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Happenings: News

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

3st at TYPEFORCE 5

3st is proud to participate in TYPEFORCE, an exhibition at the Co-Prosperity Sphere located in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. This exhibition of typographic designers and artists will include the works of 3st's Rick Valicenti and John Pobojewski, and former 3st intern Magdalena Wistuba.

The show opens this Friday at 6:30p. Please come by!

Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219-21 South Morgan Street
Chicago Illinois, 60608

Leave Behinds — Calligraphic Compost

Rick Valicenti is presenting Leave Behinds — Calligraphic Compost, a series of cultured marble sculptures.

Valicenti describes the work as:

Scribed as calligraphic compost, these relational markers are hardened residue. Much the same way graphic design despoils our urban landscape, these sculptures are purposely placed yet ultimately abandoned. Keep only the good memories and leave the bad behind.

Dig Deep

John Pobojewski and Magdalena Wistuba are presenting their collaboration Dig Deep, an ambient interactive interface for three touch tablets.

Each touch tablet displays a field of textures inspired by the role of authority, networks, and resolution in digital communication. Once touched, a field reacts to touch speed and direction, swarming into a typographic statement. 

Our tactile sense is connected to how we feel — it is as important as the voice, eyes, and ears. Recently, the fingertips are becoming more utilitarian. Touch is becoming a tool used to navigate interfaces, serving our mind versus our heart. Are we inadvertently numbing our sense of touch? 

3st in Beijing: Valicenti lectures at China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts

Rick Valicenti has been invited by Professor Min Wang, AGI, and director of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) design program. Posters are popping about in the art districts here in Beijing announcing tomorrow's presentation. The poster was designed by Prof. Huang Li, Valicenti's host and co-director of Deep Breath the Moving Design intervention on fresh air with his interdisciplinary design seniors at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. More about Rick's time in Beijing here.

Matthew Hoffman: 3st Artist in Residence 2013

We are thrilled to announce Matthew Hoffman as the very first 3st Artist in Residence (AiR) for 2013. Together with Matthew we will collaborate on art projects in the upcoming months, launching new products quarterly on the 3st AiR Store. Stay tuned to our Happenings blog and Matthew’s blog for updates on our first collaboration due to release 1 April 2013 — a limited edition typeface of Matthew’s motivational lexicon.

We believe in the collectible value of Matthew’s art. Our collaborations with him aim to connect his artistic vision to our international design audience, providing exposure to his ideas and our projects together.

If you are unfamiliar with Matthew’s work, you can view a snippet of one of his projects, which aired on Oprah’s OWN Network on 24 February 2013.

About 3st AiR
Thirst places great value in the works of those artists in our community who seek to challenge conventions and open minds. Through the 3st Artist in Residence program, we become energized and welcome the creative opportunities that this collaboration brings to our studio.

Thirst in the Movies

Thirst is a part of the Architecture and Design Film Fest this year, times 2!

Gather, Give, Grow for Archeworks
Columbia College Media Production Center in collaboration with Hedrich Blessing

The festival runs 4/12 through 4/16.

Nick Adam installs Rare Form


Local designer/street artist/activist, Nick Adam has permanently installed his painted alphabet Rare Form first shown in the Typeforce show inside the Thirst studios. You are invited and encouraged to stop by and see Nick’s work up close as it is a rare and intelligent typographic gem. Drop us and email or call first to let us know you are coming by in the months approaching the mid-term elections.

Here’s  a sample from Nick’s description of Rare Form

Rare Form’s objective was to offer moments of visual silence while celebrating the power and the beauty of typography. In an act of info-reduction, signage from Illinois’s 2010 primaries was removed from public spaces to be repurposed as canvases. Violating the one-color graphics with hand lettered type substituted the multiple messages once held by the sign for a much simpler one. The slab-serif letters are a custom alphabet created for this project. Each was freestyled following the hand techniques of traditional sign-painters as well in their medium of brush and 1-shot enamel.

Displayed individually as well in groupings, we are privy to observe each character outside of its common codependent context of conveying a message. Sans-statement, these letters will not judge your lifestyle, ask you for help, nor will they tell you where to be. Simply these symbols exemplify the power and capabilities of our human kind.

Also on display inside Thirst are rare and unique work by Ed Fella, Paul Rand, Paul Sahre, Frank Gerhy, April Greiman, Mike Perry, Dennis Ichiyama, Jason Pickleman, Marian Bantjes, Sonnenzimer, to name but a few.

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