Past Exhibition:


  • 02.23-25.17

Young Artist Initiative (YAI) presents Complements & Dichotomies, a design/installation exhibition organized by the Young Artist Initiative in partnership with Lincoln Road’s #OnLincoln series. The exhibition will feature 20+ emerging designers and artists. All participating artists and designers will be presented with the challenge of interpreting the exhibition’s central thesis: How do aesthetic and functionality converge in the creation of beauty?



Man has addressed the dynamic between beauty and purpose in the highest forms of cultural and philosophical expression throughout the span of its civilizational timeline. Socrates and Critoboulus argued in Xenophon’s Symposium that an object’s beauty was dependent on its ability to fulfill a function, introducing a philosophy that would manifest itself in the modernist architectural movement pioneered by masters such as Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. However, German architect Hermann Muthesius discarded the modernists’ view in his 1913 manifesto, Das Formproblem in Ingenieurbau, proposing a theory that argued purpose and beauty were independent qualities of nature, as beauty could only be manifested through form, not function. In the context of contemporary culture, theories have arisen that summon fraternization between both values, reconciling the judgment of an object’s beauty to its ability to intertwine function and aesthetic.

How do aesthetic and functionality


For this reason, the Young Artist Initiative (YAI) has decided to evoke the study of duality between function and aesthetic in art, architecture, and design through its next installment, Complements & Dichotomies. The thesis presented to participating artists will be communicated as follows: How do aesthetic and functionality converge in the creation of beauty? Participants will be required to submit a proposal for their projected activation. Within said proposal they will need to provide a rationale for their personal definition of beauty, a rendering of their activation, and a conceptual statement justifying its relation to the thesis.