sciart featuring a plastic surgical hand

BITS – Bodies

In ALL, BITS by Alice Fleerackers

“Bodies.”

This single word is the inspiration behind a bold new exhibition, on view from November 15, 2019 to February 16, 2020 at Chicago’s International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS). Bringing together the words of art, design, and medicine, BODIES: SAIC Intro to Designed Objects features a wide range of creative works in response to the simple prompt: “bodies.”

From wearable art to sculptural projects, each unique work was created by a student in Megan Euker’s Intro to Designed Objects class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Drawing inspiration from the collections at the IMSS, the students first identified key medical or bodily constraints that could be alleviated with the help of a well-designed assistive device. After several rounds of in-depth research, prototype testing, and consultations with medical professionals, the students brought their ideas to life. The resulting objects are designed to “increase accessibility, promote healthy behaviours, create comfort, and improve safety.” In doing so, they offer a new look at the human body and the role of medicine, posing complex questions about ability and disability, functionality and constraint.

The show opens with a free reception on November 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. But for those who aren’t able to attend in person, we’re also offering a sneak peak of the exhibition—right here on the Art the Science Blog:

sculptural sciart
Bona Chun | Saving the Heartbeat | 2019 | Plastic, Ren foam, Cotton, Speakers, Sensors | 8″ x 14″ x 10″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
sciart: a table with salt, cigarettes, and a picture frame
Crasianne Tirado | Warning! | 2019 | Laser-etched and cut salt shakers and Acrylic | 3.5″ x 2″, 8″ x 6″, 3.5″ x 1.5″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
Crasianne Tirado | Warning! (detail) | 2019
sculptural sciart: an empty white sheet dangling
Luisa De Silva Milmo | Inward Therapy Cocoon | 2019 | Metal, Fabric, Aromatherapy Oil | 77.75″ x 37.50″ x 37.50″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
sciart: a person dangling in a white sheet
Luisa De Silva Milmo | Inward Therapy Cocoon | 2019 | Metal, Fabric, Aromatherapy Oil | 77.75″ x 37.50″ x 37.50″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
Trevor Hormel | Sonar Device | 2019 | Plastic & Electronics | 4″ x 4″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
Trevor Hormel | Sonar Device (detail) | 2019
Two small round booklets that look vaguely  like pills
Riley Pruitt | What is Happening? A Look at Appendectomies | 2019 | 3D print and paper | 4.25″ x 4.25″ x 0.5″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
a black cloth neck brace
Royce Cottingham | Neck Brace | 2019 | Fabric, Wire Mesh, Thread | 11 ½” x 29″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
Dara Oramas | Macrame Arm Sling | 2017 | Paracord | 13.5″ x 17″ x 10″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
Dara Oramas | Macrame Arm Sling (detail) | 2017
Shengxun Lin | Hold Me | 2017 | Resin, Acrylic, Cotton Webbing | 4.5″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose
Shengxun Lin | Hold Me (detail)| 2017
A fridge with a magnet holding medical pills
Leyi (Angela) Song | Hypertension Medical Box with Recording-Note Pad | 2019 | Laminated paper and Acrylic | 5.25″ x 3.62″ x 0.86″ | Photo Credit: Jerzy Rose

Bodies is on view at the International Museum of Surgical Science from November 15, 2019 to February 16, 2020.

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Alice Fleerackers

Alice is a freelance writer, a researcher at the ScholCommLab, and an editor at the Art the Science blog. With degrees in both psychology and publishing, she is fascinated by the confluence of science and story, and is passionate about bringing research into everyday life. As a journalist, she’s had the pleasure of interviewing media specialists, psychotherapists, anthropologists, and many others on everything from the psychology of cat videos to the “science” of astrology. In her spare time, she rides her bike, dabbles in spoon carving, and—yes—occasionally, reads her horoscope. Twitter: @FleerackersA