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Could Be Design

Chicago, United States


Could Be Design creates playful spaces that build solidarity among multiple communities. Directed by Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison, the Chicago- and Urbana-based design practice imagines the built environment as an animate being with agency of its own. From exuberant interiors to interactive public spaces, the practice positions architecture as an active character in the world, enacting a built environment full of vibrant color, shapely form, and intimate encounters. Could Be Design is a contributor to the 2023 cycle of Exhibit Columbus and one of the six winners of the 2023 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, awarded by The Architectural League of New York. Could Be Design’s work has been exhibited at Miami Art Week, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Elmhurst Art Museum, and the Detroit Month of Design. Could Be Design also serves as the Artistic Director of the Chicago Sukkah Design Festival, a public art & architecture exhibition that includes multiple pavilion installations that celebrate cultural heritage, designed and built in partnership with community organizations in the North Lawndale neighborhood.


Chicago Sukkah Design Festival


3615 W Douglas Blvd, Chicago, IL 60623


North Lawndale


The Chicago Sukkah Design Festival pairs community organizations in North Lawndale with diverse architectural designers to design and construct sukkahs, small outdoor pavilions built for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Working collaboratively, teams explore design literacy and social justice. The Festival celebrates cultural heritage and amplifies solidarity among the Jewish community who lived in Lawndale historically, the predominantly Black community living there today, and the broader city.

During the Festival days, from October 1–15, the landscape of unique sukkah structures is activated with cross-cultural public programming, bringing together intersectional pairings of neighborhood groups. After the Festival, each sukkah is relocated and permanently re-installed at the facilities of the community organizations that co-designed them, as vibrant new program spaces; for example, as a garden pergola, rooftop playscape, meditation pavilion, community memorial, and tool library.


Chicago Tool Library


4015 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60624


Our mission:
to provide equitable access to tools, equipment, and information to allow all Chicagoans to learn, share, and create.

The Chicago Tool Library opened in fall of 2019. Located in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago, our non-profit lending library houses thousands of items that range from basic hand tools and table saws to ice cream makers and camping equipment.

We are a forward-thinking organization hoping to help our city reshape its relationship to ownership, consumption, and creativity.

The Chicago Tool Library is a close partner of Could Be Design, and their CAB 5 project, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Toolshed, was relocated there after the close of the Chicago Sukkah Design Festival.

Image: Chicago Tool Library by Cory Dewald

CAB 5 Contribution

Project Overview

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Toolshed

“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Toolshed” is a pavilion for displaying, retrieving, and animating a collection of loanable equipment from the Chicago Tool Library, a nonprofit lending library of things based in Garfield Park that provides equitable access to tools, equipment, and information, allowing all Chicagoans to learn, share, and create. The pavilion will debut at the Chicago Sukkah Design Festival, an annual public art and architecture exhibition of outdoor pavilions that celebrates cultural heritage in the North Lawndale neighborhood. After the conclusion of the concurrent Biennial and Sukkah Festival, the installation will be relocated and reinstalled at the Chicago Tool Library’s headquarters in Garfield Park, where it will facilitate a permanent tool demonstration station and scenic backdrop for instructional videos that feature items from the Chicago Tool Library’s inventory.

The City is the Site