It started with some Italy-bound light fixtures designed by students at the School of the Art Institute. Suddenly we realized: Exceptional design is all around us. So we surveyed the scene and came up with this mix of objects by emerging and established talent.

At right, Shireen Bishop makes her Mirage chandelier from a crocheted aluminum ball chain and LED lights. Caroline Linder embeds LEDs in Leaning 2x4s. Both are graduate students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Emerging Chicago design duo Caleb Dawson and Shawn Gnann call themselves Roscoe Jackson after their dogs. Their ultra ergonomic Asterisk stools are built with recycled plastic. Tall asterisk in gray, $475, short asterisk in green, $425, by order at 662-392-2330 or



Check out the 13 exceptional designs >>