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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640


We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.


Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: Visible Revolutions?

Peter Nicholson

Cuba Diaries I: Revealed
Cuba changed me. I visited last week, wanting to experience it while its remarkable fissures between old and new are still so visible, and on so many levels. History and necessity have forged an ethos of resilience and sustainability that were apparent in both attitudes and practices, although perhaps not if you weren’t looking for them. I was seeking them, and everything else my condensed experienced could offer. For me, taking photographs helps me not so much record as frame and more deeply experience a place, by isolating pattern, color, detail, movement and light. Extended conversations with locals both young and old provided heart and depth, an impetus for shifting our mutual preconceptions. The political is implicit everywhere, revealed in tone and inflection, what is seen and omitted. Designer that I am, I am ultimately searching for the underlying structure, the intention, order and progression of the place. The relative foreignness and vibrant juxtaposition of the present and past make details pop. First and Third World distinctions are irrelevant. There is progress and regression, solution and lingering challenge, movement and stasis, a place abundant with life held taut, as it is everywhere, between deterioration and vibrant becoming. Places like Cuba are an important reminder of such fundamentals, an awareness of which, I would argue, is vital to the pursuit of greater sustainability, if not also a deeper grasp on our humanity.