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Arts Lawn Pavilion

Lead for curriculum design for student engagement

During the Summer of 2021, Arts + Public Life created a unique curriculum for the Design Apprentice Program (DAP), a design-based, paid mentorship and skill-building initiative that encourages youth (ages 14–18) to invest in the improvement of the physical and social conditions of their community. The curriculum integrated students into the very beginning of the design process for the Arts Lawn pavilion. Driven by the objective of incorporating the highest level of citizen participation, as defined by Sherry Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation, and Roger Hart’s Ladder of Children’s Participation, APL designed the course to harness the opportunity to involve students in co-design of a real (and fully funded) structure.

DAP students were guided by teaching artists to identify the criteria and humanistic values for the design. The class took field trips to observe parks and open spaces throughout the city, and ultimately decided the pavilion should be a safe haven for young people and for dance – particularly footwork – often performed when surrounded in a circle by one’s chosen community. Students were then joined by the SITE Design Group, the landscape architecture team of record for the overall project, who sketched the form for options as directed by three student teams. The selected option is a celebration of light and color, featuring circular skylights and a ground mural.


337 E. Garfield Blvd
Chicago IL 60637

Gabriel Moreno & Nathan Miller, Teaching artists
SITE Design Group, Special guests

Principal Participants
15 Students enrolled in APL’s Design Apprenticeship Program (DAP), summer 2021

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