Grad students & alumni design project for SOFA CHICAGO

Master of Fine Arts, Student poses talking on cell phone in rubber pool chair in front of white gallery wall of colorful beachballs

Columbus College of Art & Design was one of six top art and design schools in the country chosen to create a unique installation as part of an annual student competition called SOFA CONNECT at SOFA CHICAGO.

SOFA — short for Sculptural Objects Functional Art — is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. It took place Nov. 2 – 5, 2017, at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Six CCAD graduate students, two CCAD graduate alumni, and two faculty advisors made up the CCAD team that participated in SOFA CONNECT. They had to create displays that utilized seating, lighting, and object (sculpture).

The theme of SOFA CONNECT was Future Summer Nostalgia, and the CCAD team’s project was called, What Happens When the Beaches Are Gone?

“With global warming and imminent climate change on the horizon ’beaches’ as we know them will shift, transform and may disappear entirely,” the CCAD team wrote in their project proposal. “As a group, we are proposing the concept of a futuristic beach environment, centering around an apocalyptic, pseudo-nostalgia set in a future where beaches no longer exist.”

Master of Fine Arts, Two students construct white gallery wall of beach balls, one standing on step ladder

The CCAD team used beach balls, pool noodles, and other media in the piece, which attracted a lot of attention at the conference. The display was interactive, featuring a sculpture created out of more than 30,000 drinking straws that changed color when people sat in the chairs that were designed and fabricated by the team.

“Being selected to participate in SOFA CHICAGO’s annual CONNECT competition is a big deal,” said Molly Burke, Assistant Director of Graduate Studies at CCAD. “And our team from CCAD created a fantastic project that helped generate conversations and connections about the future.”

Congratulations to the CCAD team members for their hard work:

Master of Fine Arts, team of six students pose in front of wall of beach balls with pool float lounge chair in corner

CCAD graduate students
Yajim Amadu (MFA, 2019)
Katie B Funk (MFA, 2018)
Amanda Finkel (MFA, 2018)
Young-Mi Lee (MFA, 2018)
Yae Reem Lee (MFA, 2019)
Hannah Watters (MFA, 2018)

CCAD graduate alumni
Zane Miller (MFA, 2017)
Nate Gorgen (MFA, 2012)

Faculty advisors
Molly Jo Burke
John Cairns

Read more about the CCAD team’s SOFA CHICAGO project. And learn more about CCAD’s Master of Fine Arts program and new Master of Design program.