Tuesday, July 7, 2009


'An American House '08', William Massie (created at Cranbrook and on a recent cover of DWELL)

The Grounds

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)

Audrey Russel, 'Large Cat', 2005

Alumni? The Saarinens, Ray and Charles Eames, Florence Knoll, Jack Lenor Larson, Duane Hanson and Hani Rashid.

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen

Eames chair created at Cranbrook

$igh. How I'd love to go to Grad school at Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Lottery first.



Sarah said...

Thanks for being a fan of Cranbrook Art Academy! Please visit campus often (you can join our facebook page if you'd like to keep up what is going on). And...we'd always be happy to talk with you about how it might be possible for you to study here. We've had lots of wonderful CCS students!
Sarah Turner
Assistant Director / Cranbrook Academy of Art

PS. Don't be alarmed that I found you - I've got a google alert set-up for mention of CAA.

sn said...

Amazing. I love blogs.

Thanks for contacting me!! We'll be in touch for sure!
I'll look you up, sarah!



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