design used within music composition. Check it out here.

MAS CONTEXT: ANALOG is the annual conference of MAS Context, a quarterly journal created by MAS Studio and Iker Gil that addresses issues that affect the urban context. Each issue delivers a comprehensive view of a single topic through the active participation of people from different fields and different perspectives who, together, instigate the debate.

Rick Valicenti has welcomed John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker as partners

We are thrilled to announce that Rick Valicenti welcomed John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker as partners on 01 Jan 2018. We look forward to many more exciting collaborations.

We're worldwide something... Big in Korea!

Taek Kim and Thirst are featured in CA Korea magazine from Seoul!


Wired Magazine on AMIE

The AMIE project, designed in collaboration between architects SOM and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is featured in Wired Magazine's online edition. The article features animations created by Thirst from our profile film that we created for the project. 

A Moving Future

This Fall our studio produced two short films for SOM’s City Design Practice. Created by John Pobojewski and Kyle Green, the work showcases our passion for shaping stories of innovation through design in motion.

A Vision of AMIE

The first film highlights a prototype for the future of cities: a 3D-printed house and a 3D-printed car that share energy both on and off the grid. This entirely new way of thinking was designed by SOM in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and over 30 industry partners. View Project

“[The film] feels like Charles Eames for the 21st Century…”
Philip Enquist, Partner-in-charge, SOM City Design Practice

City Design Practice

The second film outlines SOM’s principled approach to urban design. The film premiered at the Global Cities Forum in Chicago among an extremely influential audience of mayors, governors, and other civic leaders. View Project

Taek Kim featured in ETHEREAL magazine

Taek Kim, designer at Thirst and MFA graduate of the School of the Art Institute, is featured in the recent issue of ETHEREAL, a collection of art and design interviews published by Columbia College, Chicago.

In his interview Taek reminds us that "attitude is everything" and is featured along with Matthew Hoffman, Indo, Gallerie F, and other exceptional local talents.

Rick Valicenti in Newcity Design 50

Rick Valicenti/Thirst has been featured in Newcity as one of the Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago 2015. This issue recognizes our city's curators of design, praising the importance of bringing together a scene where "unlike the coasts, design can still feel marginal... the people featured in these pages keep the creative industry humming. Let us raise our voices in a paean to these otherwise unsung heroes." Valicenti's curation of the 2014 CHGO DSGN exhibition at the Cultural Center is highlighted.

Many notable design luminaries were featured including Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima, Tanner Woodford, Blair Kamin, Christopher Jobson, Iker Gil, Jonathan Solomon, and others.

Photo by Joe Mazza for Newcity Design

Full Circle

Thirst recently completed a bespoke presentation for Chicago Lakeside's bid for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. Chicago Lakeside is located on the city's far south side on the site of the former U. S. Steel South Works Steel Mill, where most of the steel was forged for the Willis Tower and the Hancock Building.

In the 1980s, President Barack Obama began his career as a community organizer in the same neighborhood, helping residents get back on their feet after Southworks closed in the late 70s. Entitled 'Full Circle,' the bid asks the President to return to this neighborhood, place his library here, and transform this still-struggling community.

Custom packaging and a nearly 200-page book were created with a presidential spirit of importance, and an emphasis on legacy.

View the project here

Power Up

To mark the opening of EXPO CHIC, Rick Valicenti's visualization celebrating the courageous act of speaking truth to power is on public display at the Metra entry at Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue.

We are grateful to Nathan Mason, curator of public art for Chicago's DCASE, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, for this very public opportunity,

A version of the original work can be seen at the CHGO DSGN booth at EXPO CHIC.

Power Up was originally reproduced in Mas Context's Surveillance Issue. The complete suite by Rick Valicenti with Baozhen Li can be seen in this scroll.

Announcing Curio

Today, we are announcing a new program at Thirst called Curio — our open cabinet of new things and thoughts.

Here we will be posting sketches, concepts, ideas, short essays, and studies, all based on our personal interests. Curio is evidence of our curiosities ripe for potential, often entertaining, and occassionally insightful.

New posts will be coming every week. Please stay tuned on our site or on Twitter or Facebook.

Announcing CHGO DSGN at the Chicago Cultural Center

We are thrilled to announce the opening of CHGO DSGN: Recent Object and Graphic Design. Curated by Rick Valicenti. This exhibition celebrates the work of more than 100 of the city’s leading designers, and will run May 31– November 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Chicago has long been regarded as an international center for design, and this retrospective celebrates the region’s creative and innovative spirit. Join us for a public reception in Exhibit Hall on Friday evening, May 30, from 6–10pm

Follow CHGO DSGN on Facebook and Twitter for more information about the opening reception, featured works, and ancillary events.

Valicenti comments on the show: “Chicago design is alive once again and on display for the world to see. Almost a century ago, Chicago designers were at the epicenter of print. A few years later, Chicago was home to the New Bauhaus, and in the 70s our designers championed international modernism. Today’s designers are reverberating with inspiration from storied times as they amplify Chicago design’s future.”

Surprise, invention, and risk run through the 200+ works on display. A broad range of endeavors are featured from functional objects to theoretical proposals. Highlights include the DIVVY bike naming and graphic identity program by IDEO and Firebelly, the world’s thinnest watch from Central Standard Timing, an exhibition catalog for the Art Institute of Chicago by Studio Blue, some of the best Kickstarter-funded initiatives such as TIKTOK by MNML design director Scott Wilson, an open-source international library of icons called The Noun Project, and product designer Steven Haulenbeek’s collection of bronze bowls cast in the ice during this winter’s frigid polar vortex.

Above: CST-01 Wristwatch by Central Standard Timing, Ice Cast Vessels for Collection WEST by Steven Haulenbeek

CHGO DSGN features work from Chicago’s established design studios: Crosby Associates, Morningstar, VSA Partners, Wright, the University of Chicago Press, the Department of Design at Leo Burnett, Threadless, and furniture-design legend Holly Hunt.

Above: An elevation from the exhibition featuring work by Plural, Jonathan Nesci, Cody Hudson, and Tim Parsons.

The next generation of Chicago designers are featured as well, including the delicate utensil designs by Martin Kastner for Alinea, publications designed by James Goggin, an experimental book by Plural, a sonically-activated animation by John Pobojewski of Thirst, the radical designs by Materious, audio-generated posters for the Poetry Foundation by Sonnenzimmer, public works by the designers from the Museum of Contemporary Art, and a conceptual study for typography made with water by Matt Wizinsky.

Above: Leather Chair by Jay Sae Jung Oh, O'Hare Terminal 5 Entry Wall Mural by Thirst

A selection of works will have their Chicago debut, including a limited edition bronze chair by furniture designer Jonathan Nesci, a bookshelf by Felicia Ferrone, a sculptural leather chair by Jay Sae Jung Oh, a film using an experimental microscopic camera by Leviathan, and an incense-burning skull by Cody Hudson.

Photographer Sandro Miller created a breathtaking 80-foot long portrait of the participating designers to celebrate CHGO DSGN. He states:

"… [The portrait] is an homage to Richard Avedon's famous portrait of the Chicago Seven... which included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden. Each made their radical presence felt and revolutionary voices heard just outside the Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue in 1968."

CHGO DSGN will also feature custom displays designed by Tim Parsons, Associate Professor of Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute.

Exhibition resources made possible by:
Smithfield Properties
Best Imaging

Additional resources provided by:
Casati Gallery
Classic Color
Graphic Arts Studio
Holly Hunt
Leo Burnett
Maya Romanoff
TenFab Design

Refreshments provided by:
Goose Island Beer Company

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