Designer: Craig Stover & Karl Sluis
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Category: Design for Social Impact
Award: Student Notable
Common Sense is an art exhibit consisting of 13 installations that examine the past, present, and future state of the American Dream.
We set out to explore how we might make information more compelling—how we might make topics like history and statistics exciting—and what influence the tangible had on the spectacle. We experimented with and explored the idea of socially discursive design, design that addressed not the needs of one, or some, but the needs of all. Clearly, we were very excited to work on this project—it was experimental, intellectual, risky, and above all else, fun.
We're both from southern Michigan and have seen some of the best and worst of the American Dream. What was once a land of promise and optimism is now a place crippled by the short-sighted decisions of the past thirty years. Make no mistake: we acknowledge a biased perspective. This does not mean that we cannot be agnostic and fair in our treatment of the facts that inform this perspective. We see no need to sing to the choir, to congratulate ourselves for our knowledge and understanding—we would much rather explore the facts and share what we've learned. If our biases are undermined, we'll share that discovery. If our beliefs are supported by history, we won't retreat from sharing the same.
Core77: What's the latest news or development with your project?
After our exhibit in Detroit last year, we fielded a number of adoption inquiries for children's museum. Craig and Karl could think of no better opportunity than to mold fertile, young minds and excite children about the ins and outs of Federal budget priorities and negotiations. Seriously.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
Our Chinese-born champagne flutes in no way fit together upon arrival. Craig and Karl spent the better part of one playful and productive evening hacking away at plastic champagne flutes to ensure proper fit, all in the name of beauty and design.
Read on for full details on the project and jury comments.