Students at the Illinois Institute of Technology have been working since January on furniture and accessory pieces derived from the wood of a single elm tree downed in a violent storm here last summer. Horigan Urban Forest Products provided the wood; Sawbridge Studios provided mentors in the way of craftsmen and furniture makers. A few weeks ago, I, along with Lloyd Natof of SL Natof Design and Gunny Harboe of Harboe Architects, judged the students’ final projects. See the results in a show called Idea Tree, which runs through June 29 at the Illinois Steel Building, 77 S. Dearborn (Mondays-Fridays 10 am-6 pm). It’s part of the Chicago Loop Alliance’s Pop-Up Art project. Pictured here is one of the winning projects, a wood/steel coffee table by student Fotini Halvatzis. Shown on the coffee table are Halvatzis’s candlesticks of elm and acrylic. Also shown in the background on the right is a side table by Kuanhoa Chen. There’s some impressive stuff in this show; the students did an amazing job with what is a fairly unforgiving material: wood, with all its imperfections. A+’s all ’round.
4 months ago