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Designing Belonging in Public Space

March 28, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A headshot of a woman with long dark hair. She is smiling and wearing a tan shirt over a ribbed brown sweater. The background includes out of focus tree trunks and leaves.
Mejay Gula

Presented as part of Red Line Services’ Designing Belonging series, this Lunch & Learn program features Mejay Gula, Senior Project Manager, Site Design Group, Landscape Architects.

Mejay Gula’s pursuit of discovering places of belonging traces back to her upbringing in Chicago by immigrant parents and grandparents. From her early years, she recognized that civic spaces were not created with her or her family in mind, having experienced only a handful of cities in the US that provided her with a sense of genuine welcome and acceptance. Often, the simple civic gestures of welcome were sparse and scattered, leaving urban design to fall short of serving its communities effectively. Mejay, therefore, advocates for spaces that facilitate thriving communities, believing that urban design rooted in trust and active listening will foster place and belonging.

As Senior Project Manager at site design group, ltd. (site), a nationally award-winning landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture firm based in Chicago, Mejay focuses on diverse landscape and urban design projects, employing creative community engagement strategies to foster collaboration. As an architectural designer, educator, and curator, she works to revitalize overlooked spaces in Chicago, driven by her passion for civic design, historic preservation, and construction. Mejay is also the founder of Tender House Project, a collaborative initiative with local organizations aimed at activating Chicago’s underutilized bridge houses. Through partnerships with the city and community groups, Mejay envisions these neglected structures transforming into a vibrant civic and cultural network, breathing new life into the Chicago River and its surrounding areas

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 28, 2024
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Free Admission

Wheelchair Accessible


Red Line Service
312 885 2254
View Organizer Website


South Side
In Person
Life-long Learners, Scholars
Free Admission, Wheelchair Accessible
Event Topics
Activism, Community, Design, Environment, Public Art, Social Justice




Mana Contemporary
2233 S Throop
Chicago, IL 60608
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