School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Theme: Water

Biodesign may tackle the issues of water security and water management by helping foster a more sustainable relationship between humans and their environments. This spring 2016, the students of SAIC will explore ways in which biotechnology might change the way we use and recycle water.


Bailey Beatt, Maurice Hampton, Jackie Huang, Sam Scheib

A set of spiny panels, Dewpoint draws inspiration from cacti’s ability to efficiently collect and store water droplets from fog.

Synthetic Wetlands

Meimei Song, Catherine Whaley, Ana Zhang

An art and education space situated on the shore of Mono Lake in California, Synthetic Wetlands offers a prototype of a living bathhouse that uses and recycles the water of the lake to promote greener modes of water usage.


Taylor Cleveland, Dasol Hong

Lachrymo is an aesthetic experiment that asks people to drink the tears of those suffering from poor or polluted water resources as a provocation to action. 

Design Professor

Heather Dewey-Hagborg has shown work internationally at events and venues including Ars Electronica in Linz, the Poland Mediations Bienniale, Article Biennial in Norway, the Science Gallery Dublin, Transmediale in Berlin, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Museum Boijmans and MU Art Space in the Netherlands. She has exhibited nationally at PS1 Moma, the New Museum, Eyebeam, the New York Public Library, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art among many others.

She has given workshops and talks at museums, schools, conferences and festivals including MoMA, TEDxVienna, sxsw, Eyeo, SVA, the New School, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Bennington College, Connecticut College, Middlebury College, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, the Woodrow Wilson Policy Center, TAGDF Mexico City, Bio-IT World, the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board and LISA.

She has a BA in Information Arts from Bennington College and a Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She is currently a PhD student in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Assistant Professor of Art and technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is represented in Chicago by  Catherine Edelman gallery.


Banner image: Michael D. Beckwith, The Leeds Library.