I first touched on Cranbrook Academy of Art when I posted the work of Keetra Dean Dixon and have again been reminded of the brilliance coming out of that school after coming across the work of 'Innate Gestures', the alias of the school's student 3d design collective. I'm going to post them more specifically next, but wanted to highlight some of the school's more recent creations.
Cranbrook is a Grad school located about 15 minutes outside of Detroit, MI, (in Bloomfield Hills) which means it's in my hood; I've been lucky enough to tour the school a number of times with my instructors at CCS. Admissions only accepts a limit of ten or so PER DEPARTMENT every year, which means the school has approximately 100 students at any given time. Each grad is given their own studio space and work with artists in residence- rather than more traditional 'instructors'- to bring to life whatever is in them to create.
The work that I've seen come out of this school is exceptionally clever and remarkably simple, likely owing to the campus; students are required to live on the expansive grounds in 1930s arts and crafts cottage culture. It's like an art retreat, secluded and surrounded by giant trees. You'd think that grad students in design would do their best work in the cultural centers of major cities, but Cranbrook kids are laid back bookish craftspeople that thrive on nature and wide open space. Smart.
Ayami Watanabe, 'Bricks', 2005
Matt Monroe, 'Electric Orange Living Room', 2008.
(I saw this one at last year's grad show; it's interactive and asks the participant to shovel cheetos out of the pail and onto a conveyor belt. The delicious snacks are then shredded and shot into the air inside the tiny living room, collecting inches to feet of orange dust on the droning television and small sofa)
Alumni? The Saarinens, Ray and Charles Eames, Florence Knoll, Jack Lenor Larson, Duane Hanson and Hani Rashid.
Eames chair created at Cranbrook
$igh. How I'd love to go to Grad school at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Lottery first.