MAS Context Dialogues | Dawn Hancock

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This post is part of MAS Context Dialogues, a series of conversations with Chicago-based designers hosted by Stephen Killion.

 

 

Since starting Firebelly Design in 1999, Dawn Hancock has been an advocate of socially responsible design. This is reflective in both her professional work and her company’s commitment to the community.

In past interviews and lectures she has often times referred to her studio as a family, rather than simply co-workers. This simple truth, connected with the fact that she has had a great number of long-term clients, speaks to the friendly, almost inviting nature, of her work.

Out of their Humboldt Park studio, Firebelly completes a variety of projects including but not limited to brand strategy and design for coffee roasters like Dollop and Halfwit, but also more robust design solutions for local communities and organizations including the city of Berwyn, the Divvy Bike Share program in Chicago, and Harris Theater.

Outside of the studio’s more client driven work, Dawn has made a point to give back by creating non-profit based efforts that include the yearly Typeforce exhibit, the Firebelly Foundation, Camp Firebelly, and non-profit focused Reason to Give.

It goes without saying that she is a true practitioner of a “practice what your preach” methodology to running a studio and, frankly, many could learn from this approach to crafting an office.

Dawn holds a BFA in Visual Communication from Northern Illinois University and was named one of The 11 Most Generous Designers by Fast Company.

Besides this conversation with Stephen, you can also watch Dawn’s talk from the MAS Context Spring Talks 2014 series.

 

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Divvy (with IDEO) © Firebelly

 

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Berwyn © Firebelly

 

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Harris Theater © Firebelly

 

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Rebuilding Exchange © Firebelly

 

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Vocalo © Firebelly

 

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You are Beautiful © Firebelly

 

Intro Song
“Strella, Sing a Singsong to the Moon” by Studio Noir is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

 

Dawn Hancock is the founder of Firebelly Design, a studio that does “work for people we think are making a difference in the world”. With the mantra “Good Design for Good Reason.™” the studio is a pioneer in socially responsible design, and continues to live the principles of sustainable innovation and social responsibility. In 2004, Firebelly Design started the annual Grant for Good program, which “awards a year’s worth of full-scale marketing, design and business planning services to one deserving nonprofit organization.” Dawn also runs Firebelly Foundation, Reason to Give, Camp Firebelly and Firebelly University.
www.firebellydesign.com | www.firebellyfoundation.org | @firebellydesign@dawnhancock

Formally trained as an architect, Stephen Killion uses his parallel understanding in both the architectural and graphic design discipline to advance an ongoing curiosity in how users inhabit, interact and understand the built environment through design. In addition to his award winning multidisciplinary design background, he has showcased and highlighted notable projects by acting as a contributing writer/editor for Mark Magazine, Architizer and Design Bureau.

MAS Context Dialogues | James Goggin

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This post is part of MAS Context Dialogues, a series of conversations with Chicago-based designers hosted by Stephen Killion.

 

 

To speak to James Goggin of his impressive portfolio of work is to speak of his influences, interests and, most importantly, his perspective on the role of graphic design in society. As a designer and co-owner of Practise, with wife and partner Shan James, he has worked with a number of notable clients including Phaidon, Studio Gang Architects, Tate Modern, Transport for London, University of Chicago, and Victoria & Albert Museum.

His career has taken him from Australia, where he grew up, to London, where he graduated from the Royal College of Art and started his studio in 1999. From London his family moved to Arnhem, the Netherlands, where he continued to work while teaching at the Werkplaats Typografie at the same time as being a visiting lecturer in history and theory at the ECAL (University of Art and Design Lausanne) in Switzerland. In 2010 he moved to Chicago to take on the role of Director of Design, Publishing, and New Media at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). Since 2013 he has returned to running Practise with Shan James, working with clients around the United States and in Europe, combined with teaching at Rhode Island School of Design.

Although his career might seem nomadic in nature, I believe James would argue that each move was very calculated and intentional. He would also be the first to say that his boundaryless career path has had a strong influence on the work he creates. His willingness to travel has made him a keen observer, and equipped him with the ability to be both resident and visitor. This duality comes through in his projects where he tends to both work within the confines of a place’s culture but also add something new to the story.

