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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. 

Read and Build: Last Stop on Market Street

Drop in any time between 9am and 12pm to enjoy multiple readings of "Last Stop on Market Street" by Matt Pena. At each of our activity stations, we'll explore what makes a neighborhood special and paint with patterns to create a mixed-media community…

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Summer Camp: Catwalk Playlist

Design isn't just about architecture—it's a part of the fashion and music worlds, too! Campers ages 11-14 will explore how fashion, music and architecture share ideas and change throughout the decades. We'll tour the Loop, meet design professionals…

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Saturday Studio: Floor by Floor

This Saturday Studio will be led by Oak Park Station lead Evan Watson from FitzGerald Associates Architects. With the architect, students will make decisions, learn about what needs to go inside a building, and build out a design, floor by floor.

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Summer Camp: Passport to Architecture

We'll explore architecture from a bird's eye view as we follow the journey of Speck the Pigeon, in a globe-hopping tour of the world's most iconic buildings. Alongside Speck, students ages 7-11 will become passionate architecture explorers through walking…

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Wrigley Field

Sports draw big crowds in Chicago. Did you know that Wrigley Field can hold more than 42,000 people? Explore how stadiums are designed with crowds of cheering fans in mind, and create your own LEGO® baseball stadium.

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Summer Camp: Skyline Explorers

Have you ever looked at a skyscraper and wondered, "How did they do that?" Campers ages 7-11 will get to know the stories behind the skyline in this five-day camp. We'll explore buildings in the Loop, hosted by architects and designers, then write and…

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Saturday Studio: Site Specific Development

This Saturday Studio will be led by Oak Park Station lead Evan Watson from FitzGerald Associates Architects. Students will be challenged to design and build a series of buildings for a specific site to meet client needs. Students will learn about massing…

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Saturday Studio - May

Teens ages 13—18 will explore a new theme each month and work with great architects, designers, engineers and mentors from the Chicago area! In our ArcelorMittal Design Studio, we'll offer hands-on, studio-based workshops, fun design challenges and…

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Sketch Like an Architect

Learn the basics from architectural drawing expert Joel Berman! This daylong workshop provides an introduction to architectural free-hand sketching that's appropriate for seasoned artists as well as those with little experience. Supplies are provided…

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Members Only Travel Program: Springfield, Illinois

Join us for an exciting, architecture-rich trip to Springfield, the state capital of Illinois. Our two-day journey will take us to a pair of treasured Frank Lloyd Wright homes and to Springfield’s Greek Revival Old State Capitol building. We’ll also…

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Read and Build: Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich

In May, we'll hear a story about a gravity-defying sandwich, then build our own take-home towers, built layer by layer, the way Sammy does it. Drop in any time between 9am and 12pm to enjoy multiple readings of Lorraine Francis's "Sammy and the Skyscraper…

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Saturday Studio - April

Teens ages 13—18 will explore a new theme each month and work with great architects, designers, engineers and mentors from the Chicago area! In our ArcelorMittal Design Studio, we'll offer hands-on, studio-based workshops, fun design challenges and…

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Federal Center

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is known for his simple designs and the phrase "less is more." Adults and children (grades 3 and up) are invited to join us from 12 to 3pm and discover the details on a site visit, do some outdoor sketches and recreate…

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CAF's 50th Birthday Bash

Join us for a celebration of CAF's 50th anniversary! Activities for all ages will take place throughout the historic Railway Exchange Building, home to CAF since 1992. This building-wide anniversary blowout will feature a brand new exhibition, plus talks…

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Current Projects: Chicago River Building Boom

With the upcoming completion of the main branch of the Riverwalk, the City’s long-held vision for our “second shoreline” is coming into focus. But high above the river banks, change is happening just as dramatically. Join us for a design review…

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Read and Build: Roberto the Insect Architect

This month we'll learn about animal architecture from an insect builder, a termite named Roberto. Drop in any time between 9am and 12pm to make your take-home birdhouse and enjoy multiple readings of Nina Laden's "Roberto, The Insect Architect."

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Saturday Studio - March

Teens ages 13—18 will explore a new theme each month and work with great architects, designers, engineers and mentors from the Chicago area! In our ArcelorMittal Design Studio, we'll offer hands-on, studio-based workshops, fun design challenges and…

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Read and Build: Home

Drop in any time between 9am and 12pm for a morning of making and storytelling, with multiple readings of "Home" by Carson Ellis. Together we'll learn about different types of homes, then design and build your own dream home using studio materials.

