Latent Design w/ Architecture for Humanity

ACTIVATE!

Chicago

since 2010
ACTIVATE!

Challenging Daniel Burnham’s famous declaration “Make no little plans,” ACTIVATE! is showing how powerful smallscale, limited-budget interventions can be. Initiated by Katherine Darnstadt of Latent Design in 2010, ACTIVATE! is an international competition challenging teams to enliven a vacant site within a budget of $1,000. Iker Gil’s collective practice MAS Studio won the first year with Cut.Join.Play, a flexible DIY design for seating and planting (pictured). Though the ACTIVATE! began as a one-off, the results were so encouraging that Darnstadt, in partnership with Architecture for Humanity, turned it into an annual event. In 2013, ACTIVATE! is taking over four sites and the winning proposals will be constructed mid-summer. “Through small acts of acupuncture-style activation,” Darnstadt says, “we can repurpose public space to be more universally accessible, inclusive, age-friendly, and a builder of community.”

Community, Information, Pleasure, Sustainability
$1,000 per site
2 days
10
Problem - Lack of quality, small-scale public space
Solution - Temporary design interventions sourced from an international call for ideas