Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris

During their heyday, zines were useful for getting intel on bands bubbling up in your region, sharing outlaw skater folk tales, exposing underground artists, and as a platform for budding literary types flexing beatnik muscles. Despite the advent of blogs—or perhaps because of it—zines have surged once again in the Internet era. Architecture zines, in particular, have livened up the culture.

ARCHIZINES, a project from Elias Redstone, with art direction by Folch Studio, documents, celebrates and promotes zines, journals, magazines and periodicals from around the world as an indie and alternative publishing vehicle for architecture criticism and as a platform for new photography, illustration and design.

ARCHIZINES World Tour touches down in Chicago this fall, opening September 13 at Public Works in Wicker Park. The touring show, curated by Redstone, a collaboration with the Architectural Association, features 100 architecture magazines, fanzines, and journals from over 20 countries. Design With Company, Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer, created the installation.

Archizines are creations of enthusiastic architects, artists, and students and their content can include criticism, commentary, and research into spaces and practice. In the curator's eyes, they are a radical and essential component of the discourse. And what's more, they demonstrate the love and utility of printed matter in our day and age. 

The Archizines opening reception is Friday, September 13, 7-10pm at Public Works.

Archizines LIVE: Public Discussion + Sound Installations are set for September 28 and October 19 featuring panel discussions (6-8pm) and live music (9-10pm)

Saturday, September 28
Kyle May (CLOG Magazine) 
Iker Gil (MAS Context) 
Sofia Leiby (Chicago Artist Writers) 
Brandon Biederman (Fresh Meat) 
Sound Installation by Kyle Vegter & Daniel R. Dehaan of SOUND ROOM with special guest Levy Lorenzo 


Saturday, October 19
James Goggin (Practise) 
Ludovico Centis (San Rocco) 
Dylan Fracareta (PIN-UP) 
Matthew Harlan (SOILED) 
Sound Installation by THE–DRUM



1907 cartoon about the “Chicago Gait”

The phrase “Calumet 412” once stood for the phone number of one of Chicago’s most famous brothels, but these days it just refers to one of our favorite Tumblr pages. Calumet 412 is run by ­­an amateur historian, and it’s one of the best visual histories of “the city that works” that we’ve found. You’ll find ancient photos from the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Vivian Maier street photos from the 1960s, early 20th century ads, and even old cartoons complaining about how quickly Chicagoans walk. 

All images from Calumet 412

Untitled, 1957, Chicago, Vivian Maier

The Lagoon at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

Subway construction at Milwaukee and Ashland, 1943

Southbound view of Lake Shore Drive at Bryn Mawr, 1954

When is something vintage new? When it is the new vintage basement of Wicker Park boutique Una Mae's here in Chicago, that's when. The Nothing Major family invites you to join us and Una Mae's Saturday, August 17 for a celebration in Una Mae's newly launched vintage basement. Koval and Revolution Brewing will be providing the libations for those of age. And there will be live music from special guests, too. Oh, and the big draw for you stylish reader are the super deals and sales. 

Celebrate Nothing Major
Saturday, August 17, 11am-9pm

Una Mae's, 1528 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago IL


Photos by Yewon Kim

The people-watching at the annual Pitchfork Music Festival is almost as good as the music-listening these days. And this year's crowd of festgoers didn't disappoint, turning Chicago's Union Park into its own runway of hybrid summer style. Preppy and punk standards and the best thrift store finds were edged out by bold, sometimes globally-inspired patterns which went nicely with the tropical temperatures and late evening rain showers.

See more photos at Pitchfork.com and more street fashion at Elle.com.

When it comes to jewelry, finding a uniquely simple yet adventurously original necklace is a mission and a half. But it's an important one, as the right necklace can make our daytime outfit ready for a nightlife rendezvous. So when we found Puerto Rican artist Nora Maité Nieves and her jewelry line My nOma, we quickly embraced her pieces. Neon woven closures, chunky hardware pendants, and bound chains are well suited for quick day-to-night turnarounds. Her upbringing in the Caribbean, where the island life is translated in mix-and-match looks, informs her choice in colors and textures.

