In Homan Square and North Lawndale, access to healthy and fresh food is an issue. In response, bLUMEN focuses on food, from production to fostering social and cultural strengthening. bLUMEN serves to gather the community and support the effort of other local initiatives working on nutrition and healthy lifestyles. North Lawndale urban farmer Jeff Levrant and local chef Skyler Dees led a course to plan and plant the garden to harvest and prepare its fresh produce as part of the bLUMEN Harvest Celebration. bLUMEN has also been used as a gathering space hosting public activities. Tatianna Howard coordinated a Thursday evening music series, bLUMEN Jazzy Sessions, with the jazz band Loud Arts playing under the pavilion. AM/FM Gallery coordinated Westside Wednesdays, an open mic and performance series featuring DJs and community artists. At its core, bLUMEN approaches sustainability as a comprehensive system that has a positive impact in the neighborhood.
bbLUMEN (blume : German for ‘flower.’ | lumen : Latin for ‘light.’)
bLUMEN is a site-specific sculptural pavilion combining art, architecture, and technology to create a flourishing plant-growth environment that engages and connects with the Homan Square community. With bLUMEN, we envision how design can transform and activate sites into fertile ground for creativity, innovation, and social interaction.
Modular in form, the temporary pavilion is formed by six 10-foot tall hexagonal steel structures connected to one another, forming an urban canopy. The canopy acts as the physical framework for fifteen interconnected horticulture LED grow lights that help grow a small selection of plants and vegetables. With access to healthy and fresh food being an issue in the Homan Square and North Lawndale communities, bLUMEN focuses on food as a core issue to gather the community and help the effort of other local initiatives working on nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
The asymmetric steel structure organizes and activates the currently underutilized site, creating a new public space for Homan Square residents and visitors. With its glow generated by the grow lights, bLUMEN extends the daily use of the space, allowing for temporary and seasonal interventions to take place day and night. Whether to host established and existing programs or new and spontaneous interventions, we hope bLUMEN becomes a new and exciting gathering place for the Homan Square community and all Chicago residents.
Luftwerk and MAS Studio with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago bLUMEN students