Chicago Sukkah Design Festival


Art Direction, Exhibition Design, Signage Design

The Chicago Sukkah Design Festival pairs community organizations in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood with diverse architectural designers to design and construct sukkahs, small outdoor pavilions built for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Working collaboratively, teams explore design literacy, social justice, and neighborhood futuring. The Festival celebrates 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. It engages the neighborhood's multicultural history, builds interfaith partnerships, and elevates the role of design in building an anti-racist city. During the week-long Festival, the landscape of unique sukkah structures is activated with cross-cultural public programming, co-organized with the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot, bringing together intersectional pairings of neighborhood groups. After the Festival, each sukkah is relocated and re-installed at the facilities of the community organizations that co-designed them, as vibrant new permanent spaces; for example, micro-museums, neighborhood farmstands, and book nooks.

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