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BIO
Parsons & Charlesworth is an art and design studio that develops tangible worlds as discursive tools for critically appraising urgent issues. Co-founded by Jessica Charlesworth and Tim Parsons, the studio’s investigative, research-driven, speculative approach uses installation, sculpture, designed objects, writing, photography and digital media to explore key social, ecological and technological challenges of our time. Together, they develop new ways of understanding and interacting with alternative futures, addressing concerns such as the ecological crisis and the future of work through their collaborative worldbuilding projects. Their current project, Multispecies Inc., involves field research and in-depth conversations with specialists in biology, climate science, and climate modeling. This endeavor manifests as a series of narratives and objects around a fictional group of ecologists striving to cohabit with other species using advanced technologies. They are recent NEW INC Members on the Creative Science Track as part of the New Museum mentorship incubator program and both teach at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Parsons & Charlesworth have exhibited in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals around the world including 17th International Architecture Exhibition- La Biennale di Venezia, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia (MAAT Lisbon), Science Gallery Dublin, Istanbul Design Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), London Design Festival and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Recent honors, grants, and awards for their work include a 2022 Canada Council for the Arts Grant, a 2021 Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Grant, support from the British Council, a 2020 Mitchell Enhancement Award from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a 2019 Canada Council for the Arts Grant.

Notable artist residencies include the 2023 Artist-In-Residence Project Space at Headlands Center for the Arts, the 2019 Artist-In-Residence at Krems, Austria, the 2016 Residency at Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, India, a 2014 Residency at Roger Brown House, New Buffalo, Michigan, a 2013 Residency at Home Is Where The Art Is, Charleston, South Carolina and the 2010 First Prize Winner for Project Vienna, MAKVienna, Austria. Their work is featured in various private collections and in the permanent collection at the MAKVienna and DePaul Art Museum.

 

ABOUT JESSICA & TIM

Jessica Charlesworth is a British/Canadian transdisciplinary artist, designer and educator. She co-founded the studio Parsons and Charlesworth in 2014 with Tim Parsons upon relocating to Chicago from the UK. A Masters graduate of the Design Interactions course at the Royal College of Art in London, Jessica explores the speculative impacts of emerging technologies on future society and culture. Her artistic journey is anchored in extensive research and critical inquiry, utilizing art and design as powerful tools to navigate the intricate landscapes of social, ecological, and technological challenges. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Jessica has created futures-oriented classes, mentored students, lectured and independently organised workshops at universities and education institutions including Harvard Business School, University of Pennsylvania, California College of the Arts, University of Michigan, ArtCenter College of Design, Central St Martins, Glasgow School of Art, Royal College of Art, Bath School of Art & Design, St. Joost School of Art & Design, Netherlands and Moholy Nagy University, Budapest. She is a part-time faculty member in Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has collaborated with artists, futurists, scientists, and think tanks including Foresight (UK) and the Institute for the Future (US). 

Tim Parsons is a designer, author, and educator having studied Industrial design before earning a Master of the Arts Degree in Design Products at London’s Royal College of Art in 2000. He has gone on to teach product design at universities in Britain and America. Tim previously taught at the University of the Arts London and Manchester Metropolitan University. As a designer, he has worked with manufacturers in Britain and Europe and exhibited widely, including at The Design Museum, London, and MCA, Chicago. As a writer, Tim has contributed articles and essays to publications including Blueprint, ICON, Crafts, and Phaidon’s Design Classics, and his book Thinking: Objects: Contemporary Approaches to Product Design was published in 2009 by AVA Academia. He is also the writer and instructor of the online course Making Meaning: An Introduction to Designing Objects.

 

RECENT / UPCOMING

2024

May – June 2024
Multispecies Inc, Space and Time Gallery, Chicago

March – June 2024
Piknic, 194 Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

2023

June 15 – July 4 2023
NEW INC Creative Science Exhibition, Pier 17, New York

July 17 – August 31 2023
Artists-In-Residence, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California

August – November 2023
Meta What? Media Majlis, Northwestern University, Qatar

September – December 2023
Design for the Unthinkable World, Kora – Centro del Contemporaneo, Italy

2022

NEW INC Year 9 Members
We are Members of the Creative Science Track at New Museum’s NEW INC

Sept 2 – Nov 4 2022
The New Earth, Public Works Gallery, Chicago

June 23 – 30 2022
Catalog for the Post-Human, Jerusalem Design Week, Israel

March 7 – 10 2022
Lecture + Masterclass, Tasmeem Design Biennale, Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar

2021

Nov 2021 – Jan 2022
Catalog For The Post-Human, The Whole Earth 2045, re:future lab, Berlin

May – Nov 2021
Catalog For The Post-Human, 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy

May – Nov 2021
Future Assembly,  17th Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy

Oct 16 – 24 2021
Supermarket of the Future, Embassy of Food, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Netherlands

2020

Sep 12, 2020–Apr 11, 2021
Designs for Different Futures, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

2019

October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020
Designs for Different Futures, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania

 

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