whatnot is a collection of affordable objects—”whatnots”— that offers an experience rich in materiality and meaning, while allowing for a bit of necessary joy, irrational desire, and simple satisfaction.

whatnot is also a vehicle for experimenting within relevant currents in design and progressive ideas in design education.

whatnot 2014

Whatnot 2014 is the fourth showing of student designers from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Eight products and three furniture systems comprise the Whatnot 2014 collection: a series of playful objects that encourage a child’s interaction with the people, places, and environments around them.

The Milan Industry Projects course is a year-long studio that teaches students product development from concept to production to distribution. Each completed product becomes part of SAIC’s whatnot brand, established in 2012. This experience prepares the students for both the eventual establishment of independent design practices and to work effectively as part of a larger design team.

Whatnot 2014 designers include Ilwhan Ahn (BFA 2014), Ceyda Akosman (MDes 2014), Satya Basu (M. Arch 2015), Andrea Chiu (BFA 2014), Katie Chung (BFA 2014), Gahee Kang (BFA 2014), Zewen Li (MDes 2015), Jing Ouyang (BFA 2014), Miguel Perez (BFA 2014), Kevin Suzuki (BFA 2014), and Tyler Willis (MDes 2014).

This year’s class was taught, produced, and curated by Professors George Aye, Lisa Smith, and Jim TerMeer. Special thanks to Tommy Walton, Stephen Gulau, Brad Johns, Ryan Deemer, Bryce Wilner, Jonathan Allen, Jess Giffin, and Christopher Roeleveld.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Whatnot 2014
Milan Design Week 2014
April 8–13, 2014
9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi
Via Matteo Bandello 14/16, 20123 Milano
+39 02 46 74 47-1

whatnot 2013

The color-centric 2013 whatnot collection is the result of a year-long design studio directed by Professors Helen Maria Nugent and Jim TerMeer, both professors in the department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects.

After the successful launch of the whatnot brand in Milan and New York last year, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) continues to bring new design concepts to life with a new range of contemporary products designed and made in the USA. The 2013 whatnot collection will premier at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during Milan Design Week 2013.

This year each of the 16 designers has approached color as a critical question, exploring the visceral, perceptual, associative, emotional, and conceptual potential of color in all its permutations—muted, primary, fluorescent, functional, natural, and erotic. The eclectic collection includes a multicolored doorstop, black glass mirror, quilt with fluorescent seams, calendar with 365 shades of grey, color-shifting paper timer, inscribed wineglass, leather handbag in natural leather and raw sheep’s wool, ruler divided by color and shapes, digital app of living color, atmospheric and ambient table lamp, wallet colored by currencies, napping pillow with gentle gradations, an ash dining table inlayed with color, fluorescent skirted stools, glass brooch filled with vibrant ink, and a sash in the color and material of skin.

Designers include: Morgan Brill (BFA 2013), Hsi Chen (MDes 2013), Faranak Farhang (MDes 2013), Ruyuan Ge (MDes 2013), Justin Hu (BFA 2013), Jay Hyun Kim (MDes 2014), Allon Kapeller-Libermann (BFA 2013), Taylor Littrel (BFA 2013), Samuel Matson (BFA 2013), Ada Mayer (MDes 2013), Daniel Moynihan (BFA 2013), Carlos Ortega (MFA 2014), Yiqian Peng (BFA 2013), Kempe Scanlan (MDes 2013), Eli Sidman (MDes 2013), and Venessa Rosely Jimenez (MDes 2013).

Other presentations at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during the Fair include projects by Piet Hein Eek, Thomas Eyck, Formafantasma, Jaime Hayon for &Traditional, Scholten and Baijings for Georg Jensen, Itay Ohaly, BCXSY, Booo Bulbs, and Os and Oos.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago: whatnot
Fuori Salone 2013
April 9–14, 2013
9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi
Via Matteo Bandello 14/16, 20123 Milano
+39 02 46 74 47-1

English Press Release
Italian Press Release 

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to more than 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also provides adults, high school students, and children with the opportunity to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC’s resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit saic.edu.