Cynthia Oliver of Dance at Illinois and alumna Leslie Cuyjet conceived their duet BOOM! to unfurl their candid observations about being a woman. It premiered at New York Arts Live in 2014 and was part of the aMID Festival held at Links Hall in Chicago in 2016.
Theatre's John Boesche designs scenery and projections for multimedia productions, dance companies such as the Joffrey Ballet, operas, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other musical groups, and theatre works including the world premiere of The Happiest Song Plays Last by Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes.
Outreach activities lie at the heart of Japan House's mission. Celebrating traditional arts while educating students and the public, staff members and guests perform chado (the tea ceremony), lead workshops in origami and taiko drumming, offer expertise on ikebana (flower arranging) and gardening, and demonstrate cooking techniques.
Chris Kienke of Art and Design combines painting with photos of pixelated television images in his series Exit Six.
As part of the I.D.E.A.S network, designer-in-residence Eujin Julia Kim of Landscape Architecture focuses on regenerating brownfields—contaminated land once used for commercial or industrial activities—and collaborative planning to address environmental and design issues.
In addition to organizing the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, Debra Richtmeyer and J. Michael Holmes of Music performed works including Paganini Lost by Jun Nagaowere. MM alumna and current DMA student Casey Dierlam served as a collaborative pianist for the event.
Collaborations take many forms at Krannert Art Museum: individual pieces, exhibitions, and explorations with other campus researchers. In fall 2015, Attachment featured decorative arts, sculptures, prints, installation art, photographs, paintings, and other forms as well as a conversation between experts in subjects ranging from world literature to French. Dance at Illinois joined the investigation by centering its November Dance concert on the notion of choreography as "fleeting, ephemeral moments—a wisp of attachment and nothing more."
Tension structures—the geodesic domes of Buckminster Fuller and concrete forms like the State Farm Center are recognizable examples—can offer lightweight yet strong building solutions that allow access to sunlight, provide a high level of energy efficiency, and capture modern design aesthetics. Landscape Architecture's Sudarshan Krishnan, also an alumnus, researches the behavior, characteristics, and stability of tensile membranes and taught a fall 2015 Arts Exchange workshop on making tensegrity structures.
Beardstown, a southern Illinois site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate, today is home to a pork-processing plant and a population of migrants from Mexico, West Africa, and Detroit recruited to work there. Faranak Miraftab of Urban and Regional Planning explores their social networks and the implications for economic development in her book Global Heartland: Displaced Labor, Transnational Lives, and Local Placemaking, published in 2016 by Indiana University Press.
Dedicated to commissioning and championing new work, Krannert Center hosts national and world premieres by both up-and-coming and distinguished artists. Recent pieces include Labyrinth by Paolo Prestini—a conjunction of live performance, projected visuals, story, lighting design, LED technology, and real-time information from a sensor bow—and the "performance art ballet" Fables on Global Warming by Armitage Gone! Dance, which sets ancient tales with ecological themes to music and dance.