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About Naught

Naught is an art, architecture, and design firm that creates new strategies for how we build and live in cities.  We don’t wait for the client to come to us.  Instead, we identify and clarify a problem facing the city and then put together a coalition of investors and stakeholders to rebuild the city over an extended period of time.  

The name of our company pays homage to our desire to remain deferential to the goals of the existing companies who are our clients, our capacity to tie various elements together, and our commitment to remain neutral and balanced throughout the process.  We maintain this balance when designing plans for neighborhoods facing decaying infrastructure, high rates of vacancy, violence, lack of jobs, and lack of investment.  We address the full scope of the ecological and economic situation through a series of new hybrid typologies and by organizing the plan around public artworks that engage the existing and future community.  We are currently focused on the West Side of Chicago.

Our plans begin with a single lot or building funded by a developer and supported by artists and community members.  They extend to encompass multiple sites throughout a neighborhood that are designed for and marketed to a diverse range of socio-economic groups.  Our typologies provide space for everyone ranging from those at risk of homelessness to those working in senior roles at large corporations.  We pull this unlikely group of people together through a neighborhood focused on agriculture, sustained by ecologically sensitive design, enhanced by smart city technologies, and integrated with employment opportunities.  Our ultimate goal is for this process to create jobs, generate a return for investors, and make a real difference in the community. 

About Walker Thisted, Founding Principal 

Walker designs buildings, art, films, products, events, cities, and companies.

Walker Thisted brings over fifteen years of experience with art, architecture, and design to his role.  After graduating from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, he earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University under the supervision of Dean Mohsen Mostafavi.  He has worked for Atelier Seraji in Paris, Nagle Hartray in Chicago, and directly for Bill Pedersen and Jill Lerner at Kohn, Pedersen, and Fox in New York.  During this period, Walker was commissioned to design private residences in Venezuela, Chicago, and the US Virgin Islands along with the interiors of homes in New York and Chicago.  

Walker earned a Master of Fine Art from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in Film, Video, and New Media and since graduating has worked as an independent artist, freelance still and moving photographer, director, editor, designer, and experience producer.  Walker has shown his work at galleries in Chicago, New York, Ithaca, San Francisco, Rome, and Berlin.  His work probes the nature of the city through images, films, paintings, sculptures, and writing in order to explore how we inhabit cities and if an alternative might exist to their present configuration.  He currently presents a series of site-specific artwork online at theowit.net.

On June 1st, 2014 Walker returned his focus to architecture and urbanism by founding Naught as an art, architecture, and design firm.  Naught has come to include partnerships with architects, designers, real estate developers, and interns from local architecture schools.

Walker leads Naught’s initiative to remake sections of the city that are at risk of violence and decay by drawing on extensive research concerning the history of architecture, urbanism, and cities.  This research has come to focus on the economics of space, art, and cities in order to develop a theory behind how we create, exist within, and move through space and time.  This unique combination of theoretical and practical knowledge across related disciplines allows Walker to approach planning and design from the level of existence and experience in order to create a strategy that evolves organically from an event and moment of wonder into a broad work that is built over a large tract of land. 

Walker is also the Lead Producer of video series created by BuiltWorlds.

Download Curriculum Vitae HERE.