Shop online at My nOma

Photos by Yewon Kim

Chicago is awash in street fests each summer, but the Guerrilla Truck Show, hosted by Morlen Sinoway Atelier during mega trade fair NeoCon each year stands out for its relaxed vibe and focus on creative work from small studios. Hundreds of designers and artists from Chicago and beyond show their latest projects and current wares from rented Ryder and U-Haul trucks. As one attendee noted Tuesday night, "it's a bad day to move out of an apartment in Chicago." As usual, we were inspired and enlightened.

Photo by: Clayton Hauck

Photos by Clayton Hauck

Parson's Chicken & Fish is the latest cool joint from the folks at Land & Sea Dept. It began turning out splendiforous fried food and Negroni slushies (designed by bartender Charles Schott) just a few weeks ago and is already shaping up to be a summer favorite. The Land & Sea team has taken design fundamentals seriously in the space. The visual identity and graphic design are by Cody Hudson's Struggle Inc.—and the Parson's logo was hand-drawn by Hawaiian artist Matthew Tapia. Parson's features a small dine-in area and a spacious back patio—complete with a permanantly installed red 1977 El Camino which local designer Ryan Duggan has tricked out with design elements. Inside, the look is a mix between industrial with exposed ducts, factory-style lighting, and retro lunch counter with handcrafted booths, neon-style sign, and a red and white chevron pattern in tile. The handmade cement tiles were sourced from Los Angeles-based Granada. The patterned laminate bathroom door stalls were a collaborative effort between Land & Sea Dept., Mode, and Parson’s partner Jon Martin, and artists and designers Stephen Eichhorn and Jessica Paulson. Outside, the graphic-emblazoned picnic tables are the draw with a light cedar finish and a converted shipping container serves as outdoor bar. Sprout Home teamed up with Land & Sea to outfit the space with landscape elements and its own herb garden.

Follow Parson's on Facebook.

The Middle Mind Project, Gus Gavino's independent motion picture studio based in Chicago's Logan Square, takes an unusual approach to documenting artists, experimenting with the narrative format, and producing something contemporary, refreshing, and original. Nothing Major is thrilled to present some of our favorites from the series which has included Ray Noland, The Post Family, and Plural

See more of the Middle Mind Project online in its archives Tumblr. 

Today, we're featuring MMP's video on Veronica Corzo-Duchardt ("Cuban-American artist, designer, teacher, and collector of things") and her Winterbureau design studio. Corzo-Duchardt (who has MFAs from the SAIC in Visual Communications and Writing) designed for V2 Records, Surface, ENK International, and Sony Music. Side note from the director: "The low voice you hear throughout the piece (starting at 00:57) is her grandfather speaking to her. At the end of the film you hear them saying they love each other before saying goodbye. It's from an audio recording she did with him some years ago."


Look for a MMP video premiere on Nothing Major soon.

Eric Lebofsky's new show Cosmos explores the multiverse, ancient aliens, cosmology, and chaos in drawings that sorted themselves into three groupings: the primeval, the chorus, and the totemic ghost-gods. It might sound like the stuff of late night History Channel viewing or pulp novels, but in Lebofsky's hands, the spiritual and the alien mix in a sci-fi universe that the artist has spent some time in. In fact, the exhibit takes its name from a Witold Gombrowicz book, which like Lebofsky's work, uses elements of sci-fi, humor, and eroticism in dense narratives.

Independent curator Eyeball Mansion culled Lebofsky's material (approximately 20 new ink drawings on paper as well as a signed and numbered artist book) for an exhibition which opens Saturday night at Rational Park (2557 W North Ave) in Chicago. The opening is Saturday, April 20th 7-10pm and the show runs through May 11 by appointment.

An artist book with process and finished drawings, as well as a short sci-fi story will be on display and for sale.

The "Next Stop" design competition seeks to find the designer of Chicago's forthcoming Bus Rapid Transit system. The project has a simple mission statement: "This single-stage international design ideas competition is intended to be a catalyst for iconic, sustainable, and functional design for Chicago’s planned BRT system."

Chicago plans to expand its BRT from a pilot project to service running on its Central Corridor and possibly the Western-Ashland corridor.

In order to make sure a design can be adapted to any station in the city, organizers have specified that each proposal must have plans for three different locations: Downtown near State and Madison, Bucktown-Logan Square at the Western Avenue Blue Line L stop, and Pilsen near 18th and Ashland. All entries are due May 13 at noon.

Budding transit designers should head to the BRT Chicago website for the submission guidelines and more information about "Next Stop".

Read the competition brief at the Chicago Architectural Club.