Category Archives: Community

Interview Reveals (mostly) All

Jim Jacoby of the American Design and Master-Craft Initiative and Jim Cohen of BeSparked interviewed me in July for this series of master designer podcasts. What, you may ask, do I have to do with design? Ah ha! You’ll just have to listen to this wide-ranging 47 minute interview where I talk about my background in the arts and the connections between design, space and civic engagement. If you do listen – please comment at the bottom of the podcast web page.

Print Friendly

CivcLab Loft Space Available June 1!

Come June 1st, the lo114 Aberdeen-cropped-smallft space at The CivicLab will be available! We have a great location in the West Loop blocks away from the Morgan St. El stop, and the Hasted Bus. Amenities include a full kitchen, private bathroom, conference room, business class Internet access, cheap copies, a shop for building stuff and a space for classes and events. Most importantly – a community of fabulous co-workers doing amazing projects to advance the public good. Become part of America’s only co-working space dedicated to civic engagement and social justice! For information, contact Benjamin Sugar at Learn more about our space.


Print Friendly

TIF Projected Highlighted at IL Conference on New Urbanism – Free download of presentations and material from 2013 conference on new ways of doing urban development. We did a piece on the TIF Illumination Project. Also great stuff on how Rockford is using creativity and the arts for economic development and Naomi Davis presenting on her vision for grassroots community development.

CNU-Conference-2013-About TIF-screen

Print Friendly

Who Plans What For Who – Let’s Examine Chicago Planning Efforts

Chicago Teachers For Social Justice
and the CivicLab are collaborating for a six-week session where people come together to examine an issue in order to act. It’s called “Inquiry To Action” and the inquiry we are hosting at the Lab starts on February 25, 2014. We will meet from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on six Tuesdays through April 1.


Chicago is said to be the city of Big Plans. But WHO made those plans and who benefits from them? Many big-ticket projects have been proposed by City Hall over the years in order to make Chicago a “world-class city.” But what, exactly, is a world-class city? This study group will review the history of community planning in Chicago, starting with the 1909 Burnham Plan and will investigate key players in the city’s planning history in the present era. Who are they and what, exactly, are they planning for us? We will seek to understand the context and motivations and outcomes for these plans. We will look at the Right To The City movement and other frame-challenging planning movements to see what other sorts of visions can be surfaced for the future of our great city.

This is a peer process of inquiry. The sessions will be co-facilitated by CivicLab co-founder Tom Tresser and CPS teacher and manager of the CivicLab Research Team, Emily Finchum.

There is a Kickoff Event on Saturday February 15 6-8pm and a Finale Event on Saturday April 5 6-8pm. There is no charge to participate. Attendance at all sessions is encouraged. YOU MUST REGISTER HERE.

Print Friendly