Chicago Sukkah Design Festival
The Chicago Sukkah Design Festival pairs North Lawndale community organizations with diverse architectural designers to design and build sukkahs (small huts constructed outdoors for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot) that amplify civic life. Working collaboratively, each team explores themes of design literacy, social justice, and neighborhood futuring through the design of a small structure that provides a big impact. The North Lawndale neighborhood has a rich Jewish history, with a majority of Chicago’s Jewish population residing there between 1910–1960. The Festival celebrates this cultural heritage and amplifies solidarity among the Jewish community who lived there historically, the predominantly Black community that resides there today, and the broader Chicago community.
Alongside the installation of three sukkahs that will be open to the public from October 9 to October 16, the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot will host a week-long schedule of public programming including an opening celebration on October 9, a closing block party on October 16, and an exhibition (open daily from 11:00am–5:00pm) exploring the holiday of Sukkot, its observance in Chicago, and harvest celebrations in various communities. The full schedule of programs is listed here. Afterwards, the sukkahs will be relocated and re-installed at the 3 separate facilities of the community organizations, where they will enjoy a second life as book nooks, heritage spaces, and neighborhood farm-stands.
The festival is co-organized by Professor Joseph Altshuler and features a sukkah designed by Professor Aneesha Dharwadker in collaboration with Illinois alum Eric Hotchkiss of Made in Englewood. For more information, visit the festival website.