IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst moderated a dynamic conversation with Nick Cave and Bob Faust about the art of collaboration, hybrid practice, and the design of life. For almost three decades, internationally renowned, Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has been working at the intersection of sculpture, installation, sound, performance, and film to address pressing societal issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and class. As a creative, activist, educator and community-builder, Cave often activates and engages the public sphere as part of his artistic practice. Bob Faust, Nick’s partner and design collaborator, is the Principal and Creative Director for Faust, a Chicago-based art and design studio with a focus on cultural articulation. He has been described as “part artist, part designer and part mediator.” Together, Nick and Bob launched Facility—a multi-disciplinary, multi-use collaborative space in Chicago, where art and design can foster peace, build power, and create change.
Nick Cave is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.
Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, initially created in direct response to the police beating of Rodney King in 1991. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. They serve as a visual embodiment of social justice that represent both brutality and empowerment.
Throughout his practice, Cave has created spaces of memorial through combining found historical objects with contemporary dialogues on gun violence and death, underscoring the anxiety of severe trauma brought on by catastrophic loss. The figure remains central as Cave casts his own body in bronze, an extension of the performative work so critical to his oeuvre. Cave reminds us, however, that while there may be despair, there remains space for hope and renewal. From dismembered body parts stem delicate metal flowers, affirming the potential of new growth. Cave encourages a profound and compassionate analysis of violence and its effects as the path towards an ultimate metamorphosis. While Cave’s works are rooted in our current societal moment, when progress on issues of global warming, racism and gun violence (both at the hands of citizens and law enforcement) seem maddeningly stalled, he asks how we may reposition ourselves to recognize the issues, come together on a global scale, instigate change, and ultimately, heal.
Bob Faust is the principal and creative director for Faust, a Chicago-based art and design studio with a focus on cultural articulation. He is also the partner and design collaborator of artist Nick Cave. Together, the two recently opened a dynamic, multi-use creative space in Chicago called Facility. As an entity, it believes that art and design can create peace, build power, and change the world ... that by fostering an environment and community built from your dreams you will wake up daily within your destiny.
NewCity magazine honored Faust as "Best Breakthrough Design Artist" in 2017 and followed up in 2020 naming he and partner Nick Cave "Designers of the Moment." He has also been recognized as a design leader nationally and internationally by publications and institutions such as Communication Arts, NBC5 Chicago, the Society of Typographic Arts and Under Consideration. Faust also serves on the Cultural Advisory Council for the City of Chicago, as well as the Committee on Design for the city's Department of Planning and Development. Other positions he currently holds are on the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Board of Directors and the School of the Art Institute’s Fashion Council.
Cheryl S. Durst
Cheryl S. Durst is an exceptional communicator, innovator, and visionary leader who has spurred progress, driven change, and encouraged the expansion of the interior design industry.
As the Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association, known as IIDA, Cheryl is committed to achieving broad recognition for the value of design and its significant role in society through both functionality and engagement in every day workspaces and the built environment. With 15,000 members across 58 countries, Cheryl oversees the strategic direction of IIDA, curates and publishes Perspective, the association’s award-winning design journal, and manages a team of 25 professional staff members.
Cheryl extends her support of arts and culture through volunteerism and is a Trustee for Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and the NYSID. She has been referred to by Interior Design magazine as “an ambassador for innovation and expansion, and a visionary strategist.” Citing her leadership in the industry, Cheryl was inducted into the prestigious Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2016 as the recipient of its first-ever Leadership Award. She is the first African American woman to be inducted into the industry’s Hall of Fame.