Chicago Sukkah Design Festival


Art Direction, Exhibition Design, Signage Design

The Chicago Sukkah Design Festival pairs North Lawndale community organizations with diverse architectural designers to design and build sukkahs (small huts constructed outdoors for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot) that amplify civic life. Working collaboratively, each team explores themes of design literacy, social justice, and neighborhood futuring through the design of a small structure that provides a big impact. The North Lawndale neighborhood has a rich Jewish history, with a majority of Chicago’s Jewish population residing there between 1910–1960. The Festival celebrates this cultural heritage and amplifies solidarity among the Jewish community who lived there historically, the predominantly Black community that resides there today, and the broader Chicago community. After the Festival, the sukkahs are relocated and re-installed at the 3 separate facilities of the community organizations, where they will enjoy a second life as a book nook, heritage space, and neighborhood farm-stand.

Artistic Director / co-Host: Could Be Design
Venue Director / co-Host: Lawndale Pop-Up Spot
Exhibition and Landscape Design: Joseph Altshuler, Zack Morrison, and Nekita Thomas
Program Coordinator: Alex Price
Outreach Coordinator: Phil Kaplan
Contributing Designers: Human Scale, New Office, Aneesha Dharwadker + Eric Hotchkiss
Community Organization Participants: YMEN Chicago, Stone Temple Church, Men Making a Difference + Open Books
Civic Media partnership: Francia Garcia, Peter Midwa, Zachary Keltner
Fiscal Agent: Design Museum of Chicago
Web Design: Matt Harlan
Signage fabrication: Stolatis Fabrication
Photography: Brian Griffin, Dion Turner
Sponsors: Innovation 80, City of Chicago DCASE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (including the College of Fine & Applied Arts and the Illinois School of Architecture), Jewish United Fund