Team: Vincent Calabro, Emily Duong and Michael Graham in collaboration with Akima Brackeen

Community Collaborator: I AM ABLE

I AM BLOOMING weaves together the rich traditions of African,  African-American, and Jewish cultures, celebrating their shared  values of communal gathering and the cyclical nature of life. In  African and African-American cultures, these gatherings have been  a central aspect of community life, where participants arrange  themselves in circular formations to foster a sense of unity and  togetherness through rituals of ring shouts, drumming circles,  rap cyphers, and healing circles. In parallel, the Jewish holiday of  Sukkot embraces impermanence both in the realm of time and the  built environment by commemorating the seasonal harvest, and  encouraging a deep connection with nature and community, cycles  of growth, and the transitory nature of materiality and the human  experience. By acknowledging the cyclical rhythms of life and its  relationship with nature, I AM BLOOMING creates a unique space for grounding, reflection, and mindfulness. After the Festival, the  sukkah will serve as a meditative pavilion open to all members  of North Lawndale community. 

Photos: Tom Harris Photography and Brian Griffin for the Chicago Sukkah Design Festival