Click on the branch icons in the map below to hear each branch of the Chicago River speak candidly about their personal experience and to learn firsthand from the water about what life is like.
The creative process
The characters of the river came about because we wanted to highlight the personalities and archetypes that emerge from the Chicago River. There are many structural systems at place that dictate how the river is used. These archetypes represent the players involved with maintaining the status quo and those that actively fight for a more holistic, sustainable waterway. We developed the particular characters of each river branch based on its history, contemporary use and communities that live alongside it.