Activate! is a new initiative, in partnership between Latent Design and the City of Chicago, to transform underutilized public plazas into cultural and economic catalysts.


Activate! will curate unique cultural experiences in neighborhoods across Chicago. This is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Capitalizing on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential, placemaking creates public spaces that promote people’s health happiness, and economic well-being.


Amplifying public space through culture + community


Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody. The principle of public space begins with numerous underlying ideas, the first of which is that the community is the expert.


Cutting edge unexpected encounters in public space.


Final Friday is our signature event series bringing small and large scale performances to select sites across the city. We curate work in partnership with our community partners that is provocative, hilarious, emotional, but never typical to break the routine with a moment of reflection and wonder.


Small business has changed.


Boombox is a prefabricated micro retail kiosk installed in high volume public spaces to provide short term pop up retail opportunities for local entrepreneurs and community activators.

First location open in Wicker Park at 1262 N. Milwaukee Ave. Second location in Englewood open at 833 W. 63rd St. Weekly and monthly rates available. Inquire here.


Working to achieve a new urban design system 


We strive to harness the invisible forces impacting a project as a visible trajectory through this work. Through the help of our gracious partners. we have created comprehensive design solutions through mutually beneficial collaborations with bold neighborhood partners.

Together, we will advance a vision for better public space.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods.
— Mayor Rahm Emanuel
A democratizing agenda is more important than ever in a city split on the fault lines of race and class.
— Blair Kamin
Placemaking projects support economic development, improve street safety, and promote walkable communities.
— Gabe Klein

We believe public space can be a catalyst for community connectivity, local entrepreneurship and civic innovation.  


Latent Design specializes in ideation, strategy, and execution of scalable and highly experiential architecture and urban design. Our participatory approach to design creates new social impact systems by leveraging creative disruption in our urban environments.