 

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Book design, Ettore Sottsass and the Poetry of Things, Deyan Sudjic, Phaidon Press, 2015 © Practise

 

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Website design, Studio Gang Architects, 2015 (with Studio Scasascia) © Practise

 

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Exhibition design and signage system, Tutti a Tavola, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Villa Reale di Milano, Milan, Italy, 2010 (with David Kohn Architects) © Practise

 

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Book design, Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, Skira Rizzoli, 2016 © Practise

 

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Poster campaign, City in a Garden, City of Chicago, 2014 © Practise

 

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Book design, Terra Foundation Essays: Picturing, Terra Foundation for American Art, 2016 © Practise

 

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Collage, A Loop in the Lake (Apologies to John, John, Stanley, and Mies), for the exhibition This is Chicago, AIGA Chicago, 2014 © Practise

 

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Identity system, printed matter, website, David Kohn Architects, 2008, 2015 © Practise

 

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Poster, Radical Speculation, for the film series Image, Building, Object: Exploring Architecture & Design on Film, Black Cinema House, 2013 © Practise

 

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Pastoral Warning Sign, for the exhibition 50 Years of British Road Signs, Design Museum, London, 2015 © Practise

 

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Lecture Series Poster, IIT Architecture Spring 2014, Illinois Institute of Architecture, College of Architecture, 2014 © Practise

 

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Record Sleeve, The Republic, Sam Prekop, Thrill Jockey Records, 2015 (featuring artwork by David Hartt) © Practise

 

Intro Song
“Strella, Sing a Singsong to the Moon” by Studio Noir is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

 

James Goggin is a Chicago-based British and/or Australian art director and graphic designer from London via Sydney, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Auckland, and Arnhem. Together with partner Shan James, he runs a design practice named Practise working with clients across Europe, Asia, Australasia, and North America. James has taught at design schools in Europe, Australasia, and the United States, including Werkplaats Typografie, Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), and at Rhode Island School of Design, where he is currently a visiting thesis critic. He frequently gives lectures and runs workshops around the world, and occasionally writes about art and design practice. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Design Archive, and he has been a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale since 2010.
www.practise.co.uk@practise

Formally trained as an architect, Stephen Killion uses his parallel understanding in both the architectural and graphic design discipline to advance an ongoing curiosity in how users inhabit, interact and understand the built environment through design. In addition to his award winning multidisciplinary design background, he has showcased and highlighted notable projects by acting as a contributing writer/editor for Mark Magazine, Architizer and Design Bureau.

MAS Context Dialogues | Joe Valerio

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This post is part of MAS Context Dialogues, a series of conversations with Chicago-based designers hosted by Stephen Killion.

 

 

Joe Valerio, a Chicago native and founding principal of Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, has always considered the construction phase of a project a critical part of his design process. This is even reflected in the tongue in cheek mission statement of “Build or Die,” which has in many ways become a part of the firm’s identity. As an employee of the firm, I can truly say that a spirit of building, and not just designing, is at the heart of almost all of the companies projects.

Unafraid to try something unique, Joe has completed a number of projects across various architectural sectors over his 40-year career, including corporate office, high-tech industrial, institutional, retail, and residential. With a number of works receiving regional and national awards, the firm have proven that approaching each project with a fresh perspective is something that is successful to their creation process.

Examples of his firm’s work can be found throughout the Chicago area including the main store and Rooftop Café at Lincoln Park Zoo, the Midwest corporate campus formerly occupied by the 3-Com Corporation, the Garmin Flagship store on Michigan Avenue, and the recently completed Earl Shapiro Hall and the Gordon Parks Arts Hall buildings for the University of Chicago Laboratory School.

 

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Godfrey Hotel, Chicago © Steve Hall – Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Seven27 Apartments, Madison, Wisconsin © Barbara Karant. Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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UC Lab School – Gordon Parks Arts Hall © Steve Hall – Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Seneca House, Venice, Florida © Antonio Cueller. Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Doblin House addition, Chicago © Steve Hall – Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Doblin House, Chicago © Karant+Associates, Barbara Karant. Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Summerfest, Milwaukee © Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Lakefront Festival of Art, Milwaukee © Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

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Three Rivers, Michigan © Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train

 

Intro Song
“Strella, Sing a Singsong to the Moon” by Studio Noir is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

 

Joseph Valerio, FAIA, a founding partner of VDTA, is an award-winning architect recognized for his creativity in project design. A tireless innovator with an enormous capacity for creation, he oversees the design development of all firm commissions. Joseph’s portfolio, accumulated over a 40 year career, includes a wide variety of projects and numerous design awards. Corporate office, high-tech industrial, institutional, retail, healthcare, restaurant, residential and theater facilities are all represented.
www.buildordie.com | @buildordie_vdta

Formally trained as an architect, Stephen Killion uses his parallel understanding in both the architectural and graphic design discipline to advance an ongoing curiosity in how users inhabit, interact and understand the built environment through design. In addition to his award winning multidisciplinary design background, he has showcased and highlighted notable projects by acting as a contributing writer/editor for Mark Magazine, Architizer and Design Bureau.

MAS Context Dialogues | Carol Ross Barney

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This post is part of MAS Context Dialogues, a series of conversations with Chicago-based designers hosted by Stephen Killion.

 

 

Carol Ross Barney, a Chicago native and graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the founder of Ross Barney Architects. With a heavy focus on research-based design practices her firm has had the ability to execute award-winning projects across multiple traditional design disciplines and scales. Not afraid to try something new, Ross Barney Architects make it a point to approach each project with a fresh perspective in the hopes of finding what the local community might bring to the project, and how that will affect the final design outcome.

