Design Museum of Chicago

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Design Museum of Chicago
DMoC square blue.jpg
Location within the Chicago Loop community
Former nameChicago Design Museum
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates41°53′05″N 87°37′40″W / 41.8846153°N 87.6276773°W / 41.8846153; -87.6276773
TypeDesign museum
DirectorTanner Woodford
Public transit accessState & Lake Station, Chicago Transit Authority

The Design Museum of Chicago (formerly Chicago Design Museum or "ChiDM") is a museum of design in the Chicago loop. It was founded in 2012 as a pop-up museum,[1] and hosted exhibitions in different venues around Chicago in 2012 and 2013.[2][3][4] Following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2014, the museum opened a permanent location in the Block 37 building.[5][6] In late 2018, the museum also mounted a pop-up exhibition at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph St.), "Keep Moving: Designing Chicago's Bicycle Culture."[7]

Mission and purpose[edit]

The mission of the Design Museum of Chicago is to "strengthen design culture and build community by facilitating the exchange of knowledge through dynamic experiences."[8]

Its programs are collaborative and community-based,[9] largely relying on local volunteers for exhibit design, curation, registration, marketing, and other core museological functions. With a small staff, its foundation is "in its many volunteers' visions and labor."[10]

The museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that believes design has the capacity to fundamentally improve the human condition. It fosters free, open, and honest engagement with diverse audiences through a permanent collection, rotating exhibitions, and educational programming.[11]


Exhibitions focus on a broad, cross-disciplinary definition of design, encompassing graphic design, architecture, urban planning, interior design, systems thinking, and more.[11][12]

  • Keep Moving: Designing Chicago's Bicycle Culture [7][13][14] (October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019)
  • Great Ideas of Humanity: Out of the Container [15][16][17] (April 20 – August 18, 2018)
  • HEY! PLAY! Games in Modern Culture [18] (October 20, 2017 – March 10, 2018)
  • Confluence • 20+ Creative Ecologies of Hong Kong [19] (October 14, 2017 – November 4, 2017)
  • Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist [20][21][22] (April 28, 2017 – August 12, 2017)
  • City of Ideas: Architects' Voices and Visions[23] (October 22, 2016 – February 25, 2017)
  • ChicagoMade: Great Ideas of Humanity[12] (December 1, 2016 – December 3, 2016)
  • Unfolded: Made with Paper[24] (April 5, 2016 – August 27, 2016)
  • New Horizon: Architecture from Ireland[25] (October 2, 2015 – January 30, 2016)
  • The State of Detroit[26] (April 28, 2015 – August 29, 2015)
  • Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles![27] (November 13, 2014 – February 28, 2015)
  • Starts/Speculations: Graphic Design in Chicago Past and Future[28] (June 12, 2014 – September 30, 2014)
  • Work at Play[29] (June 1, 2013 – June 30, 2013)
  • A—Z: Art on Track[30] (September 22, 2012)
  • Inaugural Exhibition: 700 N Sacramento[31] (June 1, 2012 – June 30, 2012)

Notable projects[edit]

Great Ideas of Humanity[edit]

Great Ideas of Humanity exhibition in Hong Kong

Great Ideas of Humanity is a series of advertisements in which contemporary artists and designers are asked to create artwork that responds to quotes by leading scientists, philosophers, and academics. The series serves as "an acknowledgment of the increasing globalization or our world and resulting cross-pollination of ideas, philosophies, societies, and culture,"[32] and is inspired by the Great Ideas of Western Man campaign by Chicago's Container Corporation of America. Advertisements from this series have been displayed downtown Chicago on its Bus Rapid Transit advertisement stanchions,[33] and in Hong Kong at the Business of Design Week InnoTech Design Expo.[34]

Contributors include Matthew Hoffman on Susan B. Anthony, Andy Gregg on Mary Wollstonecraft, Renata Graw on Hypatia, Max Temkin on Bertolt Brecht, 50000feet on Goethe, Margot Harrington on Sojourner Truth, Cocu Liu on George Sand, Pouya Ahmadi on Rumi, Patternbase on Lucy Larcom, Eileen Tjan on Goethe, Kimberly Terzis on Anne Sophie Swetchine, Alexander Skoirchet on Buddha, Marcus Norman on Lucy Larcom, Tanner Woodford on Edith Wharton, Veronica Corzo-Duchardt on Goethe, LaShun Tines on Frederick Douglass, Matthew Terdich on Benjamin Franklin, Bibliothèque on Alfred North Whitehead, Hugh Dubberly on John Dewey, and Ivan Chermayeff on Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Chicago Design Market

Chicago Design Market[edit]

The Chicago Design Market is "a rotating series of pop-up shops that create the unexpected by placing small emerging artists alongside larger established businesses. Located on the third floor of Block 37, "shops are not charged for utilities and do not pay a fixed monthly rent. Instead, the museum takes a sales commission. This allows small designers or businesses, such as Aviate Press, to market in a retail space, while allowing larger establishments, such as Cards Against Humanity, to experiment with both the space and their business model." [35]

Stores are selected via an application process. They include: Cards Against Humanity, The Colossal Shop, You Are Beautiful, Fourneau Bread Oven, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Resketch, Sweetwater Foundation, Shawnimals, Aviate Press, AIA Chicago, Dock 6 Collective and mercer & winnie.[36]

The Design Pack[edit]

The Design Pack is a Cards Against Humanity expansion pack that includes 30 illustrated cards that interpret George Carlin's infamous 1972 monologue, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television."[37] All proceeds from the Design Pack benefit the Design Museum of Chicago, with sales surpassing $130,000 in its first few days on the market.[38] Similar non-profit packs by Cards Against Humanity have raised nearly millions of dollars for partner organizations, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.[37]

