"A team of practitioners"
Civic Projects is a hybrid design practice.
ENGAGE | DESIGN | BUILD
Founded by Monica Chadha, Civic Projects is a hybrid architecture practice in Chicago. In our world, “hybrid” means that our work includes architecture and stretches beyond its limits to also include community and strategic planning, grant writing, and small-scale revitalization. We see our work as serving communities by expanding the role of design and architecture collectively.
Our process of engagement, which interweaves closely with the process of design, prioritizes the involvement of those who the project will serve. Through workshops, frameworks, and questions, we facilitate a participatory process that brings us to the table equally alongside those whose daily lives will be affected by our work. We embed ourselves in the communities and places where we work, approaching each project with an eye toward what makes it special and what its particular needs are.
Civic Projects brings together teams with the right experience in strategy development and stakeholder engagement, as well as the ability to identify and formulate solutions. We always work collaboratively, and our team is extensively experienced in leading practices in architecture, drawing from key insights into the field to provide a breadth and depth of skills and experience. Civic Projects has worked as the trusted partner on projects on the South Side of Chicago, such as the Virginio Ferrari Arts Center and the Chicago Torture Justice Center. Civic Projects is also a strategic partner with the Ralph Appelbaum Associates for the Obama Presidential Center Museum Design Team.
We believe deeply in each project’s potential to catalyze community activity and strengthen local bonds. We bring this belief, as well as our participatory approach, to projects of all scales, harnessing our experience as leaders of strategic programming and planning with several clients. No matter the scale or the project, we always start by embedding ourselves in the communities and places where we work. This approach results in projects that are equally embedded in their place and a key part of their communities, long after the design and construction process is over.
Civic Projects is a Certified Minority and Woman Owned Business.
Monica Chadha is a LEED-certified, licensed architect with more than twenty years of experience in the practice of architecture. As the Founder and Principal of Civic Projects, she contributes a background that’s equally steeped in social engagement as it is in quality design. At both Studio Gang and Ross Barney Architects, Ms. Chadha led project teams for the design of award-winning civic-scale buildings, including the Champaign Public Library and the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Civil Engineering Building. This background combines with her experiences serving as Founding Director of Impact Detroit, as co-chair of the Sensible Growth Committees, and as a member of the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council’s Placemaking Committee to make Monica the connective tissue of Civic Projects.
In her time as Director of Impact Detroit, she forged a partnership with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (University of Detroit, Mercy) to provide comprehensive design, environmental, social and economic development services to communities across Detroit. Through her experience there, Ms. Chadha developed toolkits and methods of community engagement that she brings to every project and collaboration that Civic Projects takes on.
Beyond the scope of Civic Projects, Ms. Chadha teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, engaging students in social impact design practices since 2007. She also serves as a Strategic Consultant for Archeworks. In 2010, she was recognized as an Emerging Leader by The Design Futures Council, and in 2013, she was featured in the inaugural Public Interest Design 100 list of leaders. She received a 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.
For each project we take on, we bring together a special team of people to carry it out. Our collaborators make our practice hybrid by bringing expertise in urban planning, education, sustainability, and policy and enrich every project with specialized knowledge and contributions. Combined with our commitment to quality design and architecture, our collaborative practice results in projects that are deeply embedded in their context and communities.
Mark de Groh
Mark de Groh is a twenty-year veteran of the city and climate vanguard and founding principal of Re:public Good, a San Francisco-based impact advisory firm pursuing full implementation of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He helps investors, governments, corporations, and NGOs to deliver on the SDG indicators while maximizing triple-bottom-line returns for their stakeholders. An expert on regenerative design and strategic partnership formation, he also leverages a network rare in depth and diversity to marshal financial, intellectual, and social capital for his clients and the public good. An urban historian and spatial theorist by training, he holds advanced degrees from The Ohio State University and Princeton University.
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.
CURRENT AND PAST TEAM MEMBERS
- Jess Monigal
- Tarek Alhariri
- Mary Patera
- Minjung Ku
- Cas Esbach
- Chang Hong
- Jungsik Kim
- Kyeore Lee
- Jennifer Doty