Stowell & Friedman Law Offices

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

Civil Rights: "…the right of human beings to live under 'public-coercive laws' by which every man's (right) is determined and secured against the interference of every other man."

As a civil rights law firm engaged in work-place discrimination litigation, our clients work to balance the rights of the individual against the rights of the larger community. Using techniques such as carving, layering, transparency and figure ground, we explored ways that the spatial experience of their office could be based on this tension between the individual and the collective – between things that are both one thing and many things at the same time. Layers of wood, stone, glass and fabric were added to the basic fitplans to create this experience. In particular, we found thank you letters from clients and used these to create a privacy scrim at the offices that utilizes a figure/ground pattern to help separate the individual lawyers from the public corridor in a way that still allows for limited visual engagement. This film is a great metaphor for who they are and what they do both in the content of the letters as well as the multiplicity of experience utilizing the singular form.

Architect of record

Charles von Weise
von Weise Associates
311 W. Superior Street, Suite 216
Chicago, IL 60654, United States
Phone: 3123375511

General contractor

Bob McKenna
Interior Alterations, Inc.
200 W. Monroe, Suite 2150
Chicago, IL 60606, United States
Phone: 312-454-1599


Michelle Litvin
Michelle Litvin Photography
731 W. 18th Street, Unit 12
Chicago, IL 60616, United States
Phone: 312-421-9242