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At Chicago Architecture Foundation, our programs and events help you think differently about the places we live, work and play. Get behind-the-scenes access to the city's architectural treasures. Practice your design skills while you play with your family. Participate in expert-led discussions about the latest urban design issues. With these offerings and so many more to choose from, we guarantee there’s something inspiring and fun for you at CAF. 

Recommended Programs

Chicago Riverwalk Talks

Join us on the Riverwalk as we discuss “The River and Its Architecture – Work, Play and Live”. Learn about the River’s past and plans for the future, the Riverwalk design and why this new playscape is an exciting addition to Chicago.

Price
Free
Meet
Riverwalk "Theater" area (between the Clark and LaSalle Street bridges)

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Price
Free
Meet
Riverwalk "Theater" area (between the Clark and LaSalle Street bridges)

Minecraft: Redesign a Park

Visit and study parks in the Loop and learn what it takes to design an outdoor space with the community in mind. Campers age 11 to 14 will meet with architects and designers and redesign an existing park in Minecraft.

Price
$540 public, $427 CAF members
Date
June 26, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Sold Out

Price
$540 public, $427 CAF members
Date
June 26, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Daytime Talk: CPL's New Thomas Hughes Children's Library

Hear about plans to renovate and modernize the Thomas Hughes Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library. Brian Vitale, design director and principal at Gensler, will share his firm’s re-imagination of the 25,000-square-foot space.

Price
$5 public, Free for CAF members*
Date
June 28, 2017
Time
12:15 pm
Meet
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$5 public, Free for CAF members*
Date
June 28, 2017
Time
12:15 pm
Meet
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Read and Build: Bridges

Chicago is known for its iconic bridges. Come build a bridge from a variety of wacky supplies, then test how much weight it can hold! Drop in any time between 9am and noon for multiple readings of “Twenty-One Elephants” by April Jones Prince.

Price
Free
Date
July 2, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
Free
Date
July 2, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Minecraft: Skyscrapers of Tomorrow

Design and build your own skyscraper city in Minecraft! Students age 7 to 10 are invited to take part in this 3-day camp, which includes short walking tours to visit and study buildings in the Loop.

Price
$360 public, $285 CAF members
Date
July 5, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Sold Out

Price
$360 public, $285 CAF members
Date
July 5, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

SustainableXDesign: Design Challenge 2017

CAF has partnered with Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development to host an intensive, 3-week design program for teens in grades 9-12 this summer.

Price
Dependent on application type*
Date
July 16, 2017
Time
8:30 am
Meet
Evanston, Illinois

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Price
Dependent on application type*
Date
July 16, 2017
Time
8:30 am
Meet
Evanston, Illinois

LEGO® Build Workshop: Jay Pritzker Pavilion

The Pavilion's architect, Frank Gehry, created curved and abstract structures inspired by art and music. Join us as we visit the iconic pavilion (weather permitting) and learn about Chicago’s great parks. Back in the studio, use LEGO® to build your…

Price
$12 public, Free for CAF members
Date
July 16, 2017
Time
12:00 pm
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Register

Price
$12 public, Free for CAF members
Date
July 16, 2017
Time
12:00 pm
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Architecture Camp

Children age 7 to 10 will learn about the shapes and structures that keep Chicago’s buildings standing. We'll study examples in the Loop and explore architecture through sketching, model building, storytelling and of course, LEGO®.

Price
$455* public, $360* CAF members
Date
July 17, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Sold Out

Price
$455* public, $360* CAF members
Date
July 17, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Members Only: Lake Cruise and Fireworks

Our members-only cruise is your chance to take in the city's architecture from a different perspective—on Lake Michigan. Join CAF for an exclusive architecture cruise highlighting Chicago's magnificent skyline, the Lake Michigan shoreline and the river…

Price
$75 CAF members
Date
July 19, 2017
Time
7:30 pm
Meet
Chicago's First Lady Riverside Gardens Dock, southeast corner of the Michigan Ave. bridge (Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr.)

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Price
$75 CAF members
Date
July 19, 2017
Time
7:30 pm
Meet
Chicago's First Lady Riverside Gardens Dock, southeast corner of the Michigan Ave. bridge (Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr.)

Saturday Studio: July

Join us from 12-3pm in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio to work with architects, designers and professional mentors from the Chicago area. These hands-on studios help develop basic architecture and design skills while solving real-world challenges.

Price
Free
Date
July 22, 2017
Time
12:00 pm
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Register

Price
Free
Date
July 22, 2017
Time
12:00 pm
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Auxiliary Board River Cruise Fundraiser: Luau on the River

Join the CAF Auxiliary Board on their annual river cruise fundraiser benefiting CAF’s Teen Academy. Guests will enjoy a sunset cruise with world-class architecture, cocktails, delicious small bites and on-board entertainment. This year’s theme is "Luau…

Price
$125 per ticket, $1,000 and up for sponsorships
Date
July 25, 2017
Time
6:45 pm
Meet
Chicago's First Lady dock, located at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr.

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Price
$125 per ticket, $1,000 and up for sponsorships
Date
July 25, 2017
Time
6:45 pm
Meet
Chicago's First Lady dock, located at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr.

Daytime Talk: Dan Kiley's South Garden

Join us for a special walking tour of the Art Institute of Chicago’s South Garden. CAF has arranged this tour to coincide with our new exhibit, The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley.

Price
$5 public, Free for CAF members*
Date
July 26, 2017
Time
12:15 pm
Meet
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Register

Price
$5 public, Free for CAF members*
Date
July 26, 2017
Time
12:15 pm
Meet
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Seminar: Smartphone Photography 101

Step up your smartphone photography game during this walk-and-shoot seminar in the heart of the city! Local author, CAF docent and avid Instagrammer Molly Page will help you take better architecture photos with any smartphone.

Price
$35 public, $28 CAF members
Date
July 29, 2017
Time
9:30 am
Meet
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Register

Price
$35 public, $28 CAF members
Date
July 29, 2017
Time
9:30 am
Meet
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Read and Build: Bug Houses

Join us for a grass-hopping good time as we draw, cut and paint our very own bug houses, created for and inspired by insects. Drop-in any time between 9am and noon for multiple readings of “Roberto the Insect Architect” by Nina Laden.

Price
Free
Date
August 6, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Register

Price
Free
Date
August 6, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Girls Build! Parks and Playgrounds

Girls ages 11 to 14 are invited to learn about landscape architecture and design during this 5-day camp. They will explore parks and playgrounds near the Loop and design their own public park or backyard in our studio.

Price
$435 public, $345 CAF members
Date
August 7, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Learn More Sold Out

Price
$435 public, $345 CAF members
Date
August 7, 2017
Time
9:00 am
Meet
ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.