Space, place, community, design
Designer/ Academic/Maker/ Creative Director
Designer/ Academic/Maker/ Creative Director
Alyson Beaton studied architecture in undergrad in her home state of Texas, where she learned to respect the environment and create spaces that have meaning. After working in a firm in Dallas for a little bit she was introduced to the greater world of design, doing commissions and graphic installations with her friend Lance Raney, for Neiman Marcus. From there she knew it was time to expand her design knowledge base and returned to school to study visual communications. She completed her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she learned how to find what fuels her as a designer/artist and maker. She began her career as a design professor and doing many projects & collaborations on the side, perfecting her skills and learning as she went.
Her passion and belief in micro-business and manufacturing led her to start her own brand "lille huset" and along the way by nature of the community had other micro-business clients who needed branding and design help. She doesn't see boundaries to design and making, and crosses them as often as possible. She and her husband, Matt Beaton have collaborated on home designs for themselves and others.
Being constantly lost in her own imagination, she believes that the future of our economies and cities is micro scale with individuals each being a small piece to a large puzzle. Her world of design bridges her love of space and creating things that are visual outcomes of exploring cities. She is currently living and working in Austin, Texas.
My design experience has been broad from first hand building my own brand to doing multiple personal home renovations to designing and consulting with my husband on several other homes in the Chicago area. My branding and experience clients include working with Zachary A. Design on building his brand from his identity trade show booths to print collateral. I see our relationship as an ongoing conversation about his company and his goals from year to year. I see each of my clients as a relationship and when they need something they just give me a call. Many of my design clients started as friends and we still work together to this day.
As an academic, I am currently teaching in the school of design at the University of Texas Austin. I enjoy working with young budding designers to help them find their way and learn through experimentation. I am also available for on site workshops and lectures on design entrepreneurship and the designer maker.
The School of The Art Institute of Chicago: Assistant Adjunct Professor
Columbia College Chicago: Associate Professor of Design
University of Texas at Austin: Visiting Lecturer
2017 Texas State University: Design Education & Entrepreneur/ Maker
2016 Institute Without Boundaries, Toronto: Design, Process, & Making, My Journey.
2015 University of Maryland Baltimore County, College of Business: Failure & Design Process
2015 AIGA Baltimore: Lille Huset, Design Entrepreneur
2014 Dwell On Design: Design Entrepreneur & Panel Discussion with Amanda Dameron
2014 Columbia College Chicago: Kickstarter Panel Discussion
Wares: Austin, Texas textile & home goods show
East Austin Studio Tour: Floral Bungalow, Austin
Origin Design Market, Austin
Dose Market, Chicago
Renegade Craft Fair: Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, & Seattle
NY NOW, NY
Dwell on Design, LA
International Toy Fair, NY
National Stationery Show, NY
Chicago Tribune: Whipple St. Renovation
Chicago Magazine: Lille Huset
Dwell Magazine: Modern Dollhouse
Uppercase Magazine: Sparkle & Shine
Apartment Therapy: Lille House & Whipple Renovation
Design Milk: Dwell on Design & Lille Huset
Collaborations: Windham Fabrics, Barneys NY, Nickelodeon Studios, Seaside Florida, National Building Museum.
Product Distribution Partners: Paper Source Stores, Nordstrom, J Crew, Heath Ceramics, Walker Art Center, National Building Museum, ABC Home and Carpet, and many more independent shops.
All systems man-made and natural share a common overall form and function. This systemic form is what binds us all together as inhabitants of this planet. The eco-systems that people have created in the form of cities is where I find inspiration. The city to me is each house that makes up each street, the streets that make up a neighborhood, and the neighborhood that becomes a larger whole. Each person plays a role in this production and it changes and transforms over time as people come together and talk and create. It is in the unexpected beauty of these conversations that I have come to discover my role and responsibility in this system.
I use design as my medium of communication, exploring space, web, printing methods, textiles, surface design, and objects. I am intrigued by the interactive nature of goods and spaces, and it is a vital element in all that I make, be it physical or virtual. All of my projects invite the user to participate in some way. It is through their participation and their hand in conjunction with mine that completes the cycle. I care very much about the tactile quality, in the design details and in the choice of high quality, classic and simple physical materials. I appreciate the ephemeral qualities of our existence and it is very much a part of the material decisions I make. Each project tells a story of: a system, a cycle of life, a personal encounter worth remembering, or how we as humans interact with our everyday environment. I use material and design to seduce a potential audience member to touch and feel what I am presenting, opening up a dialogue about it. Online, I use design, photography and language to engage an unassuming audience with my work, through my e-commerce shop. I see my shop as my place of direct contact with my audience and it is a symbol of an independent art/design marketplace and my role in it as a maker. My shop, that I have had since 2008, has always been my vehicle of motivation and evolution. As my work evolves, so does my shop. Although much of my work is physical, it lives online and much of my time is spent analyzing and refining my digital craft to align with the physical.