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Territory reaches out to young people who are at-risk in Chicago based on their age, skin color, ethnic or religious affiliations, or zip code. Our design teams represent:

  • Over 230 program alumni
  • 95% Chicago Public High School students, 90% persons of color
  • 45 Chicago Public High Schools, with strongest representation from Roosevelt HS, Von Steuben Metro Science HS, Senn HS, and Lane Tech.
  • Charter schools, contract schools, private schools and young people experiencing homelessness
  • 32 of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods areas
  • 1126 program hours primarily in the Albany Park and Uptown neighborhoods of Chicago
  • Unique local populations. We recruit from within the communities we serve, so our teams reflect the ethnic, cultural, and historical make up of our neighborhood schools and partner service areas.For example, in Albany Park, our most recent design team was 6% Asian, 17% Black, 27% Hispanic, 11% White, 39% Mixed/Other, while in Uptown our 2015 team was 73% Black, 9% Hispanic, 9% White, 9% Mixed/Other.

To reach more young people, Territory has developed a network of partnerships with civic organizations, business districts, social service providers, city agencies and local elected representatives. Our studio is a safe place for people from diverse backgrounds to work as a team.

Since 2012 our teams of young designers have completed:

  • A “People Spot,” a semi permanent social seating area through the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Make Way for People program
  • 7 community-based place-making projects with 6 to 14 weeks of design studio engagement
  • 3 pop-up outreach projects with 3 to 6 days of design studio engagement
  • Workshops to create community identity through design with 1 to 4 hours of engagement
  • A social enterprise business plan for Territory
  • A competition entry for the Tiny Homes Competition, seeking solutions to youth homelessness.

The Territory design studio is a place where young people learn by doing. No previous design experience is expected or required.