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At Present in the Available City

March 14, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Portrait of David Brown seated in an outdoor space, smiling and wearing a black jacket, grey pants, and a blue shirt.
David Brown. Photo by Nathan Keay.

Presented as part of Red Line Services’ Designing Belonging series, this Lunch & Learn program features David Brown, Professor at UIC School of Architecture and founder of The Available City, NFP. In his talk, Brown shares a set of nine calls for collective spaces on vacant land intended as prompts for residents, community organizations, and designers to think expansively about  how to make use of city-owned vacant spaces. He demonstrates the potential of the calls through a set of studios he’s taught at UIC over the last year focused on the distinct urbanisms that sets of community-derived collective spaces can contribute to different South and West Side neighborhoods.

David Brown established The Available City, NFP in summer 2023, continuing his research that engages community organizations, residents, and architects in thought and construction of city-owned vacant land as a landscape of community-driven collective spaces. Iterations of The Available City as a speculative design have been exhibited in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale and the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Brown was the Artistic Director of the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial which had The Available City as its focus and theme. His essays and drawings presenting the transformative impact The Available City can have on Chicago’s South and West Sides are found in CENTER 18: Music in Architecture—Architecture in Music, the Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, volume 2, and Flat Out 4.

A meal is shared after the program. Free and open to the public. RSVP is required.

Designing Belonging is an eight-month public lecture series, followed by intensive design + research workshops, that engage houseless artists in the reimaging of Chicago’s public spaces.



Thursday, March 14, 2024
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Free Admission

Wheelchair Accessible


Red Line Service
312 885 2254
View Organizer Website


West Side
Life-long Learners
Free Admission, Wheelchair Accessible
Event Topics
Community, Design, Public Art, Racial Identity, Social Justice




Mana Contemporary
2233 S Throop
Chicago, IL 60608
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