Sign up for E-update

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:
August: Surface  Register Now>>
September: Mass Register Now>>
October: Symmetry Register Now>>
November: City Scale
December: Home for the Holidays


The following dates will not be available:
August 31st (Labor Day Weekend)
October 19th (OHC Weekend)
November 30th (Thanksgiving Weekend)
December 28th (Christmas Weekend)

Design and Drinks

Official Beer Sponsor of CAF


Wednesday. September 17, 2014

Drinks + Design

Explore the playful side of architecture and engineering during this hands-on program for adults using recycled materials while enjoying an after-work drink. Volunteer architects from Architecture for Humanity will lead a creative building exercise during the program!

TIME: 6pm-8pm
COST: $20/$15 Members
LOCATION: ArcelorMittal Design Studio at CAF, 224 S. Michigan Avenue


This program is sponsored in part by

 Southwest Airlines


Thursday, September 18, 2014

The BIG IDEA: Intersections of Design and Big Data

Join us as we welcome New York-based author, urbanist and national speaker Vishaan Chakrabarti for an evening lecture and dialogue moderated by noted architectural commenter Reed Kroloff. Through his work with SHoP Architects, Chakrabarti has played a significant role in the redevelopment of New York's Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park), including the design of Barclays Center and the forthcoming 30 Sixth Avenue, a 100% affordable housing project slated to break ground next June.

TIME: 6:30pm-8pm
COST: $20/$15 Members/$10 for students
LOCATION: Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue
AIA CES credits: 1



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Unlocking the Value of the Old Cook County Hospital: Open Forum and Charrette Kickoff

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is partnering with Cook County to gather ideas about the future of the old Cook County Hospital Campus, and we want to hear your thoughts online and in person. Join us on September 23 for apresentation from the County on the redevelopment process, insights from civic organizations, a time for public comment, and a hands-on workshop. This evening will kick off a two-week charrette, during which invited organizations and other interested parties will create development briefs illustrating their design concepts for the site. Make sure to attend if you'd like to participate in the charrette! Also mark your calendar for a presentation of the charrette results on October 7th.

TIME: 5pm - 8pm
COST: FREE and open to the public; RSVP suggested
LOCATION: Hektoen Building Auditorium, 627 S. Wood Street



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

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. If you can't make it in person, watch the live stream online.

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



Saturday, October 18 and Sunday October 19, 2014

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.

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


Saturday October 18 & Sunday October 19, 2014

Open House Chicago

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.

COST: Free


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

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



This Week's Public Programs

Drinks + Design
Wed, 17 Sep 2014
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The BIG IDEA: Intersections of Design and Big Data
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Back to School Studio: Cut, Copy, Paste
Sat, 20 Sep 2014
11:00 AM - 2:30 PM

More Events


Download our 2014
September/October Calendar!



Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60604  |  312.922.3432  |   Privacy Policy  |   © Copyright 2012