Frame | Work


Invited to participate in the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Fifty Wards, 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Civic Projects w. Carlo Parente developed a new approach to activating vacant lots and vacant buildings. 

FRAME | WORK is a modular prototype that sparks commerce and activates the streets of under-resourced communities through engagement in and enhancement of commercial corridors. This system of pieces can be assembled inside vacant storefronts or in empty lots, customized to the use and location. Its deployment fosters activities such as retail enterprise, children’s play and farmer’s markets. These temporary interventions become permanent over time, helping fill in the gaps along neglected commercial strips. Many of the communities ripe to receive FRAME | WORK are home to small manufacturing companies that strive to remain relevant and solvent in today’s marketplace. The system’s materials and design may change in response to local businesses, intended to support community development on many levels.

The first phase of FRAME | WORK is in progress, developed with local manufacturers and community partners: The Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, EnglewoodBlue Business Accelerator, Chatham Development Corporation and Bronzeville Retail Initiative. FRAME | WORK is a prototype that aims to spark commerce as well as activity in under resourced communities. It activates the street through engagement and enhancement of the commercial corridor. This project functions as the architectural equivalent of Square, the wireless credit card readers that allow commerce to be conducted anywhere. Instead of expensive renovation or new construction, this system is simple, reproducible and engages passersby.

The first phase of FRAME | WORK was completed summer of 2016. The project has been developed with local manufactuers and our community partners, The Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, Englewood Accelerator and 63rd Street Farmer's Market.