Surprise, invention and risk: VSA featured in upcoming Chicago exhibit

On May 30, the CHGO DSGN: Recent Object and Graphic Design exhibit opens to the public at the Chicago Cultural Center. Curated by renowned Chicago designer Rick Valicenti of Thirst, it features work from 100 designers that engages, inspires and challenges. CHGO DSGN is a major retrospective of Chicago design, celebrating the region’s breadth of creativity and reinforcing its place on the world design stage.

“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,” Valicenti remarked, upon the announcement of the exhibit earlier this year, calling its 200+ works examples of surprise, invention and risk.

VSA Partners is among the exhibitors, selected by Valicenti for its uniqueness in Chicago design. “VSA’s commitment to world-class design is unlike that of any other firm of its size,” he said. “With more than 300 employees in four offices across the US, VSA designed a way to produce great work in spite of their dynamic scale. It’s a masterful organizational design!”

VSA’s section includes a number of recent projects—among them packaging for the Goose Island Beer Company, a case study on the Kool-Aid Photobomb App and the identity system for IBM’s Centennial “Icons of Progress.” In addition, several VSA-created publications are on display, including catalogs, brand books and broadsheets from Harley-Davidson, Converse, Schoolhouse Electric, Mack Trucks, School of Rock and D’Addario. Valicenti provided additional context for VSA’s participation: “American modernism came to life in Chicago in the ‘70s thanks in part to a few exceptional designers such as VSA’s founding partner, Robert Vogele. His approach to the business of design has impacted the profession and practice of design.”

If you’re in Chicago, you won’t want to miss the CHGO DSGN opening reception, which is free and open to the public, 6:00–10:00 pm on Friday, May 30; it remains up at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Exhibit Hall through November 2. See behind the scenes photos of the exhibit at the CHGO DSGN Facebook page and follow CHGO DSGN on Twitter for additional details.