Nowhere Collaborative is a full-service architecture firm that challenges the typical boundaries and limitations of architectural practice. 


NW Collaborative is a place-based and hyper-local practice where design interventions of all scales result in positive impacts in the community.

NW Collaborative identifies and/or creates the development entity for projects that catalyze equitable development.

NW Collaborative deploys “now + here” initiatives - short, temporary activities or site activations - to test development ideas and activate spaces.

NW Collaborative engages a common-sense approach to projects and development:
  • Employs incremental development principles as a logical and realistic step-by step economic development process.
  • Champions sustainable and resilient building and site design practices.



Catherine Baker, FAIA

founded Nowhere Collaborative in 2022 to address small-scale community-based projects and developments that may be overlooked by the architectural profession; either due to the size or location of the project, small or insufficient fees, or lack of access or awareness to the skills an architect can bring to solving spatial problems. The firm’s work addresses sustainability and incremental development within community-based design in a place-based context.

NW Collaborative is a woman-owned business and seeks to support and promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and economic benefits to the community in all projects.


Professional Experience
2022 +                  
2002-2022           
1994-2002           
1993
1990-1992    
Nowhere Collaborative 
Landon Bone Baker Architects
Landon/Bone Architects
Midland Studio
Eastlake Studio
Founder
Partner
Designer/Architect
Designer
Designer
          
License
NCARB Certified
Illinois
Indiana
Michigan

Education
1993   
MA, Social Sciences 
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1990
Bachelor of Architecture
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Teaching Experience 
2022 +
2017-2019
2012, 2013
2009
1999-2009
IIT - Graduate Design Studio
IIT - Professional Practice
SAIC - Graduate Design Studio
IIT - Graduate Design Studio
Marwen  / Lane Tech High School
Adjunct Professor
Adjunct Prof / Co-Teacher
Visiting Assistant Professor
Visiting Assistant Professor
Architecture Program Teacher
     
Mentor
2010-2019
1999-2019
1999-2019
LBBA Labs
Newhouse Competition
Marwen Art at Work
Program Creator / Director
Workshop Coord & Juror


Recognition
2020 
AIA
Fellowship
2019
Ball State University, College of Architecture & Planning
Distinguished Alumni
2018 
Chicago Tribune
Chicagoans of the Year (Peter Landon, Jeff Bone & Catherine Baker)
2016
AIA Chicago
Presidential Citation for Tiny Homes Competition
2014
AIA Chicago
Firm Award (Landon Bone Baker Architects)
2014
Chicago Women in Architecture
40th Anniversary, Women Building Change

Boards
2018
AIA Chicago
Board of Directors, President
2017
AIA Chicago
President-Elect/Vice President
2012-2018
AIA Chicago
Board of Directors
2017
AIA Chicago Foundation
Ex-Officio
2014-2016
AIA Chicago
Vice President for Advocacy
2012-2017
Chicago Asthma Consortium
Board Member
2017+
Ball State University, College of Architecture & Planning
Executive Advisory Board Member
2012-2014
Ball State University, College of Architecture & Planning
Alumni Society Board member
2014
Ball State University, College of Architecture & Planning
Alumni Society President

Select Talks/Lectures
2024

Chicago Architecture Center + Villa Albertine
Chicago, Illinois
“In Search of the Missing Middle: Strategies for Building Mid-Sized, Medium-Density Housing,” Panelist
Night of Ideas
2024

University of Kentucky, College of Design
Lexington, Kentucky
“Housing Now,” Panelist
2023

MAS Context
Chicago, Illinois
Tracing / Traces: Architecture and the Archive 2023
2020
AIA Iowa Spring Conference
Virtual Meeting, Keynote
“LBBA Labs - Informing Affordable Housing Design,” 
2019
Commons and Communites
Copenhagen, Denmark 
“Equitable Design Principles,” Panelist
2016
Habitat III
Quito, Ecuador
“Building Better Environments: Design, Health, and Resilience,” Panelist
2016
National Housing Conference: Solutions for Housing Communications 2016 
New York City, New York
“The Role of Design in Community Acceptance,” Speaker
2016
Tiny Homes Summit: New Solutions for Youth Homelessness
Chicago, Illinois
“Architects on the Design of Tiny Homes Discussion,” Panelist
2015
2015 Public Interest Design Institute
Dallas, Texas
“Case Study ‘The Stuff’ in Between Architecture,” Speaker
2014
Ball State Unversity, College of Architecture & Planning, Muncie, Indiana
Commencement Address

Recent Volunteer
2023
Chicago Architecture Center
Come Home Design Competition
Juror
2023+
AIA Housing & Community Development Knowledge Community
Advisory Group
2023
AIA National Housing Awards
Jury Chair
2022+
AIA Chicago
Fellowship Committee, Chair
2022
AIA Chicago
A’22 AIA Chicago Lounge Committee Co-Chair
2022
AIA Chicago Foundation,
Roberta Feldman Architecture for Social Justice Award
Juror
2021-2023
City of Chicago Dept. of Planning & Development
Committee on Design
2021+
Landmarks Illinois
DEI Collaborative
2021
Landmarks Illinois, 
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards
Juror,  Awards Presenter
2019-2021
Landmarks Illinois
50th Anniversary Taskforce
2019-2021
AIA National
New Urban Agenda Taskforce