Contributors to the Design Pack include Laura Park, Shawna X, Chad Kouri, Susan Kare, Yann Legendre, Paula Scher, Jay Ryan, Mike McQuade, Paul Octavious, Erik Spiekermann, Max Temkin, Debbie Millman, Art Paul, Simon Whybray, Mike Mitchell, Scott Thomas, Matthew Terdich, Jez Burrows, Jason Polan, Jessica Hische, Cody Hudson, Nick Adam, Matthew Hoffman, Magdalena Wistuba + Anna Mort, Eric Hu, Olly Moss, Tanner Woodford, Milton Glaser, and Sonnenzimmer.[39]


  1. ^ Grimm, Andy (May 2, 2014). "Chicago Design Museum launches Kickstarter drive". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ Weinberg, Lauren (June 5, 2012). "Chicago Design Museum hosts opening reception June 11". Time Out Chicago.
  3. ^ Shropshire, Corilyn (May 7, 2013). "Art exhibit to fill space at Block 37". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Sisson, Patrick (May 7, 2013). "Chicago Design Museum".
  5. ^ Malooley, Jake (April 1, 2014). "Chicago Design Museum has designs on a permanent home". Chicago Reader.
  6. ^ LaTrace, AJ (April 30, 2014). "Chicago Design Museum Confirms Permanent Home in Block 37".
  7. ^ a b Johnson, Steve (November 1, 2018). "From banana-seat Schwinns to Divvys, new exhibit puts Chicago's bicycle culture on display". Chicago Tribune.
  8. ^ "Support the Chicago Design Museum". February 3, 2016.
  9. ^ "Tanner Woodford's Chicago". February 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Pieper, Troy (February 9, 2017). "In Their Own Vision". Newcity.
  11. ^ a b "Graham Foundation > Grantees > Chicago Design Museum". Graham Foundation. February 25, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Exhibitions at the Design Museum of Chicago". October 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Rigou, Vasia (October 31, 2018). "Bicycling By Design: Looking at Chicago's History as a Center of Two-Wheeled Transportation". Newcity.
  14. ^ Parrella-Aureli, Ariel (October 31, 2018). "Design Museum of Chicago Exhibit Looks at the Cultural History of Local Cycling". Streetsblog Chicago.
  15. ^ "Great Ideas of Humanity". February 15, 2018.
  16. ^ Kaufmann, Justin (May 29, 2018). "Words Are the Art at a New Exhibit at the Chicago Design Museum". WGN Radio.
  17. ^ Berger, Philip (June 22, 2018). "How the Chicago Design Museum's "Great Ideas of Humanity" Reimagines America's First Sophisticated Image Advertising Campaign". Newcity.
  18. ^ Rigou, Vasia (September 5, 2017). "It's Time to Play: A Conversation with the Curators of the New Game Design Show Coming to the Chicago Design Museum". Newcity.
  19. ^ Ping, Jian (October 20, 2017). "Hong Kong design show charms Chicago with 'creative ecology'". China Daily.
  20. ^ Workman, Michael (May 31, 2017). "Dan Friedman steps back into the spotlight at the Chicago Design Museum". Chicago Tribune.
  21. ^ Rigou,Vasia (July 25, 2017). "Free Thinker: A Review of Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist". Newcity.
  22. ^ Leue, Annie (July 20, 2017). "Radical, Man!". fnewsmagazine.
  23. ^ Messner, Matthew (November 3, 2016). "Architects discuss the power (and limits) of architecture at new Chicago Design Museum exhibit". Architect's Newspaper.
  24. ^ Burton, Louise (April 28, 2016). "Chicago Design Museum rolls out 'Unfolded' exhibit". Chicago Tribune.
  25. ^ Carpenter, John (October 1, 2015). "For Chicago designers, architecture biennial could be 'a big moment'". Chicago Tribune.
  26. ^ Nealie, Toni (June 29, 2015). "The State of Detroit: Chicago Design Museum Exhibit Uses Data and Design to Explore the Urban Environment". Newcity.
  27. ^ Sattell, Jessica Barrett (November 26, 2014). "Design Love-In: Deborah Sussman at the Chicago Design Museum". Newcity.
  28. ^ Meisinger, Ann (June 27, 2014). "CHICAGO DESIGN MUSEUM // STARTS/SPECULATIONS".
  29. ^ Bishop, Nancy (June 1, 2013). "Chicago Design Museum: See the Work at Play Exhibit". Gapers Block.
  30. ^ Auten, Lindsey (September 28, 2012). "'L' Train Full of Wonders". F Newsmagazine.
  31. ^ Foumberg, Jason (June 5, 2012). "Art Break: The One-Month Lifespan of the Chicago Design Museum". Newcity.
  32. ^ "Great Ideas of Humanity from the Chicago Design Museum". December 7, 2016.
  33. ^ Adam, Nick (January 6, 2016). "Great Ideas of Humanity". Firebelly Design.
  34. ^ "Chicago Takes Center Stage as First Partner City in the Americas for Business of Design Week in Hong Kong". World Business Chicago. November 18, 2016.
  35. ^ Manier, Miranda (September 5, 2017). "Pop-up shops let creators experiment". Columbia Chronicle.
  36. ^ "Market by the Chicago Design Museum". ChicagoDesign.Market. July 28, 2017.
  37. ^ a b Temkin, Max (July 28, 2015). "NSFW: Cards Against Humanity Releases Design Pack". Maxistentialism.
  38. ^ Carpenter, John (July 31, 2015). "Cards Against Humanity offers Carlin's 7 bad words for good cause". Chicago Tribune.
  39. ^ Johnson, Theresa Christine (August 18, 2015). "Cards Against Humanity's Design Pack". The Dieline.

External links[edit]