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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—daytime, 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

For many architects, building with LEGO 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 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

Schedule of themes:
January: Nature   REGISTER NOW >
February: Repetition

The following dates will not be available:

February 22nd (Engineering Festival Weekend)
April 5th (Easter Weekend)
October 18th (Open House Chicago Weekend)
December 27th (Christmas Weekend)

CAF Drinks + Design: Inspired by Nature

Official Beer Sponsor of CAF

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Drinks + Design: Inspired by Nature

Drinks + Design in the Studio is a monthly, hands-on program for adults (21+). Participants will meet in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF to explore the playful side of architecture and design using LEGO® while enjoying an after-work drink.

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

This event is currently sold out. Please check back for future Drinks + Design events!

Chicago Architecture Club Barak Obama Library prize competition

Official Beer Sponsor of CAF

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exhibition Opening Reception and Announcement of Winners
2014 Chicago Prize: The Barack Obama Presidential Library Design Competition

Join us to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition featuring presidential library designs from the Chicago Architectural Club 2014 Chicago Prize. A jury of prominent architects will lead a discussion on the speculative proposals for a Barack Obama Presidential Library in downtown Chicago, initiating a debate that will encourage us to rethink and redefine this particular building typology. The announcement of winners will be followed by a reception and time to view the exhibition.

TIME: 6pm - 8pm
COST: Free
LOCATION: CAF Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Avenue


Presented in partnership with the Chicago Architectural Club, with support from AIA Chicago and SOM.

Chicago Architecture Club AIA Chicago logo SOM logo

CAFamily Studio: Read + Build

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CAFamily Studio: Read and Build

Join us for Read and Build, an exciting new monthly studio for young designers age 3-5. On Wednesday, February 4th, children will read Rosie Revere, Engineer! by Andrea Beaty and build their own flying device inspired by Rosie's creative design!

Note: Older siblings and friends up to age 7 will also enjoy this studio.

TIME: 10—11am
COST: Children- $5, Children of members- FREE
LOCATION: ArcelorMittal Design Studio, 224 S. Michigan Avenue

Designing Robots: Programming with LEGO Mindstorm
LEGO Architecture Studio logo

Monday, February 16, 2015

Designing Robots: Programming with LEGO Mindstorm

No school? No problem! Your kids can spend their day off at the Chicago Architecture Foundation learning how to program LEGO Mindstorm Robots! LEGO Mindstorm is a robotics construction set that gives you the power to create and command your own LEGO robots. Students will learn programming basics, construct robots and then maneuver them through LEGO architecture inspired obstacle courses.

This series is recommended for students in grades 6-8. Students will need to bring a packed lunch to this workshop.

TIME: 10am—3:30pm
COST: $35 non-members, $25 members
LOCATION: ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola

Official Media Partner

Thursday, February, 19 2015

Institute of Environmental Sustainability - Loyola

The new—Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) designed—Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola is a beacon of sustainable building in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. CAF's Behind the Scenes tour, led by Monica Willemsen and David Swain of SCB, and Aaron Durnbaugh of Loyola, includes visits to the Clean Energy Lab, Greenhouse, Geothermal System and San Francisco Hall.

TIME: 6pm - 8pm
COST: $17 / $12 Members
LOCATION: 6349 N. Kenmore Ave.

Design Dialogues - Post-Industrial Chicago

Official Beer Sponsor of CAF

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Design Dialogues
Post-Industrial Chicago: Retrofitting our building stock for the booming tech business

Join us for a discussion on how Chicago’s tech sector boom is shaping former industrial neighborhoods. From Google at the Fulton Cold Storage building to Groupon at the old Montgomery Ward warehouse, we’ll explore the waxing and waning interest in converting industrial buildings, innovations in collaborative workplace design, the impact that tech firms have on specific neighborhoods like West Town and River North, and the role of preservation in attracting economic development, with the proposed Fulton Randolph Market District as a case study.


  • Eleanor Gorski, Assistant Commissioner and Director of Historic Preservation at Chicago Department of Planning and Development
  • Dan Kraiss, LEED AP, Principal, Box Studios; designer of Groupon and Lightbank
  • Chris Bentley, Midwest Editor, Architect's Newspaper; moderator

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


More about Design Dialogues

What are the latest issues and projects in Chicago's architecture and urban design? Join us on the second Tuesday evening of every month as CAF convenes a panel of leading architects, developers, policy makers, and journalists for a lively discussion on issues affecting Chicago' built environment today. After hearing from the experts, stick around to talk more about the topic over a beer.

Upcoming Topics

  • April 10 - Chicago Playscapes: Bringing innovation to park design
  • May 12 - Chicago’s Recession Story: From stalled mega-projects to the foreclosure crisis
  • June 9 - A connected river walk: How Chicago’s newest amenity is changing the city
  • July 14 - Downtown hotel boom: Significant historic buildings benefiting from the ‘Millennium Park Effect’
  • August - break

This Week's Public Programs

Drinks + Design: Inspired by Nature
Wed, 28 Jan 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

More Events


Download our 2015
January/February Calendar!



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