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At the Chicago Architecture Center, 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 the CAC. 

CAC Live: Women in Architecture Tour

Take a 45-minute live, virtual tour with CAC docent Mary Jo Hoag on June 30 or July 5 to discover stunning buildings designed by female architects. Highlights include the Equitable Building, Aqua Tower, Vista Tower and more.

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Architecture Camp 2.0

How do you take something old and make it new again? Campers ages 11-14 will use iconic Chicago buildings as case studies at this virtual camp June 29-July 3 to reimagine an existing building or empty space in their neighborhood for a new purpose.

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Architecture Camp 1.0

Ready to think like an architect? Join us June 29-July 3 or July 6-10 for a virtual camp to learn architecture basics. Campers ages 8-10 will be introduced to sketching and model building through guided lessons, activities and virtual walking tours.

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CAC Live: Graceland Cemetery

Join CAC docent Dick Clark on June 6 or June 17 as he shares fascinating stories about Chicago’s beautiful and serene Graceland Cemetery—from the lives of the people laid to rest there to a large variety of interesting monuments.

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CAC Live: What House Museums Tell Us

Join museum expert and CAC Education Facilitator Paul Neumann as he looks at a broad array of house museums across the U.S., including Pabst Mansion, Glass House and Hearst Castle, along with Chicago’s Glessner House and Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

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CAC Live: The Future of the Hospital

Part of the CAC’s “What’s Next” series • Rush University Medical Center is uniquely suited to contain infectious diseases and respond to surges that occur during public health crises. What lessons does it offer for architects of future hospitals?

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CAC Live: Contemporary Tour

This live, 45-minute virtual tour on May 26 or 31 with docent Mike McMains describes the influences of the Contemporary style, defines its characteristics and profiles several wonderful buildings from the last 20 years and their amazing architects.

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CAC Live: "The Kitchen" Book Talk

On a mission to design the perfect kitchen of his own, historic preservationist John Ota traveled across North America to find inspiration in the kitchens of famed figures. Hear more about his journey, as documented in his new book “The Kitchen.”

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CAC Live: Brutalism and Post-Modernism Tour

Modernism was the dominant style of high-rise architecture from the 1960s through the 1980s, but not everyone was a fan. Learn about new styles that emerged as reactions—Brutalism and Postmodernism—on this live, 45-minute tour on May 19 or 24.

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CAC Live: Mid-Century Modernism Tour

When skyscrapers began to rise again after a long hiatus during World War II, a new style of architecture emerged: Mid-Century Modernism. Join CAC docent Mike McMains on May 12 or 17 for a live, 45-minute tour that highlights buildings from this era.

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CAC Live: A Tale of Two Fairs

Did you know Chicago hosted two world's fairs, 40 years apart? Join us on April 29 or May 20 to compare and contrast the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the Century of Progress International Exposition held in 1933.

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CAC Live: The Rise of the Skyscraper

Why is Chicago often considered the birthplace of the skyscraper? Explore the history of these tall buildings on April 25 or May 16 and discover how Chicago became a global center for high-rise design, innovation and engineering.

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CAC Live: Chicago Public Art Stories

Chicago’s public art collection is vast, varied and endlessly interesting. Join CAC docent Ed McDevitt on April 11 or May 13 as he leads this engaging introduction to some of Chicago’s greatest public art treasures.

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CAC For the Family: Design Club

Explore the ways architecture and design impact you every day! This five-day program introduces design thinking to young learners ages 6-12 through fun, interactive lessons, with support from CAC education staff.

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CAC Live: The Vision of Illinois Center

Learn how an abandoned railway freight yard was transformed into an important urban development called Illinois Center—home of the CAC. Join us on April 15 or May 9 to discover how Illinois Center was designed for people to “work, live and play.”

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CAC Live: The Future of the Office

Part of the CAC’s “What’s Next” series • The office environment, collaborative by nature, presents distinct challenges in a world still recovering from a pandemic. Hear how architects, designers and their clients are exploring creative solutions…

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CAC Live: Women of the 1893 World's Fair

Several women played significant roles in making the 1893 World’s Fair a spectacularly grand affair. CAC docent Kathleen Carpenter will introduce you to these remarkable women artists, activists and achievers on April 18 and May 6.

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CAC Live: Beaux-Arts Tour

Beaux-Arts style architecture can be found everywhere you turn in Chicago's Loop. Join CAC docent Mike McMains on May 1 or May 3 as he highlights several impressive Beaux-Arts buildings on this 45-minute live, virtual tour.

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CAC Live: Art Deco Skyscrapers

Join us on April 22 or May 2 to learn about some of Chicago’s most stunning Art Deco skyscrapers and the defining characteristics of the architectural style, which epitomized the prosperity and optimism of the Roaring Twenties.

