The Giving Sukkah

LocationNorth LawndaleBuilt2022ClientCould Be Architecture, YMEN

“It will activate an underused lot and provide a "Giving" space where individuals can distribute and receive food, fresh produce, and other donated items.”

- Kimberly George, Community Asset Manager, YMEN


Human Scale was invited to participate in the first Chicago Sukkah Design Festival which pairs North Lawndale community organizations with diverse architectural designers to design and build sukkahs (small huts constructed outdoors for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot). We collaborated with YMEN and the community to create a sukkah that explores themes of design literacy, social justice, and neighborhood futuring. After the Festival, the sukkah was relocated to the Grids + Griots Plaza (designed by Sekou Cooke Studio) to act as a neighborhood farmstand.


  • Create a farmstand where the community can sell and exchange produce
  • Follow the “building codes” of traditional sukkah construction
  • Design a structure that can easily be assembled/disassembled and relocated
  • Respond and connect to the Grids + Griots installation that dissects a shipping container into dynamic and multifunctional spaces
  • Incorporate the collective identity of the community members in the structure


The North Lawndale neighborhood has a rich Jewish history, with a majority of Chicago’s Jewish population residing there between 1910–1960. The festival celebrates this cultural heritage and amplifies solidarity among the Jewish community who lived there historically and the predominantly Black community that resides there today.






  • Organic roof comprised of upside-down planter beds
  • Dissected shipping container design
  • Storage and display shelves
  • Pop-up awning with community handprints

In partnership with