Graduate interior design students and faculty from Pratt Institute competed for the third consecutive year at the SOFA CHICAGO (Sculptural Objects Functional Art + Design) CONNECT competition and won first place for the second time, tying with the University of Iowa. The annual art and design fair, which draws more than 35,000 visitors from around the United States and abroad, was held from November 5-8 at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Pratt was one of six international art and design schools with teams that were chosen to contribute to CONNECT, the fair’s exhibition for design environments that incorporate seating, lighting, and objects. Pratt’s team explored the idea of constantly changing city landscapes through their winning installation, “Paper + Air,” a lounge space that is readily transportable without compromising its spatial impact. The installation was fabricated through the design and folding of paper and the use of air to build large structures easily, and included rich patterns that evoked Chicago’s rich neoclassical and modern architecture.

The installation was a collaboration between a graduate Interior Design Thesis Studio taught by Professor of Interior Design Deborah Schneiderman and a graduate Interior Inflatable Design Options Lab taught by Visiting Associate Professor of Interior Design Alex Schweder. Schneiderman also took part in the CONNECT Lecture on November 6, speaking alongside faculty advisors from other participating schools about the concepts and challenges of their designs.

A video of the “Paper + Air” installation process can be viewed here.

Image: “Paper + Air” at SOFA CHICAGO