May 11, 2006
by Canadian Architect
To commemorate its graduating class of 2006, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) will hold the first-ever graduation ceremony in Millennium Park’s Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion. The Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and students of the School are honoured to host and participate in this historic event. The ceremony will take place Saturday, May 20 at 9:00am, and will celebrate the accomplishments of over 800 graduating SAIC students.
Since its opening in 2004, Millennium Park has become a focal point and source of pride for the city of Chicago. Given the School’s close proximity to the park, as well as SAIC’s collaboration with artist Jaume Plensa on the creation of the park’s much-loved Crown Fountain, it is a natural venue for the celebration of our newest graduates.
This year’s graduation speaker will be designer, scholar, and curator Bruce Mau. The creative director of Bruce Mau Design Inc. and the founder of the Institute Without Boundaries, Mau has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at institutions worldwide, and has collaborated with architects, designers, and organizations including Rem Koolhaas on the highly influential 1996 volume S,M,L,XL, the Gagosian Gallery, and the Getty Research Institute. This September, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art will hold the exhibition Massive Change: The Future of Global Design, a collaboration between Bruce Mau Design and the Institute Without Boundaries that investigates the capacity, power, and promise of design. These issues are at the core of the three new graduate design programs the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will introduce this fall; the Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture, and Master of Design in Designed Objects.
“Bruce Mau is one of the most forward-looking designers and theorists of design working today,” says SAIC Dean of Faculty Carol Becker. “Mau’s thinking is based on the idea that there is no longer a ‘world of design,’ but rather the ‘design of the world.’ For Mau, the design of the future is taking the lead on issues such as sustainability and interconnectivity. As we build our own new design programs, we look to thinkers like Mau to help us conceptualize the breadth of all that design is capable of becoming, and to be certain that the design programs we create are socially conscious from their inception.”
As part of the ceremony, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will bestow honourary doctorates on Mr. Mau; printmaker and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett, the subject of a recent exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago and a student at SAIC in the 1940s; and artist and alumnus LeRoy Neiman, who recently completed teaching the first of an ongoing series of Master Classes with Chicago high school students.
A leader in art education for 140 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers undergraduate and graduate programs in art and design to over 2,600 students from around the world. In addition to the time-honoured study of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and fashion design, SAIC embraces film and new media, electronic and sound arts, designed objects and architecture, and visual and critical studies. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC hosts exhibitions, lectures, and other public programs through venues such as the Gene Siskel Film Center, Betty Rymer Gallery, and Gallery 2, and in conjunction with the Poetry Center and Video Data Bank. For more information, please visit www.artic.edu/saic.