Boombox by Chicago-based group Latent Design is an urban activation project that drives the concept of a nomadic retail space by initiating a startup platform for small businesses. The pop-up kiosk forms a part of Activate! Chicago, a new initiative that is focussed on transforming neglected public spaces into cultural and economic hubs in the city.
The short term Boombox model offers entrepreneurs and social designers a venue for anything from exhibitions to community services or activations and pop-up shops. Its portable design is easily integrated into high density urban infrastructure to create a transitional platform in the public space.
The project gives enterprising startups or individuals access to prime public spaces, and in doing so offers them a hands up during the early stages of business growth. The space can be fully customised and used to pilot and market new ventures in busy city plazas that would otherwise be out of reach for small scale operations. A tenant can rent a unit on a short-term basis, ranging from two weeks to three months, just enough time for a small business to test its product or a social group to make an impact.
Latent Design together with Activate! Chicago feel that small businesses are essential to the growth of neighbourhood and city economies. But with rising overhead and rental costs, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a business to expand into a public arena. Boombox seeks to address this by creating affordable retail spaces supported by a business development and marketing network.