top of page

creative grounds.

Professional Design Research Project // Borderless Studio


A design research platform for catalyzing change in Chicago Neighborhoods in response to the 2013 Chicago Public School closings. After the largest closure of public schools in Chicago and the United States, this initiative aims to be a research and creative resource to addressing the role and future of these former school sites in their corresponding communities by:


(a) documenting through an inventory of sites to understand conditions, challenges and opportunities in their corresponding communities;


(b) exploring creative planning and design ideas that reimagine closed schools as anchors for community development while strengthening the neighborhood’s public life;


(c) supporting ongoing or planned redevelopment efforts to amplify and accelerate repurposing processes. 

Through hosting dialogues, researching best practices, creating a systematic documentation, and testing activation ideas, Creative Grounds serves as an public platform to discuss policies shaping our social infrastructure and built environment by making these challenges visible.

design principle: Connecting Communities to Design

Borderless Studio is committed to supporting healthy, vibrant and meaningful communities by presenting and demonstrating how design adds value to the built and social environments. By working side by side with communities, Borderless aims to use design tools, processes and outcomes to both inspire, enable and shape successful places for people.

Team: Borderless Studio, CAPE, Docomomo, Chicago Architecture Biennial​, Filmmaking: On The Real Film

Target User: Closed School Neighborhoods

Duration: 5 months


The Creative Grounds design platform branched out through various applications across neighborhoods. Through a focus on iconography design and large scale mapping intervention, the work grew from a question to dialogue to a communal and collaborative multifaceted project that continues to call for change. Below are ways the initiative developed through the summer of 2017. 

bottom of page