ACTIVE PROJECTS

Projects Open Architecture Chicago is currently working on

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BLUE1647
Tech School
on Wheels

Volunteers Needed

Project Partner, BLUE1647, is an entrepreneurship and technology innovation center that fosters economic development in technology and 21st Century skills through people development, workforce development and Business Acceleration. Blue1647 Executive Director, Emily Cambry, would like for OAC to help create a prototype Coding/Tech Bus that will bring tech workshops to all 77 Chicago communities. The City of St.Louis is also interested in partnering for a prototype. It will be similar to our projects, Fresh Moves and the Thomas Phillips project in Detroit.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects / Design

Apply

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Douglas Park


Mini-Golf Course

Volunteers Needed

Haman Cross is currently proposing a project to revitalize the miniature golf course at Douglas Park. This summer, One Summer Chicago, the Firehouse Art Center, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Park District will collaborate to complete this project. It is our hope that this project will demonstrate the potential for even more projects like it where multiple community partners ally to engage stakeholders through art, environmental conservation, and youth development.

Due to the significant interest in this effort, Haman is looking for collaborators, resources, and support to make the proposal a reality. This opportunity can be transformational for the community and stakeholders involved. Please share this with your board and gage their interest in the project, then we can set up a meeting to discuss next steps around the proposal and how people want to be involved.

The course is 18 holes and we are looking for 18 architects to work with a teaching artist, and 20 to 30 teenagers to design and actually rebuild the course. Our desire is that once the course is redesigned it will be a major point of attraction for Douglas Park and North Lawndale. We envision a fully functioning miniature golf course that employees, local teens, and engages families, local summer camps, and schools throughout the Spring and Summer.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects / Designers

Apply

Facility Renovation

Christ University Temple, located on 119th and Ashland Ave, is re-imagining their existing space. The church was built in 1985. There are classrooms and meeting rooms within the church that need to be updated for the 21st century; renovations support the influx of programs and charrettes provided to congregants/groups.

 
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Smart Museum
Youth House

Volunteers Needed

The Smart Museum runs a summer teen program in partnership with Chicago Housing Authority. Last year, the teens curated a show at the museum from our collection, wrote the wall labels, and gave tours for other teen groups.

Our project goal for this summer is to renovate the Chalet building in Washington Park (it's on the inner drive by Cottage Grove, just south of the General Jones Armory building). It's been long abandoned, boarded up since a fire in the late 80s/early 90s. Our goal is to remediate it and take it back to the shell and then have the teens design and build it out as a space that can be multi-functional as a sometimes concessions stand and permanent teen programming space that all of the teen groups on the south side can use for their exhibitions, performances, conversations, and film screenings.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects / Designers

Apply

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Mobile Kiosk
Competition

Miguel, Kiosk Competition creator, worked in Mexico as a lawyer in labor and social security, and is now an entrepreneur at open air markets across the country. Carly, Co-Creator, is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Human Development, studying community relationships. Miguel and Carly want to strengthen community relationships and networks of support by helping community members start their own socially-minded commercial enterprises within vulnerable communities.

In Mexico, mobile vendors and small businesses act as important links within and between communities, as well as serve as an important source of income for many families who have not found stable positions within the formal economy.

Miguel and Carly state, "Our work in Mexico and in the U.S. has brought us to the realization that many people within marginalized communities struggle to find dignified jobs due to a lack of education, criminal records, discriminatory employment practices, and most importantly, a lack in opportunity. But everyone has to start somewhere."

People gain sales experience working within farmers markets, swap meets, and even in their own neighborhoods, when they sell what they like out of a mobile kiosk. As they gain this experience, they can gain access to the market, tests their ideas, and find their path as an entrepreneur at a low cost. But we have not found affordable or accessible equipment for mobile kiosks, especially not ones that can fit in the trunk of a car. We are very excited by the potential opportunity to collaborate with Open Architecture to develop this idea for the benefit of our communities.

 

PROJECT PIPELINE

 

Projects ready to Launch. These are Projects that partner organizations have asked Open Architecture to manage, however, we cannot accept the Project unless we have the volunteers necessary to complete the job. See the opportunities below.