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CAC Live: "City on a Hill" Book Talk

How has the quest for Utopia shaped American cities? Join urban planner and professor Alex Krieger as he explores the dreams and ideals that have long influenced our urban settlements, as told in his new book, “City on a Hill.”

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CAC Live: Chicago Commercial Tour

Take a 45-minute live, virtual tour of Chicago Commercial buildings with CAC docent Mike McMains! Hosted on April 21 and 26, this is the first topic in a series of weekly tours McMains will lead in downtown Chicago through the end of May.

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CAC Live: "Design Is Storytelling" Book Talk

Author Ellen Lupton will share insights from her book “Design Is Storytelling,” filled with sharp commentary and social observations about the way designers use storytelling techniques to create satisfying graphics, products, services and experiences…

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Family Day

The school year is a busy time. We’ve combined all your favorite elements from our design studio, exhibits and Mobile Architecture Lab into a full day of architecture and exploration—just for families! Join us from 10am—2pm on the second Saturday…

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LEGO® BUILD: 150 N Riverside

Marvel at the engineering of 150 North Riverside, the 54-story office building on the Chicago River with a very narrow base. After learning about one of Chicago’s most curious buildings, create a LEGO ® structure that is just as strong and unique.

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Newhouse Workshop: Planning and Modeling

If you’re working on the “Architecture + Planning” or “Architectural Modeling” Newhouse Competition challenges, this free workshop is for you. Come gain valuable insights from CAC staff and get help getting started on your project. This workshop…

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Newhouse Workshop: Open Design and Engineering

If you’re working on the “Open Design + Build” or “Architecture + Engineering” Newhouse Competition challenges, this free workshop is for you. Come gain valuable insights from CAC staff and get help getting started on your project. This workshop…

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LEGO® BUILD: NBC Tower

Take a walk outside to observe NBC Tower, an iconic Postmodern building across the river from the CAC. Discover how Art Deco inspired the design, then create your own version of the office building.

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Member Night

On March 18, enjoy the CAC after-hours at this special members-only celebration. Mingle with fellow architecture enthusiasts, enjoy light snacks and beverages, take a mini-tour through the CAC and hear about Chicago’s newest architecture developments…

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Newhouse Workshop: Fine Arts and Graphic Design

If you’re working on the “Fine Arts” or “Graphic Design” Newhouse Competition challenges, this free workshop is for you. Come gain valuable insights from CAC staff and get help getting started on your project. This workshop is from 10am - 2pm…

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Retrofitting the Suburbs

How do we retrofit suburbs to be livable, sustainable, and economically viable places in the long run? Join this illuminating discussion with an urban planner, a developer and a designer on the front lines of reshaping Chicago’s suburbs.

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CAC Live April 4: Architecture Essentials

Join CAC Director of Interpretation Adam Rubin online for a virtual version of our engaging program for emerging architecture enthusiasts. Learn fun facts about significant Chicago buildings and key architectural terms, styles and materials.

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CAC Live April 7: Architecture Essentials

Join CAC Director of Interpretation Adam Rubin online for a virtual version of our engaging program for architecture enthusiasts. Learn fun facts about significant Chicago buildings and key architectural terms, styles and materials.

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Chicago Architecture Center Gala 2020

On July 23, the CAC is proud to present a free, virtual experience you won’t want to miss! We are excited to bring you our annual Gala in a fun, new way this year. Come celebrate the CAC and the 10th anniversary of our Open House Chicago festival.

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Design Dialogues: The Future of Airport Design

The best airport terminals are easy-to-navigate spaces of architectural intrigue. Hear from a panel of leading architects who are charting a new course for airport design. Learn how they’re pulling off bold—yet functional and future-proof—visions…

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Girls Build!: Architecture Essentials

This class, designed for first-time Girls Build! participants, will help female-identifying students ages 11-14 understand architecture essentials. Together we'll use the design process to create a series of architectural plans and a massing model.

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Adaptable House: The Next Chicago Bungalow

Learn about Adaptable House, a re-imagining of the classic Chicago bungalow as a flexible home that grows with changing family needs. Meet Greg Tamborino, the architect behind the award-winning design, which won the 2019 Disruptive Design competition…

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Girls Build!: Interior Design

This six-week scholarship program for girls ages 11-14 will give students a chance to explore the exciting world of interior design, through hands-on projects, interactions with professional designers and behind-the-scenes tours of design firms.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s World Heritage Sites

Hear from preservationists and advocates about what went into researching and applying for the World Heritage status that was recently awarded to eight Frank Lloyd Wright sites across the U.S.—including local icons Robie House and Unity Temple.

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Imagine

Take a guided tour through the CAC to explore technological innovations architects and engineers use to keep building higher, then use your imagination to build your own innovative structure with LEGO®!

