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Groups recognize School of Design faculty, alumnus for their work

Two faculty members and a recent alumnus from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Design are being recognized for their contributions to design. The Friends of Switzerland will award the Julius Adams Stratton Prize to Philip Burton, professor and chair of graphic design in the UIC School of Design, Oct. 21 in Boston. The award recognizes eminent persons in the U.S. and Switzerland who “exemplify the fruitfulness of the exchange of ideas and technologies” between the two countries. The ceremony will honor the groundbreaking work of designers and educators whose approach to graphic design — evolving at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland and fostered in the U.S. — influenced generations of designers around the world. Burton has taught graphic design in the UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts for 27 years. Previously he was at Yale University, Rice University and the University of Houston. He conducted his own graduate work at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland. “For me, it is enormously important to be receiving this prize,” Burton said. “It shines a light on the incredible design program we have here at UIC and the many students we have guided into professional careers over the years.” Jonathan Mekinda, assistant professor of art history and design, will also be recognized as a Stratton Fellow by the Friends of Switzerland. Mekinda is a historian of modern architecture and design has a joint appointment in the School of Design and the School of Art & Art History. He has organized panels and presented papers at numerous conferences and institutions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia; the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies; and the Society of Architectural Historians. He has written for the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of Design History, and Design Issues. He co-edited the 2013 book “Chicagoisms” with Alexander Eisenschmidt, published by Park Books. UIC School of Design alumnus Rotimi Solola was invited to exhibit work he completed for his thesis at UIC in the Global Grad Show 2016 in Dubai, an international exhibition that is part of Dubai Design, Oct. 24-29. Solola earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design in 2015. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he came to the U.S. when he was five years old. He has won several awards, including the 2015 IDSA Student merit award and the 2016 Core 77 Consumer design award in the student category. He currently works in Motorola’s Consumer Experience Design Group. “Being invited to Dubai Design Week to exhibit the work I completed for my thesis at UIC is a tremendous honor,” Solola said. “I never expected anything to come out of that project, but I’m very happy to see it take on form beyond the classroom. I look forward to representing the amazing design educators at UIC among 50 top design schools from around the world.” October 14, 2016