Norman Teague

Norman Teague
Norman Teague was the 2016 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.


Teague received his MFA in Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) from ​the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)​. He is a father of two sons w​ho lives on the South side of Chicago. During his Edes Prize year, he launched a design studio in his neighborhood to increase area residents’ access and exposure to art and design to facilitate social change.

Norman’s work, Plank Sinmi Stool, was featured in whatnot, AIADO’s exhibition at Milan’s 2015 Design Week; and was named “Best In Show” by Metropolis. His birch plywood and rubber stool ​is inspired by ​the traditional American rocking chair​, and​ create​s​ an innovative perch for temporary respite. Plank +, a wooden bowtie fabrication project that employs youth in Chicago, continued ​Norman’s​ ​work merging design, community​,​ and educational practice. Teague says, “I believe in impacting the neighborhood economy through direct acts of designing, making, selling, and marketing products that encourage sustainability.” ​

“​During my ​​Edes Prize year​,​ I ​​plan​​ to launch my design studio in Chicago’s ​S​outh​ ​Side​, increasing access to design education for area residents​. Presently, there is no place that ​promotes design as a career choice​,​ let alone as a device for change, so I would like to engage audiences in the design process​ by ​hosting events in​ my workspace​ where they can interact with​ art and design ​practitioners, enabling​ them to view making as an attainable choice in achieving change. I plan to develop a space that will ​showcase old and new furnishings​ and ​objects ​and evoke the stories behind them​. The space will also ​creat​e ​employment, ​encourage ​storytelling​,​ and ​generate ​revenue as a means of creating capital ​to support design openings, exhibitions, design lectures, workshops, dinners with professionals and patrons of the community, design/build charettes and ​pop-up design shows and performances. By including ​​community members in the design process​,​ I find that positive interaction becomes a bonding agent for independent design to take place. I have a solo show planned at Blanc gallery in Bronzeville, ​and am coordinating ​The BLK Atelier Collective​, a traveling exhibition​ that will showcase designers of African Diasporic backgrounds and the moments that inspire​ them​ in today​’​s urban ​environment​.

“Lastly, I plan to make products ​that convey my personal narrative as a professional practitioner in the design field ​as an example of success in the field for young designers who live in the neighborhood. I ​dedicate considerable time and effort to these projects in an effort to promote ​design as a monumental force in​ facilitating​ community empowerment.​”​