Sankofa Place

Merit Award

In consideration of the neighborhood's troubled past, coupled with a spirit of celebration for the various groups of people who moved through the area, and renewed interest in rebuilding the community, "connecting with one's history in order to move forward" became the concept for this site's branding and identity. In the same vein, "Sankofa," which comes from a West African Adinkrap symbol and translates into "learning from the past," was selected as the name for the new housing development.

In addition to gateways and vehicular, pedestrian, and interior building signage, the wayfinding and design portion of the project will include a banner system along Fillmore Street, sculpture pieces located throughout the development and interpretive elements in the form of murals.

The project is one result of an interdisciplinary cross-listed course. The Real Estate Center at DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, and the Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design developed an interdisciplinary development and design project for student teacher housing, in conjunction with Chicago Public Schools and Illinois State University. Courses were taught via teleconferencing, and students traveled to attend workshops and to participate in the final project, which took the form of a juried competition in Chicago.


Jury Comments: 

"This document uses detailed numerical research from the real estate discipline to inform the architectural site plans with the branding and wayfinding system for a clear, target audience. The visual expressions of the system convey a sense of professional finish that is commendable."

Design Firm: 

Anne Berry, Kristal Ernst, Kent State University


Chicago Public Schools, Kimball-Hill Homes

Location City: 

Chicago, Ill.

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 


Design Team: 



David Middleton (instructor)



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