Chicago Design: Histories and Narratives

Jonathan Mekinda, Assistant Professor of Design History, and Bess Williamson of SAIC, are the Organizers of Chicago Design: Histories and Narratives a public program funded by a 2017 grant from the Graham Foundation.

Planned as part of the Art Design Chicago program in 2018, Chicago Design: Histories and Narratives will convene scholars from across the region, country, and globe to reexamine well-known figures and events in the city's remarkable tradition of modernist design, as well as consider lesser-known actors, agents, and forces in an expanded history of Chicago design that will explore the full scope of design practices cultivated and developed in the city from the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From the Kalo Shop and the New Bauhaus to Sears Roebuck & Co and Leo Burnett, this conference aims to spur and collect diverse new scholarship on Chicago design and to engage the full range of methodologies devoted to place-based design history.