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Chicago Design Museum's Plan for Permanent Home in Loop Hits Snag

By DNAinfo Staff on April 30, 2014 7:44pm

 The Chicago Design Museum is preparing for its third year of exhibitions and is looking for a permanent venue for its gallery, said Tanner Woodford, co-founder and chairman.
Chicago Design Museum
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CHICAGO — Despite initial reports that the Chicago Design Museum had found a permanent location in the Loopit's "a bit more short term than we hoped," according to its chairman.

Started in 2012 as an art gallery set up on a moving six-car Blue Line train, the museum is now eyeing a permanent location, possibly in the Loop's Block 37 development, where it is setting up for the second summer in a row, said co-founder and chairman Tanner Woodford.

The museum had hoped that the Loop spot, where it was located for its 2012 exhibition, would be its permanent home starting on June 12.

The museum is slated to occupy a 5,000-square-foot space on the third floor of Block 37 for at least six months, according to Woodford.

"It's a good space for us, because it is central," Woodford said.

Beyond that, the museum hopes to find a permanent location, including at Block 37.

Meanwhile, the museum is developing new funding streams like membership and an in-house store. The museum has turned to Kickstarter to help "get the public involved," according to Woodford, a Logan Square resident.

With about 48 hours to go Wednesday night, the Kickstarter was about $22,000 short of its $50,000 goal.

Woodford said a failed Kickstarter won't derail any short term plans.

"An unsuccessful Kickstarter doesn't mean an unsuccessful ChiDM, but it does mean a world in which our future is unstable," the museum posted on its Kickstarter page.

Half the space will be dedicated to design pieces created in Chicago over the past century.

"It's the City of Broad Shoulders," Woodford said. "Chicago is always thinking about innovation and finding solutions for big problems."

In the other half of the space, nine to 10 Chicago designers will showcase their work and designs about how technology may "change communication in the future."