Though I’ve known designer extraordinaire Rick Valicenti for a long time, it was not until he curated the exhibition “CHGO DSGN: Recent Object and Graphic Design” at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2014 that I, and probably many others, realized the impressive magnitude of our city’s design culture, at least beyond its well-deserved and celebrated role as a world architectural capital. From furniture to logos to package creation to the conceptual, our town is an epicenter of applied creativity, and with this annual edition, we celebrate the future legacy of all that.
Fortunately, we have, for the second year in a row, Valicenti himself stepping in as guest editor for this issue. Rick and his cohort at Thirst design studios, especially Anna Mort, undertook the whole process, from choosing stories, coordinating with photographers and attending photo shoots, to curating the selection of designers to feature and the array of objects to include. And then they designed the entire thing, including the cover. Wow.
It’s an interesting bit of serendipity that the other feature in this issue was written and photographed by Tanner Woodford, the founder of the Chicago Design Museum. (And designed by our regular lead designer, Fletcher Martin.) Tanner traveled to the Middle East to check out Banksy’s new hotel, and through his story, we traveled along.
It’s equally serendipitous that the hotel is situated in Bethlehem, the town at the center of the Christmas story that is the dominant economic and cultural engine of this time of the year. Though the accompanying forces of materialism and cultural dominance can overwhelm us (not to mention all those calories!), in the spirit of what’s best about this season, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank the readers, the contributors, the advertisers and the all-around friends of Newcity for such a positive response in every sense to our transition into the magazine world this year.
Have a wonderful holiday season and we’ll see you in January!
Look for Newcity’s December Designed Objects 2017 print edition at over 1000 Chicago-area locations this week.