Holdingan MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and BFA degrees in Graphic Design and Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Sharon Oiga’s work investigates the process of design—the ways in which ideas are expressed and disseminated, ranging from the micro level of experimental typographic form to the macro level of self-authoring and publishing. At UIC, she is an Associate Professor and the Chair of Graphic Design.
Previously, Sharon partnered with design firms where she specialized in identity, branding, publication design, and packaging. Her work is consistently recognized through awards, publications, exhibitions, and funding. A two-time recipient of the Sappi Ideas That Matter grant, Sharon was also honored to receive the UIC Silver Circle Teaching Award. She has written about her teaching in UCDA’s Designer Magazine. Sharon serves as Chair of the Society of Typographic Aficionados/TypeCon, and she is a Director of the Chicago Design Archive.
Chicago Design through the Decades
In an event that took place in the 1920s, designers affiliated with the Chicago Chapter of AIGA held an unsanctioned, notoriously wild party on Lake Michigan. When the AIGA Board of Directors in New York learned of the incident, they disavowed the Chicago Chapter on the grounds of lack of control over members.
The orphaned designers then gathered to form The Society of Typographic Arts (STA). The salacious start of this professional design organization foreshadowed events to come in their 90-year history, including a temporary switch to the name of American Center for Design as well as an infamous dumpster-diving incident to save archival work.
These factual incidents, uncovered in the research of the book created for the 90th anniversary of the STA, will be detailed in the presentation. Viewers will expand their knowledge of design history, hear about STA’s periodically controversial timeline of events, see significant works of design, and learn how designers of this era and region characterized design in the American Midwest.