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Drinks and Design activity

Whether for personal enrichment or professional growth, the Chicago Architecture Foundation offers an exciting schedule of programming that brings together people from different backgrounds and experiences to learn about Chicago’s architecture—past, present, and future. We offer programming in the areas of new construction, historic preservation, the future of Chicago, Chicago history, architecture in the neighborhoods, sustainability, landscape design, residential architecture, and featured works of architects and firms. 

No matter when you are available—lunchtime, evenings, or weekends—or how much time you have, there is something for your schedule!

Design Studio LEGO build
LEGO Architecture Studio logo

LEGO® Build

Every Sunday, beginning March 23, 2014

For many architects, building with LEGOs was their first step towards cultivating a mind for design, and they often return to this classic toy to spark their imagination. Today, sets like the LEGO Architecture Studio are more sophisticated and versatile than ever, appealing to teens and adults as well. Building with this set at the ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF is a fun way for people to get inspired by architecture and learn the fundamentals while creating their own designs!

Every Sunday in 2014, we host workshops led by guest designers, offering two sessions each day with themes that change monthly to drive the topics of discussion and kinds of structures that guests build. Our studios are open to all, and visitors under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

TIME: Two sessions (1pm – 2:30pm; 3pm – 4:30pm)
COST: $10 non-members, $5 members
LOCATION: ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave

2014 Schedule of Themes:
September: Mass Register Now>>
October: Symmetry Register Now>>
November: City Scale
December: Home for the Holidays


The following dates will not be available:
October 19th (OHC Weekend)
November 30th (Thanksgiving Weekend)
December 28th (Christmas Weekend)



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SOLD OUT: Unlocking the Value of the Old Cook County Hospital: Charrette Results and Panel Discussion

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is partnering with Cook County to gather ideas about the future of the old Cook County Hospital Campus. Join us for a presentation of charrette results (design/development proposals) from groups such as the Metropolitan Planning Council, Landmarks Illinois, Chicago Central Area Committee, and Lambda Alpha/Ely Chapter. A panel will respond to the presentations, and the audience will also have the opportunity to share ideas. REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL, BUT THE EVENT WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE ONLINE. Watch the live stream online here.

TIME: 5pm - 6pm (Reception); 6pm - 8pm (Program)
LOCATION: CAF Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Ave.


Saturday October 18 & Sunday October 19, 2014

The largest architectural festival in Chicago is back for its fourth year! Drawing more than 55,000 people in 2013, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago event is October 18 and 19, and includes more than 150 of the city’s greatest spaces and places from 18 neighborhoods across the city. This free public event offers participants behind-the-scenes access to many areas that are normally open “by invitation only.” Showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s architecture, sites include uncommonly seen and “restricted access” areas of public buildings, factories, historic mansions, private clubs, sacred spaces, schools, professional offices and cultural institutions, among others.

Presenting sponsor for Open House Chicago is Kemper Corporation. For more information visit openhousechicago.org.




Saturday, October 18 and Sunday October 19, 2014

FAMILY PROGRAM: Open House Chicago & City of Big Data

Join us for a day of interactive learning as we celebrate both Open House Chicago and our exhibit, Chicago: City of Big Data. Students and their families will learn about big data through interaction with the Chicago: City of Big Data exhibition, then use LEGO to create new buildings for Chicago's Loop based on what they've learned. Other drop-in design activities will also be available! Suitable for ages 5-12 with adult companions.

For more information and a full listing of adult and family programs during OHC, visit openhousechicago.org.

TIME: 11am - 3pm
LOCATION: ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave


 This program is sponsored, in part, by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Program developed in partnership with IBM.

Graham Foundation

Official beer sponsor of CAF:

 Southwest Airlines


Thursday, November 6, 2014

The BIG IDEA: Experience Data

John Tolva, Former Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, introduces us to a fascinating unveiling of three experiments using big data. See live demonstrations of networked objects, pioneering data visualizations and interact with streaming data from the streets just outside CAF's front doors. These are all part of a sensory experience to showcase the coming innovations that will shape urban life in our rapidly evolving smart cities.

TIME: 6pm-8pm
COST: $12/$7 Members
LOCATION: Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue




Media Partner

Monday, November 10, 2014

Behind-the-Scenes: NEIU's El Centro Campus

Join us for an exclusive tour of the brand new Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) El Centro urban campus with architect Juan Moreno of JGMA. Since opening its doors in September 2014, this striking building near the Kennedy Expressway and Belmont blue line station has offered convenience to commuter students and a heightened visibility for the University, in addition to providing an anchor for outreach to the Latino community in Chicago and neighbors in Avondale.

Moreno will speak to the group about designing this new anchor for NEIU, then small group tours led by members of the JGMA design team and NEIU student and faculty members will guide you through the classrooms, computer labs, a multi-media resource center, conference rooms, community and study rooms, and double-height reception lobby.

Moreno will present his talk in Spanish at 6:00pm then in English at 6:30pm. Please reserve your ticket based on language preference.

TIME: 6pm-8pm
COST: $15/$10 Members
LOCATION: El Centro, 3390 N. Avondale Avenue

Registration Available Soon



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