>Krivanek+Breaux/ Art+Design, LLC is an art and design consultancy based in Chicago, Los Angeles and Lafayette. Expanding upon the field of environmental graphic design, we conceive, develop and produce public art and design programs that result in site transformations (permanent, experiential urban communications) and site activations (temporal, performative urban communications). We develop urban design programs and percent-for-art projects funded by public agencies or developers.
Throughout history, inscriptions have been an important component of civic architecture, now absent in contemporary buildings. These mute environments can be made articulate by integrating inscribed forms into the architectural detailing of interior and exterior spaces. Our public sitework reclaims and updates the lost practice of architectural inscription---the integration of words within architectural and urban environments. The metaphoric structures, forms and site-specific works that we construct and present within public spaces are assembled from a palette of architectural materials and media technologies. Within cityscapes dominated by commercial messages, these urban communications represent a return to more artistic and idealistic concepts for the use of language in the environment.
Our work results in the development of communication infrastructures that broadcast community experiences, histories, narratives and declarations, inward to and outward from the immediate community to the city beyond. We believe that public art can clarify and interact with the built environment, integrating the languages of architecture and technology with the lost languages and histories of urban communities.
We conduct a type of cultural archaeology, uncovering relevant historic, social and cultural themes and narratives that will guide the development of the public work by informing its concept, form and content. Working with other design team partners, we consider the various mechanical, technological, architectural and conceptual systems within an environment. We then configure the artwork by developing conceptual frameworks that form the basis for the development of wayfinding systems (for urban navigation) and symbolic places and systems (for historical and cultural interpretation). Every public art commission we develop is well integrated within its architectural context, whether urban, suburban or rural.
We have collaborated extensively with communities, institutions, government agencies, architects, urban planners, artists and developers---such as The National Endowment for the Arts, The Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The Phoenix Arts Commission, Urban Partners/ Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, Arizona State University/ Tempe, and Gruen Associates/ Los Angeles---to develop environmental design and public art programs and proposals.
Since 1990, we have completed 15 permanent public art programs and 7 collaborative, environmental performances. Through our work with developers, architects and urban planners, we are well acquainted with urban planning processes and community review procedures. Straddling the worlds of urban design and public art, we produce coherent, meaningful public art programs to enhance the public's experience and understanding of the civic domain. Our recent public artwork---Recovering Equilibrium: The 9/11 Memorial at LAX---adapts an existing fountain below the historic Theme Building, superimposing sculptural elements and inscriptions, to articulate the psychological impacts of 9/11. Krivanek+Breaux/ Art+Design, LLC is the renewed partnership of Joel Breaux and BJ Krivanek, Associate Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, formerly principal of BJ Krivanek Art+Design.