Designing Chicago’s Future

Illustration of Chicago skyline with red star

Illustration of Chicago skyline with red star

Passion for architecture, design and community development are core values for Otherwise, as we continue to draw inspiration from the city around us. So it’s gratifying to see that the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is also doubling down on these priorities, as it announces the formation of the new Committee on Design, which will allow all of the proud creatives in the city to continue to rely on — and take inspiration from — designs and decisions influenced by the history of our rich urban landscape.

The committee consists of a diverse field of volunteer members from across Chicago’s seven planning regions who will work as a team of 24. Not only do these members vary by location, but the committee is rich in terms of fields of study and practices including: affordable housing, architecture, art, community development, public engagement, landscape architecture and historic preservation.

Committee assignments last for two years; here’s the list of global leaders in the architectural, academic, art and real estate fields that are part of the committee includes:

Catherine Baker, partner, Landon Bone Baker
Sara Beardsley, technical director, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Andre Brumfield, principal, Gensler
Nick Cave, sculptor and performance artist
Bob Clark, executive chairman and founder, Clayco
Philip Enquist, partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Bob Faust, designer and artist
Jeanne Gang, founder, Studio Gang
Theaster Gates, artist and professor at the Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago
Eleanor Gorski, planning and design director, University of Illinois-Chicago
Hana Ishikawa, design principal, Site Design Group
Casey Jones, principal, Perkins & Will
Jackie Koo, principal, Koo Architecture
Reed Kroloff, dean, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture
Brian Lee, consulting partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Renauld Mitchell, partner, Moody Nolan
Juan Gabriel Moreno, president and founder, Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects
Guacolda Reyes, chief real estate development officer, The Resurrection Project
John Ronan, founding principal, John Ronan Architects
Lesley Roth, principal, Lamar Johnson Collaborative
Ann Thompson, executive vice president for architecture and design, Related Midwest
Maria Villalobos, assistant professor, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture
Leon Walker, managing partner, DL3 Realty
Amanda Williams, visual artist

The committee will meet the second Wednesday monthly starting August 11, and will have responsibility for providing guidance and advice to DPD staff as well as reviewing a vast number of new-build projects that will then be sent off for more formal review by the City Council and the Chicago Planning Commision.

Some of the projects the committee will hold influence over include large-scale planned developments and residential proposals, certain highrises, projects using City resources and projects that will be proximate to special street designations.

If you’re interested in hearing more from the committee about future projects or designs, want to view future agendas, or are interested in instructions for public testimony and live streaming, you can find them here on the City of Chicago’s website.