The Des Moines Art Center is pleased to announce that, in collaboration with the Iowa Architectural Foundation, it will once more offer an “Ideal Object Workshop” this summer. The 2008 Ideal Object Workshop builds on the success of the 2007 Ideal Object Workshop (see last article in newsletter), which was inspired by the work of artist Tom Sachs and his interest in manipulating real tools, toys, and domestic machines to create objects that function exactly the way he wishes them to, often performing in new or enhanced ways. While innovation continues to be at the center of this program, this year the Ideal Object Workshop will look to the Art Center’s exhibition, World Histories, for inspiration.
World Histories will be on view at the Art Center from May 16 to August 31, 2008. The eleven artists included in this show are from all over the globe and represent the forefront of the international contemporary art scene. They each make artworks inspired by the different regions of the world they grew up in, as well as the various countries they have seen as both aspiring and professional artists.
This summer, Iowa’s Destination ImagiNation teams will be challenged to create innovative and functional “ideal objects” for a room in a modern-day, middle-class home from one of the countries represented by an artist in World Histories: Indonesia, Guatemala, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, or Ghana. Six teams of 4 to 7 students each in grades 6-12 (or students who will be in 6th grade in fall 2008) from all around the state will be accepted to this program based on their completion of a designated Instant Challenge. In an effort to maximize success, teams will participate in a two-day skill-building conference and be given a budget of $600 from which to build their objects. An architect will be assigned to each team to serve as that team’s client and mentor. Each team’s object will address three specific criteria as requested by their client.
Selected Team Managers will be paid an honorarium of $300 at the conclusion of the workshop for their efforts. Additionally, two hotel rooms per team will be paid for by the Ideal Object Workshop.
Des Moines Art Center Objectives
- Introduce students to contemporary art, design, and architecture via the Art Center’s permanent collection and exhibition, World Histories.
- Produce a workshop that focuses on creative problem-solving and teamwork.
- Create a learning environment based on envisioning (guiding students through the process of imagining an abstract idea, to putting the idea into visual form, and finally realizing the concept in three dimensions).
- Demonstrate positive and productive collaboration methods.
Iowa Architectural Foundation Objectives
- Understand how “found” objects can be combined in different ways, using different materials (architectonics).
- Understand the difference between “art” and “architecture”. Can something be both?
- Understand how to work with a client (owner), and also how to think like an owner.
- Understand the difference between “design” and “construction.”
- Saturday, June 21, 12 – 5 pm: Ideal Object Skill-Building Conference at Des Moines Art Center
- Sunday, June 22, 10 am – 1 pm: Ideal Object Skill-Building Conference at Des Moines Art Center
- June 23 – August 23: Teams work on Ideal Objects on own schedule
- Saturday, August 23, 10 am – 1 pm: Delivery/Installation of Ideal Objects to Des Moines Art Center
- Sunday, August 24, 1 – 4 pm: Ideal Object Reception at Des Moines Art Center
- August 24 – September 24, Ideal Object Exhibition, Adrienne and Charles Herbert Galleries of the Des Moines Art Center
- September 25 – 26, Ideal Object Exhibition, American Institute of Architects Convention, Polk County Convention Complex
- Friday, September 26, 9 am – 12 pm: Ideal Objects retrieved by team managers from the Polk County Convention Complex
How to Apply
The Des Moines Art Center, together with the Iowa Architectural Foundation, will select 6 Destination ImagiNation teams from Iowa to participate in The Ideal Object Workshop this summer. Selected teams will participate in a fun skill-building conference June 21-22, and then have nine weeks to create their own “ideal object.”
Teams will be selected to participate based on how they solve an Instant Challenge. Interested teams should contact Judy Nolan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request the designated challenge and application form. The Team Manager of Record is responsible for facilitating a meeting with his or her team and presenting the team with this challenge. Each team must digitally document the completion of the task and the testing of their solution. This documentation will serve as the basis for the team invitations. Solutions must be submitted on DVD no later than Friday, May 16, 2008.
All Team Managers will be notified of their acceptance to the workshop by Friday, May 30, 2008.