Design Museum

Block Thirty Seven, 3rd floor
108 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Tues-Sat, 12-7p

Friends + Family Opening Night


Celebrate The State of Detroit opening with our closest supporters and enjoy food, music, and beer provided by Motor City Brewing Works.

Wednesday, May 13
6:00-9:00 PM
Members: $5
Non-members: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Detroit has been shaped by its explosive growth followed by its continued decline. Those contrasts, along with employing creative thinking and innovative practices, shape the metropolis’ culture, values, and potential.

An Evening With John Massey – SOLD OUT!

Please join us on March 24, 2015 for An Evening with John Massey, presented by the Chicago Design Museum in collaboration with AIGA Chicago and the Society of Typographic Arts and sponsored by Classic Color.

John Massey Vision - photo of the book

Tuesday, March 24
6:00-8:30 PM
Arts Club of Chicago
RSVP today!

This event will launch John Massey Vision, the definitive volume on his life’s work, which will be available exclusively and for the first time. In addition, guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The event culminates in an interview with Massey by noted design historian Victor Margolin, followed by a panel discussion including Zoë Ryan, Curator of Design and Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago, Marcia Lausen, Director of the School of Design at UIC, and Bart Crosby, President of Crosby Associates.

Ticket prices for the evening are as follows:

  • $25 for entry
  • $189 for entry and a signed copy of Vision
  • $299 for entry, a signed copy of Vision, and a signed and editioned print of Landscape Chicago


John Massey is a design legend and was at the forefront of the modernist movement in American design. He is an AIGA medalist and was director of design and corporate communications at the Container Corporation of America from 1964 to 1983 and research professor emeritus of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he taught from 1984 to 2000.

Beautifully designed and typeset by Matthew Terdich and edited by Carissa Kowalski Dougherty; John Massey Vision features essays by design historians Victor Margolin and Maren Nelson and over 100 full color plates of paintings, posters, collages, and photographs from Massey’s illustrious career.

Editor: Carissa Kowalski Dougherty
Essayist: Victor Margolin
Essayist: Maren Nelson
Designer: Matthew Terdich

The State of Detroit
April 28—August 30, 2015

April 28 – August 30, 2015
Curated by Elizabeth Cummings and Morgan Walsh

When characterizing mobility in Detroit, America’s Motor City, the auto industry and networks of transportation are often first to mind. The idea of movement, to, from, and within the city dates back to early European settlers and traders, through the surge of Southerners seeking work in the mid-twentieth century, to the recent migration of young creatives in search of what has been called the last American frontier. However, expanded ideas of mobility, and also, stability, are not tied strictly to the reality of physical movement.

With an understanding of the city’s explosive growth, followed by its continued decline, mobility can also be understood as social, political, and economic. Each of these areas also face the realities of immobility, which can be seen as the limitations and constraints set by the city’s current conditions. It is through this lens and in employing creative thinking and innovative practice that initiatives in Detroit shape the metropolis’ culture, values and potential. Design is everywhere in Detroit.

Guideline Returns April 7th

Guideline: Feedback for students from Chicago's top designers

ChiDM is excited to announce the return of our Guideline student critique night on Tuesday, April 7. Once again, we’re teaming up with talented design professionals to provide feedback to passionate students.

Tickets are limited to 30 participants and you must RSVP through Eventbrite to attend. Students should bring up to three current design projects and will receive feedback from some outstanding local designers. Projects-in-progress and process work are strongly encouraged. Leave your tie and dress shoes at home; this is a casual event.

Tuesday, April 7th
5:45–6:00 PM Check-in
6:00–8:30 PM Critique
Snacks & beverages provided

For this spring edition of Guideline, ChiDM is partnering with the fantastic folks at Simple Truth, who will be sponsoring and hosting the event.

ChiDM Loves Interiors – January 24

Chicago Design Museum Loves Interiors! Various shapes of different colors form a table, ottoman, and glassware that sits upon the table.