 
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WACA Community Internal/External Redesign

Volunteers Needed

WACA, www.wacanetwork.org, is in the process of rebranding to Chicago Family Partnership. They are interested interior and exterior conceptual drawings. Their first focus would be a design for the exterior facade to unify both sides of the building. Waca is located on the corner of Ogden and Central Ave right across the street from the Pink Line. I will have the service inquiry at next week’s board meeting. The Westside Association for Community Action, WACA, as it is affectionately known in service arenas, is a community-based, social service agency. We are proud to say that we have provided a wide range of critical services to residents within the North Lawndale, Austin, Brighton Park and Garfield communities for over 40 years. Founded in 1971, and located on Chicago’s Westside, our mission has been to identify and alleviate problems that contribute to the disintegration of our communal fabric. Within our multi-service community based network, we work diligently to increase the strength of family ties, maintain and develop important bipartisan relationships, while also expanding our local, state, and national networks of community based providers committed to working with at-risk youth by offering positive alternatives to negligent life-styles.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects
Interior/External Designers

Apply

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LeClaire Hearst
Park Expansion

Volunteers Needed

The project began in 1989 to expand incorporate 1.73 acres of park land into our park. There were three vacant lots directly across the street from our park field house. We received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to complete a feasibility study. The Chicago Park District (CPD) reviewed our final CDBG report and allocated $300,000 to acquire the vacant lots. They then requested from the State of Illinois a grant to complete the project.

The total project costs $700,000, Phase I. It took four years. The second phase was to add a swimming pool and expanded Park building facilities. (Multi-Purpose Gym, Recreation Room, Senior Room, Computer Room, Swimming pool, Library room) These additions allow for more family and youth participation and activities for our overall community.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects
Interior/External Designers

Apply

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Veteran Roasters
Cup O' Joe Coffee Shop

Volunteers Needed

Veteran Roasters Cup O’ Joe (veteranroasters.com) is a coffee shop with the mission of hiring homeless and unemployed veterans.

In 2017, Open Architecture did a concept for Mark Doyle of Rags of Honor’s Cup O’ Joe (veteranroasters.com) for Chicago’s own, Navy Pier. However, Navy Pier, postponed the project, pushing Cup O’ Joe to their current home, the new family pavilion in Roger’s Park.

Come 2018, after their recent success, Veteran Roasters Cup O’ Joe is re-examining their location in Navy Pier and a potential spot at O’Hare. They would like to make this move soon Veteran Roasters needs help on a prototype for a Cup O’ Joe coffee shop.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects
Interior/External Designers

Apply

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Vertical Farm
Renderings

Volunteers Needed

Chatham Vertical Farm is looking for renderings of a vertical farm and farmstand.

Janella Curtis, CEO of Chatham Vertical Farm, is in the process of acquiring Hydro Plants, a building currently owned by Ron Williams on 311 E. 79th St. Janella will be growing crops indoors using vertical space to intensify production. The virtue of indoor farms is year-round climate control and minimal pests and pesticides.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects / Designers

Apply

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The Making of:
Ghanaian
Pastoral Center

Volunteers Needed

The Royal Diadem Pastoral Center (RODI) is an Ecumenical and Interfaith multifaceted organization that welcomes people of every background. The organization provides services that coordinate holistic and integrated living. Companions are provided assistance throughout their journey of life in the areas of: psycho-social, economic (small business and financial management + training), theological and ministerial education + training, healthy living, and spiritually-related needs in the local Ghana community.

Somewhere around 2009-2010, Open Architecture Chicago came to interview Gabriel in Hyde Park and thereafter he was interviewed by about 10 architects simultaneously at a public library at the northside of Chicago. After the interview OAC provided the nonprofit with designs for my proposed Royal Diadem Pastoral Center in Kumasi- Ghana.

Since then, Gabriel and Daunte have asked if we can revisit the project. They are currently seeking assistance with the design, construction and fundraising for our pastoral center in Kumasi, Ghana. This project has been six years in the making and we want to see it through.

For interest in this project, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects / Designers

Apply

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The World's Largest
Eco-Village

 

Volunteers Needed

Michael Thomas of Relmage25 has a dream: to build, together, the world’s largest “Net Zero Eco-District” community right here in Chicago. He is on the path to achievement by creating partnerships with non-profits, businesses, and community leaders, like the one he has created with Open Architecture Chicago.

Why? To increase the number of eco-friendly solutions across the city and spread eco-friendly awareness.

This is a grassroots effort connecting real people like you and me to information and education about sustainability programs and initiatives.

To be a part of this mission, apply below.

Volunteers Needed:
Project Lead
Architects / Designers

Apply