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Fundamentals of Interior Product Design: Spaces, Boundaries, and Micro-architectures

Tue, Oct 30, 2012

Morlen Sinoway

Morlen Sinoway
Photo by Bjorn Kavanaugh

As part of the in-gallery conversation series centered on the exhibition Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Bivouac, this talk looks at how the Bouroullecs’ designs have the effect of demarcating space in open and flexible ways. Their objects create rooms within rooms (what the designers term “Micro-architectures”), using movable walls, changes of scale, and focal points for habitation. Designer Morlen Sinoway explores how the Bouroullecs use objects to delineate space, challenging conventions of interior layout.

Morlen Sinoway was born and raised in Chicago. His studies in sculpture, drawing, and ceramics from The School of the Art Institute (1975) provided a foundation for his utilitarian direction, which he later translated into a unique blend of reduced simplicity and basic materials creating a visually enticing style of custom furniture. Sinoway’s art and furniture have exhibited in prestigious shows and venues, including The Art Institute of Chicago and The Salone De Mobile in Milan.

In 1990, he started a multi-disciplined design studio, under his own name—Morlen Sinoway Atelier. The Atelier is well known for actively supporting the independent design scene in Chicago, and also for bringing some of the worlds most renowned furniture brands to the Midwest. In 2005, Sinoway developed a way to support Chicago’s Independent Design community with a low-cost design event he named, “The Guerrilla Truck Show.” Held during NeoCon every year, on the dock-height sidewalks outside his Atelier, the event serves as a platform for creatives of all types to showcase their work in a temporary gallery space within the back of a moving truck. Over the years, the event has blossomed from 13 trucks up to 60 trucks, with more than 6,000 guests in attendance in 2012.

Sinoway is continually featured in numerous magazines (including Details, Lucky, and Interior Design), newspapers, and book publications for his insights, The Guerrilla Truck Show, and his Atelier. Sinoway also was an Adjunct at Harrington College of Design, teaching Experimental Furniture Design from 2004–2010. In addition, he still routinely participates in critique for the School of The Art Institute’s Architecture, Interior architecture, and Designed Object department.


In-Gallery Conversation Series: Fundamentals of Interior Product Design
Oct 23: Objects, Function, and Detail
Oct 30: Spaces, Boundaries, and Micro-architectures
Nov 3: Colors, Textures, and Materials