navy and cream woven quilt detail



2021 Design Studies Master in Fine Arts Exhibition: Amanda Thatch and Han-ah Yoo

photograph of installed woven piece in dark thread with projected red light behind it.Launch Date: Spring Semester (April 2021)
In the culmination of three years of intensive work, Design Studies MFA candidates Amanda Thatch and Han-ah Yoo present their thesis work in two exhibitions. “Tromp as Writ,” Thatch’s body of work, explores the interaction of text and pattern through hand-woven images derived from observations while walking, an activity the artist found solace in during the pandemic. Yoo’s “Relationships: Invisible, but Extant” brings together expressive textile and video artworks, inspired by nature and the body, that are designed to provoke awareness of the adverse ecological impacts of the fashion industry. View the preliminary exhibit information here; full exhibition launches April 16, 2021.

The Portal: A Step into the Past

graphic logo for the exhibition that includes a swirling blue door and the title "The Portal: A Step into the Past"Tentative Launch Date: End of Spring Semester (Late April 2021)
The Center for Design and Material Culture and the Design Studies Department present The Portal: A Step into the Past a juried online exhibition featuring student-designed historic interiors. The virtual installation will be juried by Shana McCaw, Brent Budsberg, and Jonathan Prown and will showcase selected period rooms designed by students of the course “DS 422: History of Architecture (18th Century to Present)” The projects will represent a wide range of design styles and a variety of software and media. Call for entries and juror information here.

Design 2021: Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Logo for the Design 2021 exhibition featuring cascading paint chipsTentative Launch Date: End of Spring Semester (May 2021)
The Center for Design and Material Culture and the Design Studies Department present Design 2021, a virtual edition of SoHE’s annual juried student exhibition. UW–Madison students of all majors are currently being invited to submit their best design work generated through Design Studies courses over the past four semesters (January 2020 through April 2021) for consideration. Work will be juried by two design industry judges and selected projects will be curated into an online exhibition at the end of the semester. All levels of students are encouraged to apply!


Woven Together: Hello Loom at Copenhagen Contemporary

Photograph of a miniature wooden hand-held loom with words "Hello Loom"

Online Launch: Fall 2020. This exhibition explores themes of materiality, process and international collaboration. In 2019, University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor Marianne Fairbanks and textile artist Sofia Hagström Møller invited a group of professional Danish weavers to contribute pieces produced on Fairbanks’s hand-held Hello Looms for a show at Copenhagen Contemporary. The resulting 37 weavings use a wide variety of materials and explore a multitude of compositions.

Rapid Response Mask Collecting Project

Color photograph of a face mask mounted on a glass head form. Mask is made of a olive green cloth material with printed pink two-fingered hand designs with the words “one of us” also appearing in pink text inside the hand shapes.

Online Launch: Fall 2020. Since March of 2020 face masks have become our central tool in the fight against COVID-19. This exhibition seeks to understand the new ways in which textiles play a critical role in our daily lives as protective face coverings. To do so, it uses a “rapid response” collecting model to select masks for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection which mark this contemporary moment as historic.

Sofia Hagström Møller: Weaving Threads Through Time and Space

Color photograph for exhibition "Weaving Threads through Time and Space..." Image depicts a mostly covered person standing outside in lush greenery wearing bright red rain boots and black pants holding up a large woven tapestry in pinks, reds, and whites in front of their face/body.

Online Launch: Fall 2020. This exhibition of Danish fiber artist Sofia Hagström Møller’s work investigates the roots of Scandinavian textile design and celebrates the legacy that American weaving owes to these traditions. By translating her grandmother’s patterns through the digital technology available to her during a recent residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hagström Møller’s work transcends language and travels through time and space.

What Would a Microbe Say?

crocheted versions of hands, arms, legs, and feet on a backlit light board.Intended to be Installed in Gallery: April 29, 2020 – June 7, 2020. Online Launch: Summer 2020. In this exhibition, artist Sonja Bäumel, collaborating with Helen Blackwell of the UW–Madison Department of Chemistry, explores the perception of what bodies are made of through microbes and the body’s surface. Bäumel reimagines skin as a fictional layer of communication, a multi-being landscape linked to the discovery of the human microbiome, which established the body as a walking biotope. Through the works in this exhibition, Bäumel examines how scientific knowledge has influenced the way we have perceived and interpreted the human body historically, and how this impacts our current society and the cultural contexts in which we act.

Harmony and Evolution: An Exhibition of the Chinese American Art Faculty Association

crop of "spring water" digital print showing oil rigs in waterInstalled in Gallery: February 26, 2020 – April 5, 2020. Online Launch: Summer 2020. This exhibition showcases the work of art and design faculty from across the country to address the issue of how art and design express cultural integration and creativity. The Chinese-American Art Faculty Association (CAAFA) is a national organization with over 130 members representing art and design in the U.S. and China. This iteration of the CAAFA’s biennial exhibition represents the first time the association has exhibited in the Midwest and draws from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s focus on diversity, inclusion, and creativity.

UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage

Image of a sculpture of a miniature bombed interior installed inside a suitcase.

Installed in Gallery: February 5 – April 3, 2020. Online Launch: Summer 2020. This exhibition seeks to humanize the word “refugee.” This multimedia exhibit features the sculptures of Mohamad Hafez, a Syrian-born, Connecticut-based artist and architect who re-creates war-torn domestic interiors within suitcases. Pieces from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection were placed in dialogue with UNPACKED, providing a unique opportunity to reinterpret the School of Human Ecology holdings.

Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas

Promo image for "Intersections" exhibition with two textiles under the exhibition title graphic.

Installed in Gallery: September 5 – December 6, 2019. Online Launch: Summer 2020. From the Andes to the Great Lakes, textiles reflect cultural narratives of community and tradition. This exhibit analyzes select textiles from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection and the Little Eagle Arts Foundation, a Ho-Chunk arts organization, to provide a deeper understanding of the lifeways, movement, and stories of these objects. It is through these intersections that scholars may trace Native cultural practices and oral traditions throughout the western hemisphere.