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2013 was a good year for SOFA CHICAGO and its CONNECT program

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Devoted to sculpture, functional art and design, the fair known as SOFA CHICAGO celebrates two decades of business with a special program that debuted in 2013.

“Sharing SOFA CHICAGO’s landmark 20th annual fair with so many longtime supporters and art enthusiasts as well as our artists and dealers, was a truly energizing experience,” states Fair Director Donna Davies. “I’m also pleased with the response to several of our new programs and awards. Our audience is clearly curious about the very latest in art and design and SOFA will continue to be a major platform for this field going forward.”

Chubb Personal Insurance’s support of SOFA CHICAGO has extended to the new CONNECT program, a student design exhibition and competition that debuted in 2013 at SOFA CHICAGO. Five top art and design universities were selected to participate in the inaugural CONNECT, and each created unique lounge environments on the show floor.

The CONNECT schools, Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland); Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY); University of California, Davis (Davis, CA); and University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), were also invited to collaborate with the internationally renowned Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Roadshow, to design pieces for display at the Chubb Personal Insurance booth as part of their overall CONNECT experience.

Designed objects drafted by Pratt Institute and University of Iowa were selected by the Corning Museum of Glass for the project, and prototypes of the students’ glass works were displayed in the Chubb Personal Insurance booth at the fair.

The winning CONNECT school, Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute, was awarded a $2,500 cash prize from Chubb Personal Insurance for their Chicago-inspired design, derived from the studies of Anish Kapoor’s reflective Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park.

“The CONNECT competition provided Pratt interior design students with an invaluable experience to conceptualize, design, build, and test a full-scale inhabitable interior environment,” explains Deborah Schneiderman, Interior Design Associate Professor at Pratt Institute, and faculty advisor for the project.

“Pratt’s CONNECT lounge highlights the value of collaboration and showcases the Institute’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility through design. We were grateful for the opportunity to implement our vision at SOFA.”



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