Fifty firms imagine 50 futures for Chicago's underused spaces

Nifty Fifty

Fifty firms imagine 50 futures for Chicago's underused spaces

Running in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has opened Between States, a show which brings together over 50 designers to imagine the future of the city’s 50 aldermanic wards. Between States is the second iteration of the CAF’s multi-year 50 Designers/50 Wards project. Last year’s show 50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards asked 50 young design firms to design for the city’s wards, while Between States asked a number of more established firms to take on a similar challenge.

Each of the firms was asked to address underutilized spaces in each one of their respective wards, as well as reference another project outside of the city in their design. The title of the show, Between States, is a play on this two-part brief, referring to the changing condition of the sites as well as the importing of references from other places. Firms were also asked to work with the community to assess needs and opportunities in the neighborhood they were designing in.

The show will run until January 7, 2018 in the CAF’s Atrium Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Martin Felsen, partner at Chicago-based UrbanLab.

Invited firms include:

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture



Bailey Edward

bKL Architecture

Booth Hansen


Cordogan, Clark & Associates

Dirk Denison Architects

eastlake studio

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects



Farr Associates

Forum Studio

Future Firm


Ghafari Associates

Goettsch Partners

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

HBRA Architects


Holabird & Root


Legat Architects

Lothan Van Hook Destefano Architecture

Metter|Studio / Morris Architects, Planners

Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects

Pappageorge Haymes Partners

Perkins + Will Global

RADA Architects

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

Site Design Group

SmithGroup JJR


Solomon Cordwell Buenz


Space Architects + Planners


STL Architects

Terry Guen Design Associates

Thornton Tomasetti

Tom Brock Architect

Valerio Dewalt Train Associates

Vinci Hamp Architects

Vladimir Radutny Architects

von Weise Associates

Weese Langley Weese

Wight & Company, Lohan Studio

Woodhouse Tinucci Architects

Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects