Design Museum of Chicago
As Seen from Randolph St (2021)
Former name
Chicago Design Museum
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates41°53′05″N 87°37′40″W / 41.8846153°N 87.6276773°W / 41.8846153; -87.6276773
TypeDesign museum
DirectorTanner Woodford
Public transit accessState & Lake Station, Chicago Transit Authority

The Design Museum of Chicago or "DMoC" (formerly Chicago Design Museum) is a museum of design in the Chicago loop. It was founded by Tanner Woodford in 2012 as a pop-up museum,[1] and hosted exhibitions in different venues around Chicago in 2012 and 2013.[2][3][4] Following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2014, the museum opened a permanent location in the Block 37 building.[5][6] In late 2018, the museum moved to Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph St).

Mission and purpose

The mission of the Design Museum of Chicago is to "educate, inspire, and foster innovation through design."[7]

Its programs are collaborative and community-based,[8] largely relying on local volunteers for exhibit design, curation, registration, marketing, and other core museological functions. With a small staff, its foundation is "in its many volunteers' visions and labor."[9]

The museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that believes design has the capacity to fundamentally improve the human condition. It fosters free, open, and honest engagement with diverse audiences through a permanent collection, rotating exhibitions, and educational programming.[10]


Exhibitions focus on a broad, cross-disciplinary definition of design, encompassing graphic design, architecture, urban planning, interior design, systems thinking, and more.[10][11]

Notable projects

VaxChiNation Artist campaign

Artwork by Langston Allston
Artwork by Langston Allston

In 2021, the Design Museum joined with the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to commission more than 80 local artists to "design original art exploring themes of health, vitality, community, and vaccine distribution to encourage everyone to get vaccinated."[42] The commissioned art is featured on print and digital billboards throughout Chicago neighborhoods and on social media channels.

Some artists in the campaign include: Afrokilla, Alice Hargrave, Anthony Lewellen, Ashley Lin, Bob Faust, CZR PRZ, Carlos Rolón, Carlos Segura, Cody Hudson, Cristi López, Dan Grzeca, Dont Fret, Elloo, Emmy Star Brown, Esther Garcia, Gabriel Villa, Hector Duarte, Jason Pickleman, Jeff Zimmerman, Johnny Sampson, Kelly Knaga, Langston Allston, Lori Seidemann, Moises Salazar, Penny Pinch, Pouya Ahmadi, Rosemary Holiday Hall, Rubén Aguirre, Shannon Downey, Sonnenzimmer, Substance Collective, The Kid From Pilsen, Thomas Williams, Unyimeabasi Udoh, William J. O’Brien, and Won Kim.[43]

Great Ideas of Humanity

Great Ideas of Humanity exhibition in Hong Kong
Great Ideas of Humanity exhibition in Hong Kong

Great Ideas of Humanity is a series of advertisements in which contemporary artists and designers are asked to create artwork that responds to quotes by leading scientists, philosophers, and academics. The series serves as "an acknowledgment of the increasing globalization or our world and resulting cross-pollination of ideas, philosophies, societies, and culture,"[44] and is inspired by the Great Ideas of Western Man campaign by Chicago's Container Corporation of America. Advertisements from this series have been displayed downtown Chicago on its bus rapid transit advertisement stanchions,[45] and in Hong Kong at the Business of Design Week InnoTech Design Expo.[46]

Contributors include Matthew Hoffman on Susan B. Anthony, Andy Gregg on Mary Wollstonecraft, Renata Graw on Hypatia, 50000feet on Goethe, Margot Harrington on Sojourner Truth, Cocu Liu on George Sand, Pouya Ahmadi on Rumi, Patternbase on Lucy Larcom, Eileen Tjan on Goethe, Kimberly Terzis on Anne Sophie Swetchine, Alexander Skoirchet on Buddha, Marcus Norman on Lucy Larcom, Tanner Woodford on Edith Wharton, Veronica Corzo-Duchardt on Goethe, LaShun Tines on Frederick Douglass, Matthew Terdich on Benjamin Franklin, Bibliothèque on Alfred North Whitehead, Hugh Dubberly on John Dewey, and Ivan Chermayeff on Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Chicago Design Market
Chicago Design Market

Chicago Design Market

The Chicago Design Market is "a rotating series of pop-up shops that create the unexpected by placing small emerging artists alongside larger established businesses. Located on the third floor of Block 37, "shops are not charged for utilities and do not pay a fixed monthly rent. Instead, the museum takes a sales commission. This allows small designers or businesses, such as Aviate Press, to market in a retail space, while allowing larger establishments, such as Cards Against Humanity, to experiment with both the space and their business model."[47]

Stores are selected via an application process. They include: Cards Against Humanity, The Colossal Shop, You Are Beautiful, Fourneau Bread Oven, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Resketch, Sweetwater Foundation, Shawnimals, Aviate Press, AIA Chicago, Dock 6 Collective and mercer & winnie.[48]

The Design Pack

Cards Against Humanity Design Pack

The Design Pack is a Cards Against Humanity expansion pack that includes 30 illustrated cards that interpret George Carlin's infamous 1972 monologue, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television."[49] All proceeds from the Design Pack benefit the Design Museum of Chicago, with sales surpassing $130,000 in its first few days on the market.[50] Similar non-profit packs by Cards Against Humanity have raised nearly millions of dollars for partner organizations, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.[49]

Contributors to the Design Pack include Laura Park, Shawna X, Chad Kouri, Susan Kare, Yann Legendre, Paula Scher, Jay Ryan, Mike McQuade, Paul Octavious, Erik Spiekermann, Max Temkin, Debbie Millman, Art Paul, Simon Whybray, Mike Mitchell, Scott Thomas, Matthew Terdich, Jez Burrows, Jason Polan, Jessica Hische, Cody Hudson, Nick Adam, Matthew Hoffman, Magdalena Wistuba + Anna Mort, Eric Hu, Olly Moss, Tanner Woodford, Milton Glaser, and Sonnenzimmer.[51]


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