Reclaiming Space at Hamilton Park project features a design installation in collaboration with Chicago’s Park District's T.R.A.C.E. program (Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community & Environment) to reactivate the area of an existing handball court at Hamilton Park. Located on the west side of the park’s fieldhouse, this installation seeks to activate the space while offering opportunities for outdoor gathering and rest.
Numerous public parks in the South Side of Chicago share a common issue – overlooked and underutilized spaces heavily due to their large scale and decades of disinvestment. T.R.A.C.E. team currently works in multiple Chicago parks engaging youth in cultural stewardship, civic arts and design projects to reclaim spaces for joy, health and beauty.
Inspired by public space’s suspended shading structures, this installation consists of a triangular canopy over the handball court bringing shade and color. This thick canopy is woven with bright and colorful ribbons, and is supported by thin vertical columns to emphasize a feeling of floating. The base of the columns features a series of circular concrete elements to provide seating.
Borderless team collaborated with T.R.A.C.E. students through a series of design workshops exploring the different elements of the design installation. Students learned about design language, process and prototyping, and brainstormed about different ways to activate public spaces while discussing the history and future role of Hamilton Park in Englewood.
T.R.A.C.E. is a civic leadership and curatorial job training program of the Chicago Park District that pursues the mission of empowering teens to leverage the arts to engage, inspire and persist for positive change within their communities.