In a new short film by Brazilian film director Hugo Faraco for R & Company, American designer Norman Teague discusses his work and influences, and the need of rewriting design history on the occasion of the exhibition “From Lawn Road to South Chicago: Progressive Plywood in Times of Change“.
‘Design history needs to reinvent itself in a whole lot of ways,’ he says in a new short film by Hugo Faraco. ‘Your world is the history that you read about, and if you’re wrapping your head around the things that really say that you don’t belong here, then we have to create other books, or we have to create another world.’
Rewriting Design History
Teague says something in the short film that a lot of people take for granted and it really struck me: studying design history, he couldn’t find a figure that represented him. Face after face of design luminaries, they are all white — mostly European — designers. I felt exactly the same way when I was studying design back in Brazil
As we saw when Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president of the United States and recently with Kamala Harris becoming the first African-America, first Asian, First Female Vice-president of the United States, representation matters: generations get inspired to dream and achieve more when they see themselves as part of history.
About Norman Teague
Norman Teague is a Chicago based designer and educator focused on projects and pedagogy that address the systematic complexity of urbanism and the culture of communities. Specializing in custom furniture that delivers a personal touch to a specific user topped unique aesthetic detail.
Teague’s past projects have included consumer products, public sculpture, performances, and specially designed retail spaces. Working with common, locally sourced building materials and local fabricators to create objects and spaces that explore simplicity, honesty, cleverness and relates to the culture of the client and/or community.
Teague graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and had his first solo show at Blanc Gallery and has worked with them to highlight new emerging artists as well as the community as it is where Teague grew up so the connections were nostalgic to say the least.
Teague served as lead craftsman and co-founder of the Design Apprenticeship Program at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator. His retail ventures have included partnerships with KLEO Residences, Leaders1354, The Silver Room, The Exchange Cafe, DNA STL, Solange Knowles Saint Heron, Chicago Beyond, Hyde Park Art Center, Blanc Gallery, Chicago Park District and South Shore Chamber of Commerce.