Chicago’s 1855 ‘Beer Riot’ Is a Bridge to the Unrest of 2020

Bloomberg’s CityLab Ι Aug. 14, 2020 It’s been one of the most striking images of this summer’s season of urban uprising: bridges over the Chicago River drawn up to block access to downtown Chicago’s Loop, the raised structures standing like iron sentinels guarding nearly deserted nighttime streets. Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the drawbridges raised early Monday morning […]

Three Walks in the Woods

The Chicago Reader Ι May 1, 2020 There’s an overpass hill that arches Lake Shore Drive over Foster Avenue where we could make camp and inflate the beach ball and spread out our snacks. It’s a space I’ve walked and driven by hundreds of times without a glance or a thought, but my four-year-old daughter […]

Will City Planning Become More Socially Equitable Post-Coronavirus?

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι July 9, 2020 A native of Chicago’s South Side, landscape architect and planner Ernie Wong of Site Design Group has designed parks in all quarters of the city, from affluent, gentrifying neighborhoods to the bulldozed sites of former public housing projects. Wong understands the roles parks play in radically different contexts and […]

Chicago’s Bid to Reinvent the Corner Store

Bloomberg’s CityLab Ι July 31, 2020 When it’s completed, the corner grocery store at 63rd and Racine will look a lot different than the other carryouts and bodegas dotting this section of Englewood, on Chicago’s South Side. Designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects and developed by local nonprofit Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), the Go Green Fresh Market will essentially be […]

A Seat at the Table

Architect Magazine Ι Feb. 3, 2020 Early in the development of the Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center in Detroit, an LGBTQ+ affordable housing and outreach center that focuses on young people of color, Jack Schroeder, AIA, of Landon Bone Baker (LBB) knew there would be an arts component to the mostly residential project, but he wasn’t […]

Curves and CO2 Reduction Coexist in Chicago’s Colossal Concrete Installation

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι Jan. 28, 2020 Musing on the spiritual and formal predilections of the building materials he used so masterfully, architect Louis Kahn once famously said: “You say to brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, […]

The National Public Housing Museum Eyes a 2021 Opening

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Dec. 3, 2019 When you’re working to establish a museum with such contested subject matter as the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM), it pays to have a few shorthand expressions within easy reach, lest anyone get confused about creating a curatorial platform for an institution many associate with failure. Crystal Palmer, […]

Design for all requires a culture change in architecture

The American Institute of Architects Ι Oct. 14, 2019  In 1978, John Catlin, who’d been a wheelchair user for four years after a spinal injury, began graduate school in architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 1973, federal legislation was passed that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities, including facilities designed, built, altered, […]

An Activist Architecture Stirs in Chicago

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Oct. 9. 2019 Perhaps the most compelling installation in this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial doesn’t feature a single architectural model, rendering, or image of buildings (or of anything else). It’s a series of short blocks of text, probing the Chicago police’s killing of Harith Augustus on the city’s South Side in July of last […]

Virgil Abloh’s MCA Exhibition Reveals the Power—and Limits—of Design Disruption

Metropolis Magazine Ι July 15, 2019 Architecture is an attractive medium for the trendsetter-turned-multidisciplinary designer and artist Virgil Abloh. Because buildings are often the face of the establishment, they are ripe targets for subversion—Abloh’s calling card. So it’s no surprise that bits of buildings are strewn throughout Figures of Speech, Abloh’s first solo museum exhibition now […]