Activate! 2010

The ACTIVATE! Public Space Design Competition was created to create a dialogue about open space and how design can be the catalyst for the creation of meaningful and joyful places that facilitate community engagement and growth. The design competition challenged designers to rethink public space with a temporary installation that would last one year and be built on a budget of $1,000. The winning design by  MAS Studio created an artificial typography on a site where there was none.  The modular installation was such a success that they Little Village community where it was installed rallied to raise over $100,000 and the legal right to change the former vacant lots into a community garden, which it is today. Through these small acts, we can repurpose public space to be more universally accessible, inclusive, age friendly, and a builder of community. 

Created by Laura Bowe, Katherine Darnstadt and Kathryn McRay in collaboration with Architecture for Humanity Chicago.


Year: 2010
Size: 6500 sf
Location: Chicago
Typology: Placemaking
Partners: MAS Studio + Architecture for Humanity Chicago