Much attention has been paid to the large scale and public spaces of Los Angeles, from the highways to the architecture and the influence of the landscape. And while many of Deborah Sussman’s most celebrated projects relate directly to the sprawling physical landscape of the city, she also spent nearly 10 years with the Eames Office, designers whose furniture helped define the aesthetic of an era.

This discussion group will explore post-war housing, the manufacturing of furniture and appliances, and the domestic interior within a distinctly California style through articles and essays by leading design historians.

(PDFs of readings will be sent to participants upon registration.) Discussion led by curatorial committee member Morgan Walsh.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
  • 1:00–3:00 PM
  • Chicago Design Museum

This free event is limited to 100 people, so please reserve your tickets through Eventbrite.

ChiDM Loves Color – January 17 – SOLD OUT!

Chicago Design Museum Loves Color | Colored squares overlap to form new colors.

Join the Chicago Design Museum for a series of programs that explore the vibrant themes of our current exhibition, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! Meet members of the museum’s curatorial committee and the greater creative community as you learn about and discuss topics relating to Deborah Sussman’s work such as color theory, environmental design, interiors, furniture and object design, fashion and retailing.

Color is one of the most powerful visual tools a designer can use to communicate. It influences our perception of space, shapes and moods, and embodies diverse meanings across cultures. Deborah Sussman’s work was intensely focused on the interaction of color, especially as it relates to our perceptions of space in both two-dimensional graphics and three-dimensional environments.

This workshop explores some of the fundamental principles of color interaction and theory through hands-on experiments using colored paper. Led by curatorial Exhibition Director Matthew Terdich.

The ChiDM Loves Color workshop is limited to 10 attendees. Please RSVP through Eventbrite to secure your spot! now sold out! Thank you to everyone who reserved their tickets.

ChiDM Loves Fashion – February 5

Chicago Design Museum Loves Fashion! | Various shapes of different colors form a female shape wearing a shirt, skirt, and hat.

Join the Chicago Design Museum for a behind-the-scenes tour of Columbia College’s Fashion Study Collection.

Inspired by Deborah Sussman‘s work on the visual identities for three Californian retailers–Joseph Magnin, Zody’s and Standard Shoes–we will view the modern Californian fashions purchased in these stores like these. Our visit will consist of a tour of the Collection’s vault, an informal presentation on modernity in fashion, and an examination of garments or accessories that typify mid-century and California design.

  • Thursday, February 5
  • 6:00–8:00 PM
  • Columbia College

Tickets for this event are limited to 25 people and cost $10. Please reserve your tickets through Eventbrite.

Garments from the Fashion Study Collection at Columbia College Chicago. Photo by Jacob Boll.

Photo credit: Garments from the Fashion Study Collection at Columbia College Chicago. Photo by Jacob Boll.

Matthew Wizinsky’s Expo Crypto Accepted into International Contest + Tour

Expo Crypto from studio junglecat on Vimeo.


Do you remember walking into our Starts/Speculations exhibition in summer 2014 and standing in front of a camera, which, via text, welcomed you back? And how eerie it felt to know that the camera had seen you before, through some network of other cameras throughout the city?

That installation is called Expo Crypto, and according to UIC, it was accepted into the Intersections in Art and Engineering Challenge, where it has exhibited in New Hampshire, Italy, and China in late 2014 through early 2015.

Designed by Matthew Wizinsky, the piece explores the effect that global telecommunications, social media, and surveillance has had on a society that struggles with the conflicting desire to have both convenience and free information exchange along with privacy.

Wizinsky debuted Expo Crypto during our inaugural exhibition as a permanent institution, Starts/Speculations: Graphic Design in Chicago Past and Future.

Congratulations to Matthew for the international recognition. He and his piece serve as a great example of the amazing work that comes out of the Chicago design community.

Adobe Creative Cloud: From Print to Web to Object Designer

Adobe Creative Cloud text with colorful boxes bursting out of a circle.

The Chicago Design Museum is pleased to partner with Adobe, one of our 2014-2015 sponsors, for this workshop. Each ticket comes with a chance to win a 12-month Creative Cloud Membership, which will be raffled at the event.

