Matt Olson RO/LU

Thursday November 12, 2015
6–7:30 pm
1100 Architecture and Design Studios
College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts
University of Illinois at Chicago

Free and open to the public.

A renowned Zen master said that his greatest teaching was this: Buddha is your own mind. One monk was so deeply touched by this he decided to leave the monastery and retreat to the forest to meditate on this insight. He spent 20 years as a hermit probing the great teaching.

Then he met another monk who was traveling through the forest. He learned that the traveler had studied under the *same* Zen master. He said “Please, tell me what you know of the master’s greatest teaching.”

The traveler’s eyes lit up: “Ah, yes the master has been very clear about this. He says his greatest teaching is this: Buddha is NOT your own mind.”

Hidden track: Jokes are like ghosts. You only find out if they’re good if you make them.

Matt Olson is the founder/creative director of RO/LU, an experimental studio that began as a landscape office in 2003 but soon after adopted what he describes as an “open practice.” It allowed their work to sprawl into conceptually-driven furniture making, participatory art, fashion, writing, and more. Believing that motion and action are at the heart of progress, the studio has an “always say yes” policy and embraces research and collaboration. They were Open Field artists-in-residence at the Walker Art Center where their work is in the permanent collection. Olson was artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2013, and was featured in the 2014 PIN-UP Magazine Interviews book. Matt’s first book, “What Would Anything Be Without Everything Else” will be published in the spring of 2016 and he currently teaches in the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.