Founded by Monica Chadha, Civic Projects is a hybrid design practice.
Founded by Monica Chadha, Civic Projects is a hybrid design practice that takes a participatory approach, building teams and working collaboratively with communities and organizations to develop projects. Ms. Chadha brings a diverse background in social engagement and design to her work, which focuses not only on the quality of the built environment but also on consulting with emerging entrepreneurs to build their businesses. Through economic drivers such as pop-up retail and business incubation, she provides services that encompass a holistic approach to development in underserved neighborhoods.
Current projects include the Englewood Exchange, a café/retail storefront with a demonstration and commercial kitchen that is being built in partnership with Whole Foods, US Bank and the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation and the Englewood Accelerator, the first business incubator on Chicago’s South Side, which opened in 2014; and the Virginio Ferrari Foundation Contemporary Arts Center, a museum and studio fostering community and local artists on the City’s South Side.
Past work includes activating vacant storefronts for the Bronzeville Retail Initiative and mixed-use projects with the Chatham Development Corporation. Civic Projects also designed Sugar Beet Food Coop, a local and sustainable source community space and grocery store that has garnered national attention.
Monica Chadha is a LEED certified, licensed architect who has been practicing for over 20 years. She is the Founder and Principal of Civic Projects, and brings a diverse background in social engagement and quality design to her work.
At both Studio Gang Architects and Ross Barney Architects, Ms. Chadha was responsible for the design and team leadership of several award-wining buildings including the Champaign Public Library and the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Civil Engineering Building
Ms. Chadha has been an Adjunct Professor - engaging students in social impact design practices - in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology since 2007. She is also on the faculty of Archeworks, a Chicago-based design school, research lab and think-tank. In 2011, she served as the Founding Director of Impact Detroit, a partnership with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (University of Detroit, Mercy) that provides comprehensive design, environmental, social and economic development services to communities in Detroit.
Ms. Chadha received her Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Architecture from the University of Waterloo, Canada. The Design Futures Council recognized her as an Emerging Leader in 2010 and in 2013 she was included in the inaugural Public Interest Design 100 list of leaders. She currently serves on the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council’s Placemaking and Sensible Growth Committees.
Norman Teague is a South Side-based designer and educator focused on design projects and pedagogy that address the complexity of urbanism and the history of communities. Specializing in custom furniture and delivering a personal touch for each client that adds unique aesthetic, Teague’s past projects have included consumer products, fashion, public sculpture, performances, installations work, and specially designed retail spaces. In 2012, Teague worked with Theaster Gates on 12 Ballads for Huguenot House dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany, which enabled material transferred from a South Side Chicago vacant building to transform the abandoned Huguenot house. He also co-founded the teen Design Apprenticeship Program at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator in Washington Park. Teague’s retail ventures have included partnerships with Leaders1354, The Silver Room, The Exchange Cafe, Redmoon Theater, and The Art Institute Museum of Chicago. Teague holds a Bachelors of Art from Columbia College Chicago, and a Master of Fine Arts in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jennifer Park, AIA, is principal and owner of Jurassic Studio, a design firm that enjoys exploring form, patterns, composition and their translation into our social context. Her professional experience in architecture, design and education spans cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Richmond, and her project experience spans academic, commercial, retail and residential settings. Jennifer currently serves as an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) and Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) teaching architecture studio courses. She believes in teaching students how to think critically about our social and political environment as part of the design process. In addition to several project awards, Jennifer was acknowledged as one of Chicago's 2015 Women of Influence in Michigan Avenue magazine and was a finalist for Curbed's 2015 Young Guns Award recognizing rising talent in the fields of architecture and development. She also is a recipient of the 2015 Burnham Prize for the Currencies of Architecture Competition hosted by the Chicago Architectural Club in affiliation with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Samantha is a passionate and energetic urban planner and trained facilitator with 12 years experience working in state and local government, as well as the private and not for profit sector. Her experience includes the planning, implementation and evaluation of precinct and neighborhood plans, urban masterplans, large scale urban regeneration projects, retail corridor plans, community infrastructure plans, placemaking strategies and a wide variety of other city scales requiring multiple stakeholders and public participation. Her interests lie in exploring the relationship between the built environment and how people engage within it to create great places that thrive. Through her work, she hopes to contribute to the vitality and quality of life in our cities, streets, neighborhoods and places by facilitating inclusive and collaborative design with communities and key stakeholders, and implementing sustainable and holistic outcomes. Originally from Melbourne, Australia she is recent transplant to Chicago and lives in Logan Square with her husband, twin boy and girl Orion and Bela and dog Humphrey.