In Chicago, The House Beautiful: Arts and Crafts Architecture opened on December 1 at the Art Institute of Chicago. Shortly before modernism and the International Style captured the international design spotlight, the Arts and Crafts movement had a stronghold across North America and England. This exhibit espouses Arts and Crafts-era architect and designer William Morris's dictum "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" and features books and photographs from the Ryerson and Burnham libraries. While you're there, be sure to check out Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design, showcasing the works the German designer and on display until January 24, 2010.
In New York, Detour: Architecture and Design Along 18 National Tourist Routes in Norway opens on December 4 at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parson the New School for Design. Rest stops, information centers, and observation platforms are prime places for tourists to get a taste of the country they're visiting. This exhibit features photographs and models from Norway's National Tourist Routes Project, which asks designers from around the world to innovative ideas for "tourist-route architecture" and has resulted in nearly 200 built projects since it was launched in the early 1990s. Be sure to give yourself enough time to take in the paper-meets-digital-technology creations of international artists and designers featured in Control|Print, on display until December 20.
Also in New York--but closing its doors, are Re-Imagining Cities: Urban Design After the Age of Oil and Bits 'n Pieces. Re-Imagining Cities synchs up nearly perfectly with our December/January 2010 "The Future" issue (though is off the shelves a bit earlier, closing at the Municipal Art Society of New York on December 4). The show explores the future city and forward-thinking ideas like car-sharing programs and floating cities. If you go, you can also take a peak into the bookshelves of ten of New York City's top architects practicing today in the show Unpacking My Library: 10 Architects and their Books. Bits 'n Pieces closes at Material ConneXion on December 4. Experts at Material ConneXion's sample library keep everyone from the designers at Adidas to Zaha Hadid on the cutting edge of innovation with the latest technologies and materials. (We featured some of their favorites in our November 2009 issue.) Bits 'n Pieces showcases the designs (in architecture, furniture, jewelry, graphic design, etc) made possible by today's envelope-pushing technology.
Finally, in Los Angeles, Natural Selections opens on December 5 at the Fifth Floor Gallery. Los Angeles–based designer Tanya Aguiñiga creates furniture and products inspired by nature made in natural forms or with natural materials. In this show, she displays a new flock of porcelain-headed birds along with items such as her Soft Rocks seats (above) and plastic P Tree chair. The exhibit will be on display until January 9.
If you know about a great modern art, architecture, or design exhibition or event happening this weekend that should be added to our online Events calendar, submit your suggestion here or add it to the comments section below.