While efforts to bring the Obama Library and Lucas Museum to town have taken up plenty of cultural capital and media attention, the homegrown Foodseum is also searching for a new home. According to executive director Kyle Joseph, the food-centric institution aims to open a pop-up exhibit, "The Hot Dog and Encased Meats of the World," in May, a first step on the way towards finding a permanent home by 2017. The group's Kickstarter, which is raising funds for the initial pop-up, is currently more than halfway towards its $30,000 goal with 10 days left. Ideally, they'd find a 4,000-square-foot building to accommodate 2,500 square feet of exhibition space and a restaurant, but they have fallback plans for a smaller space.
So far, they've scouted neighborhood locations near public transport in Logan Square, Bridgeport and Fulton Market, but talks with building owners are still very preliminary. Gensler and Space Architects have helped out with preliminary planning and concepting, but no final decisions on architects or designers can come before they locate a pop-up space. Joseph said they'd favor a downtown location for an eventual permanent home.
Tanner Woodford, co-founder and executive director of the Chicago Design Museum at Block 37, went through a similar search for a permanent space earlier this year after succesfully holding a series of pop-up exhibitions. He said there was a lot of open or vacant space that wasn't being utilized, and recommended looking for a high-profile location near other cultural institutions that would appeal to tourists.
"One thing I've learned is that it's been valuable to bring design to the public, as opposed to bringing the public to design," he said.