LBBA Labs

In 2010, the firm founded LBBA Labs, a summer program which employs high school students and college-age mentors. The program provides an entry point for young designers to participate in community design and empowers local residents to impact their environment through the design process.

shadeLab interns posing in lab coats in front of greenery

Impact

The LBBA Labs are a nationally-recognized summer employment program for high school students with an interest in architecture, design, and planning. During the six-week workshop, participants study building design and initiate change in their neighborhood through environmental assessment studies and community asset mapping.

Goals

  • Provide a high quality, paid summer internship program for students interested in architecture and related fields
  • Teach architecture and design skills as well as social, educational, and career readiness
  • Promote future diversity in the field by offering early career exposure and mentorship
  • Encourage civic responsibility and engagement amongst participants and community members
  • Deliver real solutions to issues impacting focus communities

Skills

  • Architecture and design skills (drafting, models, software modelling)
  • Creative problem solving
  • Public speaking
  • Career readiness: resume, email writing, interviewing
  • Communication skills
  • Graphic design and presentation development
  • Networking
  • Collaboration

Apply For Summer 2017 Programs Now!

If you’re interested in getting involved as an intern, volunteer, or community partner, please contact:

The Labs

bikeLab 2016 interns standing outside of bike shop

bikeLab 2016

LBBA partnered with the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) to develop a plan for making their Humboldt Park buildings more bike and biker friendly. Students interviewed LUCHA residents about their bike use, researched the neighborhood, visited bike shops, toured buildings with bike-centered design, and ultimately created an overall plan for integrating bike use into LUCHA buildings.

Find out more at: bikeLab's blog

cityLab 2015 interns walking down sidewalk towards camera

cityLab 2015

In partnership with Claretian Associates, the 2015 cityLab incorporated neighborhood history, data collection, and personal stories of South Chicago. Through cityLab, the interns conducted site visits, interviewed residents, and gathered research to study the social, economic, and cultural landscape of South Chicago. The goal of cityLab was to collect observations regarding the past, present, and future framework of the neighborhood that will assist in understanding the community’s design and planning needs.

Find out more at: cityLab's blog

cityLab 2014 interns pose mid jump with Chicago skyline in background

cityLab 2014

Partnering with Brinshore Development and The Michaels Company, cityLab 2014 studied human interaction, environmental health, and the built environment at Westhaven Park, the replacement housing for the Henry Horner Homes in Chicago’s Near West Side. The team of interns, including several from Westhaven, observed the site and interviewed residents to better understand how urban design affects the community. The team then guided the design of the project's central park based their feedback and research.

Find our more at: cityLab's blog

cityLab 2013 interns writing notes in notebooks outside

cityLab 2013

cityLab studied pedestrian behavior at Parkside of Old Town, the former Cabrini-Green public housing site in Chicago. Through a series of neighborhood and building analyses, the student interns examined: public vs. private spaces; retail and work space; recreation and green spaces; and intersections. Ultimately, the goal was to identify the needs of Parkside residents, inform the design of a successful redevelopment, and, in the process, empower our students with the knowledge and skills for positively changing the places where they live.

Find out more at: cityLab's blog

airLab 2.0 interns looking at greenhouse

airLab 2.0

Airlab is a team of 5 high school students and 3 college-level mentors, now young Chicago civic leaders, whose mission is to research and collect data on the indoor air quality (IAQ) at the Rosa Parks Apartments in the West Humboldt Park Community. Our program goals are to educate communities, organizations, and city leaders to make better decisions about how they can improve the health, well-being and efficiency of their neighborhood through awareness and good design.

Find out more at: airLab blog

airLab interns taking notes and collecting data outside

airLab

Airlab is a team of 5 high school students and 3 college-level mentors, now young Chicago civic leaders, whose mission is to research and collect data on the indoor air quality (IAQ) at the Rosa Parks Apartments in the West Humboldt Park Community. Our program goals are to educate communities, organizations, and city leaders to make better decisions about how they can improve the health, well-being and efficiency of their neighborhood through awareness and good design.

Find out more at: airLab's blog

shadeLab interns taking notes and data outside on sidewalk

shadeLab

Through environmental assessment studies, community asset mapping, neighborhood service/design projects, and by using
high tech sensors as well as self-made measuring devices, interns extensively recorded temperature, air quality, energy efficiency,
and noise throughout the neighborhood and the buildings of
LBBA’s partnering organizations over the course of the summer.
By overlying this data with the mapping of the physical assets, nature, social life and stories that surround these spaces, interns created a holistic ‘snapshot’ of the wellness of the neighborhood as it relates to design.

Find out more at: shadeLab's blog

Awards

2015 Urban Land Institute Vision Award Winner

2015 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Project of the Year, Landmarks Illinois

2016 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation 2nd Place Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, CNDA

When I worked at Claretian Associates, I helped create sustainable housing that was both affordable and beautiful. After our houses were complete and I saw with my own eyes the reduced gas and light bills, I became a believer, and my passion for sustainability grew.

Guadalupe Castaneda, Closing Officer
Community Investment Corporation