bond court imageWe are proud to share that our redesign of Cook County’s Bond Court has been named a winner in Fast Company’s inaugural World Changing Ideas awards. The bond court redesign is one of 12 overall winners – having earned top honors in the urban design category – and is profiled online. Per Fast Company, the awards program is “focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better.”

Our firm’s work with bond court continues to yield positive press for CannonDesign. Next City profiled the project late last year and then FastCo wrote a deep-dive piece on the project in late January. It’s rewarding to see the project celebrated for the positive impact it can have in Chicago and possibly inspire elsewhere. If you have a moment, be sure to read about the project and other World Changing Ideas online. Below is the excerpt FastCo posted as part of the awards announcement.

Cook County Bond Court

It takes less than a minute for a judge to set bond–the amount of cash a defendant has to pay to stay out of jail before trial–in Chicago’s Cook County Bond Court. With bond set too high, someone can lose their job or be forced to drop out of school as they sit in jail, sometimes for hundreds of days. Part of the solution may be a better courtroom. By redesigning the physical space–which was previously crowded, noisy, confusing, and unorganized–designers from CannonDesign aimed to improve fairness and dignity in the court. The designers spent months observing bond court proceedings before coming up with a plan that improves acoustics, minimizes distracting movement, aligns parties with the judge, and features signage that clearly explains the bond ruling process to family members waiting in the corridor outside. The new courtroom set to open this spring.