Luxury goods usually dominate design exhibitions, but there are also design items meant to solve social problems. This is what Metro professor Lisa Abendroth gathered together to pull off the thoughtful Substance: Diverse Practices From the Periphery at the Center for Visual Art. The show was divided into sections called Access, Community, Education, Wellness and Shelter (which included an inflatable plastic tent for the homeless). The pieces were predictably functionalist, and therefore doctrinaire modernist in style. But this modern bent was the best part of the show, because it meant that everything was beautiful, even if that wasn't what the designers had in mind.

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