Life at Designation

In the heart of downtown Chicago

Welcome to your office

In the same way Designation is much more than a design bootcamp, our home at WeWork State Street is more than just a coworking space.

WeWork is a vital and wonderful part of the Designation experience, and we’re thrilled to bring our cohorts into a community that’s changing the professional world.

Amy Ton

“It’s awesome to be in a space where you can share, collaborate, and critique ideas and concepts with your instructors and peers.”

Amy TonProduct Designer, Yelp

WeWork State Street

Housing options

There are a number of options available to incoming designers, including Chicago Apartment Finders, Apartment People, Airbnb, and Craigslist. Each designer attending the in-person phases is responsible for finding their own accommodations. 

There’s also house-sharing among the Designation community. Those opportunities can be found on the Designation community Slack channel, which designers join at the beginning of Design Essentials.

For those interested in a hostel, Designation has a special rate with Chicago Getaway Hostel in Lincoln Park. A valid Designation acceptance letter and proof of enrollment is needed to gain the rate.

For designers in the program from outside Chicago, housing is usually finalized during the Virtual Phase (weeks 7–12). This usually gives designers plenty of time to search and make arrangements.

Life in Chicago

Coming to Designation means life in a city full of vibrant culture, art, history, and food. We’re headquartered in the Loop, close to an unbelievable number of experiences, attractions, museums, and restaurants—not to mention every L and Metra train line that passes through the city.

James Perakis

“It was great to experience Chicago’s unique culture of design and innovation. There are so many awesome things happening there, and Designation felt like the center of the action.”

James PerakisUX Designer, LearnVest

#Wherethedogat

We were already dog enthusiasts, but as a WeWork member company, we’re dog-friendly too.

Let our admissions team know if you’re applying to the program and are allergic to dogs or intend to bring a dog, and we’re happy to accommodate you.

Frequently asked questions about life at Designation

  • What are the working hours during the in-person phases?

    We expect designers to be in the workspace 10:00 am–9:00 pm Monday through Saturday. We hold morning huddle each morning with all designers and staff to make announcements and share news; this is required to attend every day, so we ask designers to plan to arrive well before 10:00 am. The workday features workshops, check-ins with creative directors and DIRs, team activities, and other events throughout the day.

    We encourage designers to take Sundays off when possible, to keep a work/life balance or sightsee around Chicago. But we know designers sometimes need to work, either virtually or in-person, to catch up on deliverables from the previous week or prepare for presentations in the upcoming week.

  • Is the program possible for designers living in the Chicago suburbs?

    Absolutely. Our campus at WeWork State Street is easily accessible to every downtown Metra station: Ogilvie, Millennium, LaSalle, and Van Buren. WeWork offers a $12/day rate to park at the InterPark garage at 318 S. Federal St, only three blocks away. Other designers work with parking apps to get weekly or monthly rates for city parking—SpotHero offers a discount for WeWork members.

  • Food is important in Chicago. What about food?

    Our campus is in downtown Chicago, so there are dozens of food options within a short walk, including the Revival Food Hall. Many are open for breakfast for early birds or late dinner for night owls. For designers on a budget during the program, one tip given by multiple graduates is to cook/prep a week’s worth of food on Sundays. WeWork occasionally offers breakfasts, snacks, and happy hours for members, which designers are welcome to enjoy.

    Please note that Designation doesn’t cover costs related to food, so designers must plan to pay for their own. 

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