WE ❤️ DESIGN. Tours, exhibits, programs and events about Chicago architecture. Formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Development along the Chicago River is often a lengthy and challenging process that erodes public excitement. This project engages community in the present and offers ways to redeemed the river more immediately, while contributing to a brighter future for the neighborhood as a whole.
“Soft Launch” is a series of temporary events that build long-term infrastructure, the first to occur a few blocks from North Park University in the 33rd Ward. Repurposed barges or shipping containers serve as vessels for education, entertainment, and ecology. A summer’s worth of community groups, restaurants, vendors, performers and schools partner on these floating platforms.
When one “Soft Launch” event is over, the containerized programs and plantings are given to the community as an impetus for long-term revitalization efforts. Then the next event lands in another riverside community, and inspiration begins again.