Re:treat — Reflect and Refresh
August 29th–30th 2020

Re:treat is back for round two, baybee! Join us for two more days packed with exciting speakers, designers, artists, and more.

Many of us have been in a holding pattern since the beginning of March, unsure of what this current moment holds and even more unsure of the future. Because every day blends together into one, long, waking stress dream, we thought we could all use a little variety, a remix — an opportunity to reflect on all we’ve made it through up until this point and refresh our outlook on the future. That’s why we brought back Re:treat for a second time, this time focusing on the themes reflect and refresh.

Just like last time, the event will take place over two days and will feature tons of exciting speakers, designers, artists, and more, including Brandon Breaux, Christopher Jobson of Colossal, Chill Anywhere, and the Chicago Children’s Choir. We kept only the best parts about conferences (learning and having fun) while leaving out the worst (strict schedules, ugly lanyards, and uncomfortable seating). So sit back in your comfy chair, relax in your stretchy pants, and take a moment to empty the virtual recycling bin in your brain because it’s time to make room for bigger and better things. You deserve it.


Buy tickets now!


Saturday (Refresh)

Refresh + Connect with Chill: Chill Anywhere, Live at 11am

Join Chill Meditation for a 20-minute meditation session to foster calm and connection to the present moment. In this type of guided meditation, the body and mind naturally begin to unwind from the constant stimulation of the day and spin of thoughts, leaving us with a sense of being refreshed, alert, aware and ready for what is next.

Shaping Earth: Liz McCarthy, Gnar Ware Workshop

In the 21st century, most American ceramicists use materials that are a byproduct of major industries such as coal or construction. This video, led by Liz McCarthy of Gnar Ware Workshop, explores how to process clay materials straight from the earth beneath your feet.

Weaving At Home: Bryana Bibbs

Bryana Bibbs is a Chicago-based textile artist and art educator. She will be discussing her work during COVID-19 and showing people how to weave at home.

Macra-make a Hanging Plarn-ter: Annie Leue

Finally find a use for all those plastic bags you’ve accumulated during quarantine (or before, we don’t judge). In this video, Design Museum Art Director Annie Leue will walk you through how to make “plarn” — yarn made out of plastic shopping bags — and then show you how to turn that plarn into a super cool hanging planter for your plant babies.

Habitual Habit Tracking: Christopher Jobson, Colossal

Founder and editor-in-chief of the art blog Colossal, Christopher Jobson shares his methods for tracking daily personal habits. Having perfected and honed a system of habits over the last two years, he shares his tips and advice on the positive reinforcement gained from manually recording your health & wellbeing, tasks, productivity, and goals with the help of pen and paper.

Sunday (Reflect)

Landscape Design Between Bonsai Trees and Bush Hogs: Zach Mortice

Design writer and critic Zach Mortice came to his first childhood awareness of landscape design through the scalar opposites of his dad’s 600-acre farm and the miniature bonsai trees he crafted over decades. This seldom-acknowledged breadth of landscape design points the way toward new, revolutionary forms of practice required to shatter inequity written into the land and stave off climate change apocalypse.

Rediscovering the Pioneering Art & Design of Edgar Miller: Zac Bleicher

Edgar Miller (1899-1993) was one of the most prolific 20th century artist-designers, and almost slipped under the radar of public consciousness, yet through the rediscovery of his work by a core group of preservationists, collectors, and scholars, his body of work is becoming better understood as a shining part of Chicago’s artistic and cultural history. Edgar Miller Legacy, a nonprofit founded in 2014 by Zac Bleicher, has been on a mission to make sure Miller’s works—from fine art to graphic design to architectural installations to entire built environments—are preserved and made more accessible to inspire future generations of students, professional creatives, and the public.

Stay tuned for additions to the lineup!