Looking back on 2021, looking forward to 2022

2021 was the year that, despite a global pandemic, MUSE Community + Design hit its stride. Our work in communities allowed us to build new and stronger relationships with neighborhood leaders across Chicago and as a firm we leaned into how our value of inclusion translates to our internal practices. We added four new staff members to our team, expanded our office space, and took on big and exciting projects.

While we’re in the business of thinking about and designing for the future, the breadth and diversity of our work and clients in the last year has been too great not to share!

Square canvas featuring an illustration of a red school building with two children walking toward it. There is a large tree behind the school with a bird in the branch. The word "Delta" is written under the bird. There is another bird flying with a music note above its head, and the sun is shining.
They say a picture speaks 1,000 words, and we agree! This illustration was in the youth art showcase MUSE hosted in July 2021 for the West Chicago Comprehensive Plan.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of our prouder moments from 2021:

We’re grateful to the many partners, collaborators, clients, and community members who have been part of these and other projects this year. Our outlook for 2022 is just as exciting, and we can’t wait to bring you along for the fun! 

My favorite MUSE Memory from 2021 was walking around Englewood with Jon Veal, the co-founder of Alt_ Chicago, one of our community partners for the Vision Zero South Side project. We met neighborhood residents, out-of-towners, shop owners, and local faith leaders. It was inspiring to learn more about their work and impact. We made a stop for lunch at Haire's Gulf Shrimp and then went back to Alt_ HQ, where Jon shared Alt_ projects, ongoing initiatives, and potential collaborations.
Adam Glueckert
I was proud to help facilitate focus groups on behalf of Cook County to advance their transit improvement goals. We heard from recent immigrants, low-wage workers, and unhoused Chicagoans, and compensated them for their time working with us. While these conversations were interesting to me as a transit user, it was particularly meaningful to hear voices routinely left out of planning conversations. It’s imperative that future transit investments improve the lives of transit-reliant Chicagoans.
Uri Pachter