With an extensive number of successful cultural, institutional, governmental, and infrastructural projects under her belt, it can be easily assumed that she has a true interest in the positive effects of her work on the public realm. Known locally for projects such at the Chicago Riverwalk and the Bloomingdale Trail (The 606), Carol has found a way extend her approach to designing buildings into the public realm. This cross-disciplinary approach has made for a practice that understands that the most important part of any project is the people that utilize the space.

Since starting her practice in 1981, Carol has made a name for herself by understanding that any architectural project is not created in a vacuum, but that the greater community has to be considered for a successful project to be created. This truth is at the heart of her work, and because of this the firm has been able to achieve a diverse portfolio of work that manages for each project to feel simultaneously unique and yet retain a similar consistent voice.

 

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Chicago Riverwalk © Kate Joyce Hedrich Blessing Photographers. Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects

 

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Bloomingdale Trail Design Framework © Ross Barney Architects

 

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CTA Cermak McCormick Station © Kate Joyce Studios. Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects

 

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CTA Morgan Station © Kate Joyce Studios. Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects

 

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OSU South Campus Chiller © Brad Feinknopf. Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects

 

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OKC Federal Building © Steve Hall Hedrich Blessing Photographers. Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects

 

Intro Song
“Strella, Sing a Singsong to the Moon” by Studio Noir is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

 

Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, is the founder and president of Ross Barney Architects. She is responsible for the design excellence of all projects undertaken by the studio. A native Chicagoan, Carol has developed a keen understanding of the special needs of institutional and public clients which has produced distinctive structures that have become cultural icons. Her work has been published in national/ international journals and has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Under her leadership, Ross Barney Architects has received more than 60 major awards, including 4 National AIA awards, 2 COTE Top Ten awards and the 1995 AIA Illinois Firm of the Year. In 2005, Carol received the American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, acknowledging a distinguished career and dedication to Architecture in the public realm.
www.r-barc.com | @r_barc

Formally trained as an architect, Stephen Killion uses his parallel understanding in both the architectural and graphic design discipline to advance an ongoing curiosity in how users inhabit, interact and understand the built environment through design. In addition to his award winning multidisciplinary design background, he has showcased and highlighted notable projects by acting as a contributing writer/editor for Mark Magazine, Architizer and Design Bureau.

MAS Context Dialogues | Matthew Hoffman

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This post is part of MAS Context Dialogues, a series of conversations with Chicago-based designers hosted by Stephen Killion.

 

 

Existing somewhere between the traditional expectations of graphic design, public art and sculptural installations, Matthew Hoffman’s work is unapologetically positive in nature. I think it could be easy to dismiss his work as a simple distillation of motivational jargon and positive vibes, but the ability for his work to position itself, sometimes very literally, in the social / cultural realm proves that there is more to the story.

Probably best known for his “you are beautiful” project, a personal exercise started in 2002 with a small run of 100 minimally designed stickers adorned with the simple phrase, “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL” typeset in all lowercase sans serif letters. Thirteen years after it’s inception this phrase has been re-produced into block-long murals, public installations, and exhibitions at cultural institutions in Chicago and throughout the world.

Today, if you visit the project’s website, you quickly start to understand that the physicality of each object is less important than its cultural impact. Matthew describes it best by saying, “You Are Beautiful is more than a little sticker, it’s an idea. It’s a way to brighten someone’s day, a way to pat a stranger on the back, a way to remind ourselves that even when things aren’t going great, it’s ok.”

The genuine enthusiasm and playfulness that is present in the “you are beautiful” project sets the tone for almost all his other work. By working with his hands, and embracing the individuality that come with physically reproducing something time and time again, Matthew has found a way to give a personality to each and every piece he creates.

His work is a friendly reminder that it is beneficial to be an optimist, even when sometimes it is not the easiest thing to do.

 

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“It all comes back to a small act. A little thing. A single stickers. One Phrase.” – Matthew Hoffman

 

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All images courtesy of Matthew Hoffman

 

Intro Song
“Strella, Sing a Singsong to the Moon” by Studio Noir is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

 

Matthew Hoffman is a Chicago-based artist and designer who operates out of his studio Hey It’s Matthew. He is the founder of the You Are Beautiful project, which has shared over one million stickers, installations, and exhibitions with the world. Hoffman’s ideas and work have been included in Good, the New York Times Magazine, and Ready Made. He has been published in a number of books by Gestalten, Droog, and Taschen, and was recently featured in a segment on the Oprah Winfrey network.
www.heyitsmatthew.com | @heyitsmatthew

Formally trained as an architect, Stephen Killion uses his parallel understanding in both the architectural and graphic design discipline to advance an ongoing curiosity in how users inhabit, interact and understand the built environment through design. In addition to his award winning multidisciplinary design background, he has showcased and highlighted notable projects by acting as a contributing writer/editor for Mark Magazine, Architizer and Design Bureau.

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