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CAC is excited to celebrate 41 years of showcasing the talents of Chicagoland high school students solving real-world architecture, design and engineering problems.

2023 Newhouse

The theme of the 41st annual Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition is Sustainability Through the Lens of Biophilia. Sustainable architecture is designing with our city and our planet's future in mind. Newhouse 2023 asks students to consider how this architecture style intersects with biophilia, which is the idea that humans inherently desire a connection to nature and natural elements.

Sustainability Basics

Sustainability has been defines as, "fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being." This definition was first seen in the Brundtland Report of 1987. This should be the underlying current through all Newhouse projects.

Biophilia Basics

Biophilic design incorporates nature and its elements, being mindful of things like daylight, different angles to observe nature, natural materials and natural features, into architecture and interior designs. The term "biophilia" was popularized by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in the 1960s. In his work, he used the word from bio-, meaning "life," and -philia, meaning "friendly feeling toward" to describe the biological drive toward self-preservation and the innate human connection with nature.

Developing and Submitting Your Project

Students can choose to submit work in one of the following categories: Design, Engineering, Construction and Architecture. The Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition is free to enter.

Participation requires online registration, using a portal called SlideRoom. This registration creates a unique account where students will later upload photos, artwork, renderings, etc. Refer to each Division Description for specifics on what to unpload.

Competition Manuals by Division

Architectural Construction Design Engineering

2023 Timeline

January 16: Registration open and competition live

April 14: Competition closes

April 17-21: Jury review

May 20: Showcase at Chicago Architecture Center

Questions? Want to learn more about how to get involved? Email