Looking Back: Chicago Design Milestones

Looking Back: Chicago Design Milestones

Exhibition Design & Branding
Chicago Design Archive (CDA)
Archeworks, 2019

In the first public event hosted by the CDA, this exhibit showcases highlights of the collection in Chicago Design Milestones. Developed in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, the Chicago Design Milestones installation visualizes the evolution of Chicago design by its examination and accentuation of historic characteristics of design works in the CDA collection over the last 10 decades.

Belonging: Place, Power, (Im)Possibilities Exhibition

Belonging: Place, Power, (Im)Possibilities Exhibition

Physical + Virtual Exhibition Design
Tonika Lewis Johnson / Chicago Justice Gallery
September 2020

Tonika Johnson chronicles the ways in which nine young people have been made to feel they don’t belong in their own city in a series of portraits and interviews. While Johnson’s portraits of young peoples’ experiences paint a grim picture of hierarchy, surveillance, entitlement and narrow mindedness, it is not a tale of defeat.

Through their own creative agency, young people push back against the politics of racism, exclusion and containment by creating their own “free spaces” and organizations that contest the commons.

In addition to the artwork, the exhibition features a mural by Joe “Cujodah” Nelson, scholarly research and an interactive map encouraging visitors to explore their own experiences with belonging and exclusion.

Due to COVID-19, both Johnson and Chicago Justice Gallery wanted to put out a virtual exhibition that made the content available to all. We developed an interactive parallax website, where visitors can scroll through portraits, listen to interviews, add content to the interactive map, and experience “alternative spaces” through a change in scrolling direction.

Experience the virtual exhibit

History Lessons: Everyday Stories from Chicago Public Housing

History Lessons: Everyday Stories from Chicago Public Housing

Exhibition Design
National Public Housing Museum, Summer 2018

Named #6 in the Chicago Tribune’s top 10 exhibitions in Chicago in 2018.

Instead of showcasing rarefied objects in the standard museum fashion, this one put on display mundane things from public housing residents — a mason’s tools, a Pyrex dish, a garden hose — and told the deep human stories behind them. Objects were loaned from public housing residents, past and present, and each label was written from the object owner themselves during a writing workshop held at the museum.



Raymond “Shaq” McDonald stands with a model airplane he was given as a child. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

Exhibit designed for the National Public Housing Museum at ArcheWorks, curated by Lisa Yun Lee and Richard Cahan, with design assistance from Andrés Alejandro Chavez.

Wabi Sabi: Design in Nature Retreat

Wabi Sabi: Design in Nature Retreat

Event Branding
Judson University, School of Art & Design Creative Retreat, 2017

In the fall of 2017, Judson University’s Art & Design Department took their students to Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, WI, for a weekend retreat exploring the idea of Wabi Sabi. The Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things unconventional.


Branding & Promo

Created the year prior at the camp site, this logo was made with the assistance of students by projecting text onto the leaves while selectively moving branches for long exposure photographs. The images were then digitally manipulated for color. Multiple images were then compiled to create an animated logo, which was used for social media marketing for the event.

Info Booklet and Program

Before the To guide the students through the weekend experience, everyone was given a handmade book. Its contents included reference information, such as a daily schedule and meal information, as well as a workbook leading students through the weekend curriculum. With quotes from artists, historical figures, and poets, and imagery created in the same way as the logo, the book set the tone for their stay.



To set the scene, signage was placed throughout the camp, students were given branded swag, and the meal area was decorated with brand colors and aesthetic.


Logo design developed with the assistance of Katie Dunbar and Andrés Chavez.

Photographs by Kate Heard and Rachel Loomis.

Housing as a Human Right: Social Construction

Housing as a Human Right: Social Construction

Exhibition Design
National Public Housing Museum
Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2017–2018

A pop-up exhibit on housing as a human right for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, this exhibit tells a brief history of public housing using artifacts that will be featured in the forthcoming National Public Housing Museum.

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Exhibit designed for the National Public Housing Museum at ArcheWorks, in collaboration with Amy Reichert Architecture and ArcheWorks, with design assistance from Andrés Alejandro Chavez.

Open Engagement — JUSTICE

Open Engagement — JUSTICE

Print, Web, Collateral, and Site Design
Open Engagement, A Socially Engaged Art Practice Conference

Chicago, 2017

Open Engagement (OE) is an annual artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working within the complex social issues and struggles of our time.

The design for 2017’s design, the theme of JUSTICE was explored through the phrase, “No Justice, No Peace” and imagery from Chicago’s Torture Justice Memorial. Using a two color printing process, all print materials were printed locally and with sustainable materials.


Design assistance from Ricardo Garcia, Amanda Sanchez, JJay Eden, Hannah Kyle, and Andrés Chavez
Select images taken by Jaclyn Rivas, Mollie Nye, and JJay Eden