All of the shelving in this project was donated/reused following the exhibit.
In conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, AIA Chicago transformed a storefront on the 3rd floor of Block37 shopping mall into a memorable temporary pop-up of Functional Objects by Architects (FOBA). Inspired by visitor-minded concepts of open storage, architecture in the form of industrial shelving, a straightforward layout, bold wall graphics, and a curated collection of 27 objects helped transition a generic gallery into a design destination.
With a challenging set of parameters, from the weight and size of objects to an all-volunteer and staff construction crew, it was imperative to think economically and utilitarian. As a repository crowded with a wealth of objects, the pop-up feels instead like a cabinet of curiosities. Aside from the delightful abundance and the logistical issues of display and storage that were eased, the simple solution demonstrated that these objects need to be seen. The more, the better.
Branding the space in signature AIA red allowed FOBA to pop out into the mall and make an impression on social media, enticing shoppers as well as Biennial-goers to come take a look at the objects, selected for their diversity in nature, scale, and function. With shelves bristling with all kinds of objects – from furniture design to textiles and lifestyle accessories, FOBA’s visible and branded design solution puts the wide range of talents of AIA Chicago members, from Fellows to student members, on display recognizing the contributions architects make in commercial, private and institutional worlds.
Architecture Is Fun, Inc.