This installation is born from Chicago’s rich history of annual block parties that provide necessary resources to vulnerable and engaged residents, particularly on the South and West Sides. These gatherings are self-funded, self-organized, and self-policed. They are an example of the many acts of civic responsibility that occur routinely in disenfranchised neighborhoods when residents take matters into their own hands. A certifiable act of celebratory vigilantism, the block party does not obey traffic regulations, it does not obey permit jurisdiction, and it most certainly does not obey traditional urban principles. These characteristics of community and accountability inspired the Studio’s project in the North Lawndale community.
About Bell Park
Bell Park is owned and operated by the Westside Association for Community Action (WACA). Bell Park, also known as IBT play lot, was the site of WACA’s first workforce program, creating local employment for North Lawndale residents. WACA’s motto “Give a man a fish; he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime,” is a reflection philosophy, by providing a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment, as well as one-on-one and group activities for the youth and young adults, we remove barriers and create opportunity.
Client: Chicago Architecture Biennial
Collaborators: Shawhin Roudbari, Iker Gil, WACA, Open Architecture Chicago, Freedom House
Fabrication: BKE Designs