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 515 N State 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

Life at WeWork

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

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?

    Yes, absolutely. The campus at WeWork 515 State Street is accessible from either Ogilvie, Millennium or Union stations within walking distance, but more easily via local public transit. The 515 State WeWork building is located right next to the State/Grand Red line stop, and is also on local bus routes. Parking at 10 East Grand Street is $9 a day, as well as $125 monthly – a special rate for WeWork members. SpotHero app parking is discounted for WeWork members as well.

  • Food is important in Chicago. What about food?

    Food options for 515 State Street are numerous and the River North district has many restaurants and lunch spots to eat in or take out. Popular spots include Eataly, Beatrix, Sushi-San, Slurping Turtle Ramen, Xoco and many other food choices for any palate. App based discount lunch programs such as Meal Pal and Ritual help designers and developers find food fast and pick up locally. For those on a budget, refrigerators and storage is available and Trader Joe’s and local markets are within walking distance. WeWork occasionally offers free breakfast, snacks and happy hours, which Flatiron and Designation students are welcome to enjoy.

    Please note that Designation doesn’t cover meals or dining, and designers should plan on what works best for their schedule and budget.

Take the leap

Join an upcoming cohort and make the best change of your career.