Farewell Claudia, and good luck!

We wish Claudia the best in her next chapter!
(You are safe from photoshop now.)


20K House Finds First Developer

“…the bigger challenge is fitting a house that’s completely different than normal into the existing system of zoning, and codes, how contractors do their jobs, and even mortgages.”
Rural Studio’s 20K House is moving from Project to Product in an effort to bring affordable considerate housing to a broader market. Their first field test is located in Serenbe, Georgia– a new urbanism community outside Atlanta– which consists of two recently-completed homes that will be part of the artist-in-residency program. They look great, and, rightly, have been getting a lot of press (‘This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours’).
Landon Bone Baker Architects have been long collaborators with the project– reviewing plans to ensure market-worthiness, code compliance, and FHA standards– and are excited to help in creating new industry standards. Because of their size and atypical construction method, these homes, like Tiny Homes, face hurdles in everything from permitting to lending. Rural Studio is learning a lot from these real-world applications, but so are we.
Check out what Art Atlanta and Fast Company are saying.
P1080361Dave’s 20K House from 2009

ChiCAT Rehab Progress

Opening later this year, Chicago Center for Art and Technology (ChiCAT) will bring arts education and job training to residents in Chicago’s near west side. Check out the design here.


Brent Brown to lecture at AIA Chicago on 2/18

“I think community-oriented design is only going to grow. Right now the questions are: Is it a specialty? Is it a credential subset like LEED, or is it a market segment? You do hospitals, you do schools, and you do public interest design. I completely reject that. I believe that every architect should ethically perform within the public interest.” –Brent Brown
February 18, 2016, 12:15 – 1:15pm
AIA Chicago, 35 East Wacker Drive, #250


During his time in Chicago to help judge the more than 275 entries to the Tiny Home Competition, Brent Brown will give a talk on his own tiny homes project, Cottages at Hickory Crossing. Not to be missed– Brent Brown has been transforming his home town of Dallas through a community-led approach that improves how people live, work, and play. Founder of buildingcommunityWORKSHOP and founding director of CityDesign Studio, he will share his experiences in creating a community of tiny homes.


Currently under construction, ‘Cottages at Hickory Crossing‘ will provide 50 400sf homes and on-site supportive services for Dallas’ at-risk homeless population in a resource-rich, campus setting. This revolutionary model might be an easy one for other cities to follow– aiming to make a substantial impact on the lives of the most needy while saving taxpayers thousands of dollars each year. With the demand of affordable housing and social services far exceeding what most cities can provide, here’s hoping the money saved in these innovative approaches will result in more supply. Read more about this innovative project on curbed.com.


This is event and open to the public. Bring your lunch and register here.


Happy Anniversary Newcity!

LBBA joins 29 other writers, designers, cultural, and community leaders in celebrating Newcity’s 30th anniversary with bite-sized visions of life in Chicago 30 years from now. Broad in topic, depth, and style, this anniversary edition captures the everlasting love affair this alt publication has had with Chicago’s art and culture scene, and has us speculating on who just might be Chicago’s first architect-turned mayor. Thanks for keeping us fresh, Newcity!



To learn more about Newcity’s history and editor Brian Hieggelke’s own vision for its future, listen to his talk with Justin Kaufman and WGN Radio here.


Construction Time-laspe at Parkside of Old Town



Before and After at Harvest Commons Apartments

Viceroy SRO has been Harvest Commons Apartments for a few years now, but it was a delight to see these photos side-by-side.


“When we do things together, I often forget whose idea was whose.”

LBBA’s Joseph Altshuler’s recent open letter to architecture and accompanying drawing are
part of Blank Space’s newest publication, ‘Dear Architecture.’ The humorous, compelling,
and imaginative work has us excited to check out the rest of the book, and, if you’re anything
like me, will have you falling in love. In collaboration with Zachary Morrison.


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From the archive: Chuck Bone Thesis Project

A selection of work from Chuck Bone’s thesis project, 1960
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After the Plan: What Happened to Public Housing Families?


public housing

This coming Wednesday, join a panel discussion in a conversation about the displacement of families in the wake of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation. Organized by the National Public Housing Museum, with the University of Chicago Urban Network.

“Fifteen years after the Plan for Transformation, questions still remain about the relocation of resident families from demolished high-rises into four distinct housing situations. A panel of academics, a public housing resident representative, and a housing non-profit will discuss the implementation of the Plan for Transformation and its ultimate effects on Chicago’s public housing families.”

Wednesday, January 27th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bumpus Activity Room, 126 E Chestnut Street, Chicago

This event is nearly at capacity. RSVP HERE.


Mary Pattillo – Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University, will focus on families relocated with a voucher to other segregated and impoverished neighborhoods.

Amy Khare – PhD Candidate, Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, will discuss families who are living in the new mixed income developments.

Crystal Palmer – Assistant Director of Resident Engagement, the Chicago Housing Authority, will talk about families residing in traditional public housing.

Chris Klepper – Executive Director, Housing Choice Partners of Illinois, will focus on families who took a voucher and relocated to “opportunity areas” in the city and the suburbs.

Paul Fischer – Emeritus Professor, Department of Politics, Lake Forest College, will moderate the panel.

Each panelist will speak for 15 minutes, followed by cross-panel discussion and audience questions and comments.

See you there!