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Girls Build! Day

This event has reached capacity. Inquiries about Girls Build! Day can be directed to Angela Esposito at aesposito@architecture.org.

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Teen Open Studio - Dec. 12

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Teen Open Studio - Dec. 5

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Teen Open Studio - Nov. 21

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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The Versatile Skyscraper of the Future

What does the future hold for skyscrapers? We’ll take a look at buildings with flexible floor plates, movable walls, robotic features and other abilities to reconfigure. What bold innovations are still to come? Hear from our panel of experts.

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Member Double Discount Days

Kick start your holiday shopping at the CAC during Member Double Discount Days on November 16–24! Members get first access to the best holiday gifts and a special discount of 25% on all store purchases! Check everything off your list and take a walk…

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Teen Open Studio - Nov. 14

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Teen Open Studio - Nov. 7

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Teen Open Studio - Oct. 24

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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OHC Family Festival

Attend the OHC Family Festival on Oct. 19 or 20 at the pavilion, where you can stand on the stage and see the world-renowned sound system and performance space up-close. Self-guided tours and make-and-take activities will be available both days.

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Open House Chicago

Open House Chicago is one of the largest architecture events of its kind in the world. The free festival typically offers access to hundreds of sites across Chicago, from iconic locations to under-the-radar architectural gems.

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Teen Open Studio - Oct. 17

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Crossing the Line

Reflecting on the 1919 Race Riot, join a dialogue on the power of lines in shaping places and lives. This program is presented in connection with the Chicago Architectural Club’s 2018 Chicago Prize Competition entitled “Crossing the Line.”

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Teen Open Studio - Oct. 10

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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CAC Educator Reception

Our annual educator reception is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with everything the CAC can offer your students. Explore our exhibits, talk with education staff and enter for a chance to win door prizes, including field trip vouchers!

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Celebrating 30 years of Brininstool + Lynch Design

For 30 years, Chicago-based architecture firm Brininstool + Lynch has designed elegant, contemporary homes and civic spaces. Join partners David Brininstool and Brad Lynch as they discuss the projects featured in their new book, “Making Architecture…

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Teen Open Studio - Oct. 3

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Biennial Teacher Training - Oct. 1

Bring the Chicago Architecture Biennial into your classroom this fall! Teachers are invited to attend a free training from 4:30-7:30pm to learn more about the Biennial’s themes and how it can support teaching and learning.

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Biennial Teacher Training - Sept. 28

Bring the Chicago Architecture Biennial into your classroom this fall! Teachers are invited to attend a free training from 9am to noon to learn more about the Biennial’s themes and how it can support teaching and learning.

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Teen Open Studio - Sep. 26

Join us in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio on Thursdays from 5—7pm during the school year to get feedback and guidance on independent or competition projects. CPS students are eligible for a stipend when they attend eight or more studios.

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Daytime Talk: Open House Chicago Preview

Join us for a special sneak peek of Open House Chicago (OHC), our free, annual architecture festival taking place Oct. 19-20 at more than 250 sites across the city. Hear what’s new and exciting in this ninth year of the event.

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Reinterpreting Garfield Park's Landscape

Hear from two Danish artists about their Chicago Architecture Biennial project, which reimagines the Garfield Park Conservatory landscape with a field of 10,000 cabbages and an outdoor kitchen, designed to be a local community gathering spot.

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LEGO Build Workshop: 111 E. Wacker

Come learn what makes our home—the International style 111 E. Wacker building—unique at our monthly LEGO Build! Construct a LEGO structure inspired by 111 E. Wacker, where Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” philosophy is very apparent.

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Mobile Architecture Lab

Ready to take the Chicago Architecture Center to the next level?! Visit our Mobile Architecture Lab on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 3pm to interact with the CAC exhibits in new and exciting ways. The lab features fun, hands-on activities…

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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.

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Chicago Cultural Center

Construct a LEGO® structure with arches, domes and vaults after seeing these architectural elements in-person on a short visit to the Chicago Cultural Center! Come learn about this amazing 1897 landmark and gain inspiration for your own creation.

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Millennium Park Family Fun Tent

Join CAC at Millennium Park’s Family Fun Festival from Aug. 5-9. We’ll offer engaging, hands-on activities to inspire families to discover why design matters! Learn about architecture and the city through activities that encourage looking, drawing…

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Read and Build: Science of Architecture

Have you ever wondered how buildings stand tall and strong? Join us to learn about the science of architecture! Drop in any time before 11am to enjoy multiple readings of “Elara STEM Girl” by Leela Ayyar.

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Discovering Bronzeville’s Lost Past at IIT

Last year, an astonishing architectural discovery occurred at the Illinois Institute of Technology—remnants of a World’s Fair-era building were found under Crown Hall. Hear about Bronzeville’s lost past and how IIT is trying to recapture some of…

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