The Available City, Chicago

The Available City, Chicago

The Available City, Chicago

Environmental Graphics

Digital Media

Mixed Media

Dimensions variable


The Available City is the 2021 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB), which is a framework for collaborative, collective, and community led approach to design and transform vacant spaces around Chicago. The Available City is designed by educator and artist director, David Brown. Polymode designed the visual identity, a forthcoming digital publication, a series of posters, out of home advertising, maps, and a video.

The design for The Available City was inspired by the five lot grid and its flexibility, adaptability, and open endedness in outcome. Puzzler is a modular typeface that showcases incremental change through seamless pattern making and acts as a secondary level of information in contrast to GT Flexa, which is used for legibility. The Available City’s branding was designed to flex, adapt, and respond to its surroundings  to reference the fluidity of incorporating diversity rather than displacing communities. By creating a modular branding system that relies on patterns and typography as the foundation, it illuminates diverse ways that architectural property configurations can be built.

Poetic Research

The design for The Available City echos David Brown’s vision for a city that is adaptable, flexible, and responsive, which takes inspiration from the poem Something Patterned, Wild, and Free. The patterned grid acts and responds to the variable typeface; they live in relation to each other.

Explore this project’s poetic research