Jeff Link


Chicago, Illinois

Jeff Link

Chicago-based writer focusing on sustainable living and design



Designer Karim Rashid, the “Prince of Plastic,” Always Looks Forward—Never Back

Thought-provoking designer Karim Rashid has stayed true to singular vision while creating everything from garbage cans to Greek hotel interiors: design should always look forward—never back.

Scientist maps Future of Rare Southwestern Cactus

Driving through the deserts of the American southwest in a dusty pickup truck, Chicago Botanic Garden post-doctoral research associate Shannon Still is on a quest to predict the future.

Here Comes the Next Big Technological Boom: Drones in Construction

In Volterra, Italy, overlooking the Pignano limestone steps of one of the most well-preserved Roman theaters in the country, Richard Celender watched in awe as a 3D Robotics–made solo drone soared quietly overhead. Before his eyes, history was being remade. Celender is an FAA-licensed remote pilot and vice president of the Pittsburgh-based Civil & Environmental Consultants (CEC).

Can Steelcase’s Office Of The Future Make Corporate America Rethink The Drab Modern Workplace?

There may be days you dread going to the office. Your 8-by-10-foot cubicle is starting to feel cramped. Your Instagram filters all look beige, and no matter how you adjust your lumbar support, your neck feels like that of a sick crane’s. Scenes from Office Space seem achingly poignant, not for their satirical bite, but their verisimilitude.
Fast Company Link to Story

Why Chicago Is Becoming The Country’s Urban Farming Capital

When you walk into Farmed Here’s 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Bedford Park, a sleepy industrial outpost about 15 miles southwest of Chicago, you might not immediately register that you're standing in the second coming of the locavore movement. Upstairs, the corporate office resembles that of a low-budget Silicon Valley startup: an unfurnished cube with Post-it notes stuck to the wall, a dry-erase board etched with circuit board-like schematics, and an executive team crowded around a table with their laptops out.
Co.Exist Link to Story

Paving the Way for a Smarter, Safer Future of Autonomous Vehicles

Tesla CEO Elon Musk once said self-driving cars are “solved,” comparing autonomous vehicles with “elevators that used to require operators but are now self-service.”. A little more than a year later, 40-year-old Joshua Brown died while driving a semiautonomous Tesla Model S. A truck made a legal left in front of Brown’s Tesla, but instead of stopping, the car sped under the truck’s trailer.
Redshift Link to Story

The Last Ash Standing

Jeffrey Carstens and Nikolis Ouelette left Ames, Iowa, in July 2017, in a Dodge minivan packed with pole pruners, pocket chain saws, brown paper and green mesh bags and Garmin GPS unit.

4 Bold Scenarios For A Future Chicago

Chicago survived the 1871 Great Fire, elevated a sizable chunk of its landmass, and redirected the Chicago River. But perhaps it's time for a new reinvention for the 21st century? Here are four of the more exciting visions for the Second City of the future. Back in 1836, city commissioners ruled the Chicago lakefront would be public land, "forever open, clear, and free of any buildings or construction whatsoever," a view echoed and made indelible by architect Daniel Burnham.
Co.Exist Link to Story

3D Printing Concrete: A 2,500-Square-Foot House in 20 Hours and an Eye on a Moon Shot

Spend a minute or two on the Internet, and you’ll find 3D printing can be used to build all sorts of things: automobile parts and prototypes, prosthetic ears, stem cells, submachine guns, eyeglasses, and even desserts customized to one’s nutritional requirements. But what about building construction?

Grown in Detroit

In a city known for its blight, Detroit’s 66,000 empty parcels are now being seen as places for private investors and ordinary citizens to experiment with green infrastructure, urban farming, reforestation, and….
Green Building & Design Link to Story

The Evening Primrose, the Hawk Moth, and the Mompha Moth: An Evolutionary Love Triangle

Last August, as dusk fell across the world’s largest deposit of gypsum sand dune, just west of Alamogordo, New Mexico, in White Sands National Monument, Krissa Skogen, a conservation scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden, knelt before a backlit fluttering bed sheet stretched over a frame of PVC pipe: a tent-sized moth trap.

Inside My Design Mind: Daniel Caudill of Shinola on Detroit-Made Goods

Shinola’s story could’ve been pulled from the dust jacket of a novel. A legacy watch, bicycle, and leather manufacturer—which takes its name from a turn-of-the-century shoe-polish company—embarks on a new era in American manufacturing, setting up shop in Detroit’s Argonaut Building. For all its intrigue, the story is also real, as Daniel Caudill, Shinola’s creative director, will plainly tell you.
Redshift Link to Story


Jeff Link

Jeff Link is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and an Eddie-nominated journalist. He tells humanly drawn stories about the ways in which earth science, urban development, architecture, and design affect people and landscapes. His work has appeared in "Fast Co.Exist," "New City," “Landscape Architecture Magazine,” “Green Building & Design,” and “American Builders Quarterly.” He is a regular contributor to the Chicago Botanic Garden's member magazine, "Keep Growing."

Jeff’s expertise as a storyteller draws on former experiences writing and editing in a number of professional settings. As a development officer for the Chicago Botanic Garden, he prepared grant proposals for prospective partners and endowment reports for individual donors. His work helped secure or sustain funding for plant conservation research and education from corporations such as HSBC, Midwest Foods, Walgreens, and Kraft Foods; foundations such as the Leo S. Guthman Fund and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust; and government agencies, including the Illinois State Library and United States Department of Agriculture.

As NTI Upstream’s senior editor, Jeff directed the nonfiction publishing division. This included managing title acquisition, maintaining the editorial tone and appearance of the company's print and online materials, executing strategic branding campaigns, and envisioning the voice of the firm across a variety of digital platforms. Books under his editorial direction were featured in the "New York Times" and “Wall Street Journal,” on NPR's "Weekend Edition," and in numerous televised broadcasts.

Earlier in his career, Jeff taught rhetoric and composition in DePaul University’s First-Year Writing Program and creative writing at The University of Iowa. He began his career as a journalist for Suburban News Publications.



  • magazine writing
  • editing
  • grant writing
  • creative strategy/consulting
  • reporting