Designing a Better Chicago

Nominations due:
Midnight, Dec 31, 2019

Jan 7, 2020

Application Window:
Jan 7 – Feb 17, 2020

Awards Announced:
April 2020


Introducing the Design Impact Grant Program

Along with the Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and NeoCon, the Design Museum of Chicago is thrilled to launch the Design Impact Grant Program.

Designing a Better Chicago is aimed at elevating the visibility of Chicago’s design legacy, assets, talent and community, and at supporting civic good through design. For its 2020 launch, Designing a Better Chicago will include a large-scale commissioned design installation on Chicago’s Riverwalk, a grant award program recognizing individuals or organizations using design for civic good, and related programming.

Design Impact Grant Mission

The purpose of the Design Impact grant is to provide annual, project-specific grants to individuals and organizations using design or design principles to directly address pressing issues in Chicago communities. Grant amounts will be up to $25,000, anticipating awarding 2-4 grants annually based on quality of applications and available funds.

Nomination Process

We are looking for people who are designing a better Chicago. Nominations are required for this invitation-only program. You may nominate yourself, a peer, friend, or mentor — anyone that lives or works in the City of Chicago. Final awardees will be selected by an Advisory Committee, which includes experts in design, art, business and civic ventures.


Nominations are currently closed.



Grant Guidelines

Individuals and non-profit organizations that live or work in the City of Chicago are eligible nominees for this program.

Read Full Guidelines >



Designing a Better Chicago is in partnership with DCASE, NeoCon, theMART, and the Design Museum.


Logos for DCASE, NeoCon, theMART, and Design Museum of Chicago