BP Student Design Competition


The 2017 BP Student Design Competition invites young Chicagoans to solve a design challenge. Students can choose to create a bus shelter advertisement promoting a Chicago neighborhood, or design a public library that will serve as a vibrant community space. The competition opens September 1 and closes November 30, 2017.

The competition is sponsored by BP America and organized by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The 2017 Biennial theme, “Make New History,” serves as the inspiration for this year's competition. Strong entries will explore how the past informs the future and how our daily lives can be transformed by the built environment.

Level 1

Graphic Design Division:
Chicago Neighborhood Bus Shelter Ad

Ages 10 and up

Chicago has more than 130 bus routes that are used by more than 800,000 people each weekday. Design a bus shelter advertisement for your neighborhood that will entice people to want to visit. Your design must respond to the Biennial’s theme “Make New History” by showcasing and celebrating your Chicago neighborhood’s unique past, present and future.

Entries must be two-dimensional and can use any media (crayon, paint, marker, digital, etc.) or mixed-media. All entries must be scanned or photographed to be uploaded to the competition portal.

Level 2

Architecture Design Division:
Library + Community Space Design

Ages 14 and up

There are 79 public libraries in Chicago that serve as community anchors, and spaces where people can come together for civic and community activities. Yet, not everyone has access to a library within walking distance of their house. Design a library on 75’x125’ lot in the Little Italy neighborhood to improve access to this public resource. Designs must be engaging, attractive, safe and accessible for all ages. Strong entries will enhance the unique qualities of the site and community.

Entries may be 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional or both, and can use any media (cardboard, paper, pencil, digital, etc.). A photo or digital file of your entry must be uploaded to the competition portal.



To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Must be a resident of the City of Chicago
  • Must attend an elementary school or high school in the City of Chicago
  • Free to enter

Competition Timeline

September 1
Competition registration opens
November 30
Registration closes; submissions due
December 6
Jury day
December 12
Final showcase and winners announced

Winners & Prizes

Competition winners will receive free design software and varying cash prizes. They will receive public recognition at the final showcase and have their work on display at the Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Competition manual and other resources are available to download here.

Download PDF


Final submissions are due by November 30.


Still need to register? Start here