Adobe’s Senior Worldwide Evangelist Paul Trani runs us through the very latest updates and developments in the 2014 release of Adobe Creative Cloud for print, digital, and 3D printing. Adobe has added some amazing updates, features and mobile apps. Some will make you more productive (fonts, smart guides, libraries). Some help you to easily share and export assets from Photoshop. And new mobile apps not only extend the power of Illustrator and Photoshop, but give designers new ways to create.

As Adobe looks to the future, it has new capabilities in mind – not simply for creating compelling layouts, but even helping designers move from graphics to web and apps, and further to object designers with 3D printing in Photoshop. During this event, Paul Trani will begin with how the advances made in print and digital help to bridge the divide, and wrap up with a review of how Adobe is making 3D printing accessible and straightforward.

Paul Trani is a Senior Worldwide Creative Cloud Evangelist for Adobe, where he is passionate about helping designers build compelling content using their creativity and new technology, whether it’s using 3D printing, touch devices, or building cutting-edge web and mobile experiences. Paul is an award-winning designer, an Adobe Certified Instructor, and a courseware developer with 15 years of experience. A writer and prolific trainer, Paul has earned top author status at and has created a steady stream of content for AdobeTV and Creative Cloud Learn as well as When he’s not on the road he can be found hiking (or hiding) in the Colorado mountains. But chances are you can still catch him on Twitter: @paultrani.

Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! 13 Nov 2014–28 Feb 2015

Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! Opening 13 November.

The Chicago Design Museum is proud to present our next exhibition, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles!, which will run 13 November 2014 through 28 February 2015. This exhibition recognizes an iconic designer who has helped shape the visual landscape of Los Angeles and define the field of environmental graphic design. The exhibition focuses on the early career of Deborah Sussman (1931-2014), highlighting projects that illuminate formative years in her professional development and in the growth of Los Angeles as a cultural center and a global city.

View of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles installed at the WUHO Gallery, 2013.

View of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles installed at the WUHO Gallery (12 December 2013 – 19 January 2014). Photo by Laure Joliet Photography.

Beginning with a pivotal summer internship in 1953, Sussman spent the early part of her career working at the Los Angeles office of Charles and Ray Eames. There, Sussman was introduced to the city and developed a multidisciplinary design approach that she eventually applied to both her work and office culture when she struck out on her own as Deborah Sussman & Co. in 1968. Throughout this time, Sussman continued to work on multiple scales, from product and package design to urban branding and immersive, architecturally-integrated environments. Sussman helped define what would later be called supergraphics: the use of bold colors, words, and shapes, enlarged beyond the boundaries of architectural edges and planes.

Detail of Giant House of Cards graphics and packaging.

Detail of Giant House of Cards graphics and packaging. Photo courtesy of Laure Joliet Photography.

In 1980, Sussman formed the office Sussman/Prejza with her husband Paul Prejza. The office collaborated with the Jerde Partnership on the visual identity of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and catapulted Los Angeles onto the world stage in a kaleidoscope of colors that came to define not only the look of the Games but the city itself. Through its expanding scale and exuberant use of color, her graphic design tracks a path between modern and postmodern design and across the changing landscape of Los Angeles as it grew dramatically in size, density, and diversity from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Sonotubes, wayfinding for the 1984 Olympic Games, installed at the WUHO Gallery.

Sonotubes, wayfinding for the 1984 Olympic Games, installed at the WUHO Gallery. Photo courtesy of Laure Joliet Photography.

This examination of the first thirty years of Sussman’s career invites further scholarship on women’s roles in collaborative design projects in Los Angeles and the nation at large during a time period dominated by male practitioners.

Artifacts from the Los Angeles installation of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles.

Artifacts from the Los Angeles installation of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Laure Joliet Photography.

Originally shown in Los Angeles at the Woodbury School of Architecture’s WUHO Gallery in 2013, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! will be on view at the Chicago Design Museum from November 12, 2014 through February 28, 2015. The exhibition was curated by Barbara Bestor, Catherine Gudis, Tom Kracauer, and Shannon Starkey and is organized in Chicago by Matthew Terdich, Elizabeth Cummings, and Morgan Walsh.