South Chicago Micro Housing + Makers Space, Chicago, IL

During the height of South Chicago’s population, the U.S. Steel South Works Plant was the primary source of jobs in the area. When the plant was shut down in 1992, the population decreased drastically. Job markets in today’s time are slowly realizing a maker/seller platform, resulting in the establishment of a variety of small cottage industries. Workforce development that specifically addresses trade skills that benefit these industries has become an essential amenity that is needed in many neighborhoods.

These smaller industries are selling products that require work space to fabricate their often innovative ideas. As a response to David Brown’s “collective space” proposal, Landon Bone Baker has developed a neighborhood-specific strategy to activate five adjacent vacant lots with affordable micro-housing, indoor and outdoor maker spaces, a shared community kitchen and a market area. Just as the U.S. Steel South Works Plant provided jobs for people who created steel, this conjunction of amenities in South Chicago will house the new generation of makers and creators.

South Chicago Collaborative was developed for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibit “BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago,” curated by Iker Gil. The project is an extension of our ongoing work in South Chicago and partnership with local nonprofit Claretian Associates to create a "neighborhood of choice" for residents and young adults.

South Chicago, Chicago, IL


Speculative; Developed 2015


BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago, 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial


Iker Gil


3D Design Studio

Ania Jaworska

Central Standard Office of Design




Landon Bone Baker Architects

Tigerman McCurry