Design 50 2022: Innovation, Incubation & Acceleration

For this year’s list, we’ve kept our overall ranking numbers but organized everything by category.

Design 50 2022: The Fifty People Who Shape Chicago (Introduction)
Design 50 2022: interior architecture and design for the home
Design 50 2022: exhibitors and defenders
Design 50 2022: Fashion
Design 50 2022: Architecture and the built environment
Design 50 2022: Graphic design and brand image
+ Designer of the moment: Andre Brumfield of Gensler Chicago

Here are the people who shape Chicago’s innovation, incubation and acceleration.

Jon Veal, Dr. Curry Greene and Jordan Campbell/Photo: Nathan Keay

Jon Veal, Jordan Campbell and Dr. Curry Greene
Co-Founders/Directors and COO, alt Space Chicago
A collaboration between Jon Veal and Jordan Campbell, alt Space Chicago was conceived by the two artists in response to the trauma of surrounding communities and the belief that art could be used as a tool for healing. “The name suggests that there are different – ​​alternative – ways to improve our world and our ways: alternative powers of structure, alternative ways of thinking, alternative ways of cultivating culture, community and connection” , according to the founders, who hope that alt Space will serve as a liaison between communities and opportunity, an ambassador for the neighborhoods they serve, especially those on the south and west sides of Chicago, and a connector bringing intentionality at every step of the process.

Andrea Polk, Peter Gaona and Tiffany Joi/Photo: Nathan Keay

Tiffany Joi, Owner, Hemp Heals Body Shop
Andrea Polk, Solo Noir and Zen Soul Apothecary
Peter Gaona, Reform School
UChicago Arts L1 Scholars
Located within and named after the first “L” station built in 1892 along historic Garfield Boulevard in Washington Park, L1 is a creative enterprise accelerator program and operated and managed retail store by Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts. His mission ? Stimulate cultural growth on Chicago’s South Side and increase opportunities for communities that have been excluded from economic development. The first Creative Business Accelerator grantees are all black-owned, South Side-based businesses: Tiffany Joi’s Hemp Heals Body Shop offers luxurious bath and body products, including oil drops, ointments, bath salts and whipped body butter. Andrea Polk runs Solo Noir, an all-natural skincare and grooming brand for men of color, and Zen Soul Apothecary, where, alongside her daughter, she helps create balance and Zen in the body. and at home. And Reformed School’s Peter Gaona combines art, fashion and eco-friendly materials to create clothing and apparel that showcases history, social justice and pop culture.

Bernard Loyd/Photo: Nathan Keay

Bernard Loyd
Founder/President, Boxville Marketplace and Urban Juncture
Starting as a single repurposed shipping container and morphing into a marketplace, Boxville is more than a community hub for the Bronzeville neighborhood, and more of a place to shop locally. It has become one of the fastest growing business incubators in the city. “We are currently working to remodel transit centers on the 51st and 43rd Street shopping corridors in the heart of Black Chicago (Bronzeville),” says founder Bernard Loyd. “These hubs were once vibrant commercial and cultural hubs. More than a century of disinvestment and neglect has left them barren and devastated. They have become places we pass through as quickly as possible, rather than linger for a bite to eat, support a local business or meet a friend,” he says. It highlights important questions: “How can we transform the look of our hallways to engage neighbors of all ages and backgrounds? How can we use the rich culture and history of our community to create a critical mass of attractive offerings that will keep neighbors and guests coming back? How can we ensure local ownership and agency throughout the revitalization process? With these elements in mind, Loyd looks to the future. “We have made great strides at 51st and the Green Line with our Boxville Shipping Container Marketplace, Bronzeville Incubator, Bronzeville Community Garden, and an early set of brick-and-mortar restaurants, and we take a big step forward with the historic Forum Complex on 43rd Street. Our goal for 2022 is to find the resources necessary to complete our first phase of the 51st Street initiatives and begin the revitalization of the Forum.

Katy Lynch and Craig Ulliott
Co-founders, Codeverse
Katy Lynch, former CEO of Techweek, and Craig Ulliott, co-founder of Belly, founded Codeverse with an ambitious goal: to teach a billion children to code. Using KidScript, a simplified version of coding that borrows basic concepts from various programming languages, young audiences (6-13 years old) learn to discover, create and publish real applications and games. Most importantly, the award-winning online coding platform inspires and empowers kids to bring their ideas to life while developing skills (problem solving, critical thinking, creativity) that last a lifetime.

Haven Allen, Manas Mehandru, Bill Fienup and Melissa Lederer/Photo: Nathan Keay

Bill Fienup, Haven Allen, Manas Mehandru and Melissa Lederer
Co-Founder/Director of Innovation Services, Co-Founder/CEO, COO and Chief Experience Officer, mHUB
“There has been a tendency to think about social and ecologically sustainable design. In its early days, the focus was on recyclability, efficiency, and the manufacturing work environment. But as we’ve matured, it’s evolved into every aspect of the product’s life and the cradle-to-grave journey. This has a huge effect on product development, creating a more holistic and systemic approach,” says Haven Allen of mHUB, emphasizing the importance of making conscious design decisions throughout the life of a product and consider aspects such as longevity, repairability, disassembly, energy, carbon usage and equity. “Recently, mHUB launched two new programs: the Catalyze Fund, developed to close the access gap for women and people of color through a portfolio of programs that address systemic inequalities, and a startup accelerator Climate and Energy Tech. Additionally, mHUB has been selected as a regional Build Back Better Challenge and has opened applications for the Climate and Energy Tech Accelerator Program,” adds Haven, who works for a better future through innovation alongside Bill Fienup. , Manas Mehandru and Melissa Lederer: “We hope to contribute to thinking about sustainable design and have an ecological impact that is not only felt in the Chicago area, but also in the rest of the world.

Betsy Ziegler/Photo: Nathan Keay

Betsy Ziegler
CEO, 1871
“The way people live and work has changed dramatically,” says Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “The city is going to have to change the way it thinks about serving those who come to town less often. What is my “why” for coming to town if I can work remotely? What experiences can I only get by being there? Can the city create a fifteen-minute mini-city environment that would add significant value allowing me to do everything I need to get done, faster and more enjoyable? Reimagining the future has opened up a new world for Chicago’s tech hub. “1871 is much more an experience than a place. It represents a sense of belonging,” says Ziegler. “My job is to keep adapting and creating the conditions for everyone to thrive. When people participate virtually and in real life, it’s very difficult to build community and ensure a seamless, consistent, and impactful experience. Following? “We’ve moved to a technology-first remote design, with the intentional choice that you can ‘come as you are,’ that you own your choice,” she says. “As a result, we now have 1,871 participating members from around the world.”

The Hall of Fame: Innovation, Incubation and Acceleration
*= new this year

*Jason Fried
Co-founder/CEO, Base camp

*Howard Tullman
Managing Partner, G2T3V and former CEO, 1871

Abdul J. Gaspar