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Three Types of Bridges

Chicago is the birthplace of skyscrapers, but it's also known for its innovative bridges. In this LEGO® Build Workshop, we'll learn about three different types of bridges and how engineers built them strong enough to span the Chicago River. We'll also…

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LEGO® Mindstorms 1.0

Nothing planned for your kids' day off from school? No problem. Let them play and discover with CAF's LEGO® Mindstorms 1.0! From 10am to 3:30pm, your kids can learn to program and design for LEGO® Mindstorms, the robotics construction kits that give…

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Design Dialogues: The Future of Work

We begin our 2016 Design Dialogues lecture series with a look at recent trends that are changing work and the workplace. How will we all commute to our next jobs? And to what place, real or virtual, will many of us be asked to travel? Join us for a discussion…

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Read and Build: Young Frank, Architect

Join us for a morning of making and storytelling. Drop in any time between 9am and 12pm for activities and multiple readings of "Young Frank, Architect" by Frank Viva. We'll learn about different styles of design from old Frank and young Frank as we build…

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Book Club: The Third Coast

Join Paul Durica—author, historian and producer of Pocket Guide to Hell—for a deeper read of this season’s One Book, One Chicago selection The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream. At each session, we’ll dive into Thomas Dyja’s…

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Saturday Studio: Sustainable Design

Work with great architects, designers, engineers and mentors from the Chicago area! Our hands-on, studio-based workshops offer design challenges and real-life problem solving. Free to attend and open to all teens, Saturday Studio sessions let you explore…

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LEGO® Build: Design Process 101

How do architects and designers come up with such great ideas? They use the design process! Join us in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio as we identify a design problem, build our ideas with LEGO® and present our solutions. LEGO® Build: Design Process…

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Winter Camp: Skylines 101

Children ages 7–11 are invited to join us from 9am to 12pm on select Saturdays from January through March in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio, where we’ll work in teams and use the design process to imagine city skylines of the future. Campers will discover…

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Members Only: "Beautiful" Reception

Join us for an exclusive, members-only presentation and cocktail reception featuring the talented people of the production team behind “Beautiful—The Carole King Musical.” They’ll be sharing with us the challenges and joys of recreating the show’s…

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Read and Build: Katy and the Big Snow

Join us for a morning of making and storytelling. Drop in any time between 9am and 12pm for activities and multiple readings of “Katy and the Big Snow” by Virginia Lee Burton. Katy’s story will inspire us to think about big cities as we work together…

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Illinois Humanities @ CAF: Value and Viability

Which buildings do we save and which do we raze? Often, architects, community members, developers, and other stakeholders disagree about which buildings we should save and why. Some see aesthetics and the preservation of the past as the main values to…

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Members Only: Holiday Tea with Wedgwood

Join us in celebrating the holidays with afternoon tea at the Pavilion, home to The Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood. This special tradition of afternoon tea debuted at the Langham Hotel, London, in 1865. Enjoy an afternoon of elegance, featuring a…

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Members Only: CAF Sunday Afternoon at 360

The Chicago Architecture Foundation invites you to experience Chicago 1,000 feet above Lake Michigan with a view of the city's majestic skyline, the lakefront, four neighboring states and our very own CAF docent in the sky!

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New Artwork Release Event with Chris Gorz

Join us for a special meet and greet event with artist Chris Gorz of StudioChris. Chris will be debuting his brand new The Loop Neighborhood Poster exclusively with CAF, and he’ll be signing his work while meeting with guests. Chris' other posters and…

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Saturday Studio: Universal Design

The September 26, 2015 CAF Teen Academy Saturday Studio challenges teens from across Chicago to design for people with differing abilities. Teens will learn about universal design in an experimental learning experience as they step into the shoes of others…

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CAFamily Studio: Inventors Unite!

Join us in the studio on Saturday, September 19, and engineer something cool! Invent anything with LittleBits, easy to use electronic building blocks that snap together with magnets. Great for students 7—12 years old.

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Universal Design

Join us every Sunday in August for LEGO® Build Workshops to explore universal design with LEGO®! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 impacted the built environment by emphasizing the need for creating habitable and accessible space for…

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CAFamily Studio: Chicago I Spy!

On Saturday, August 15, go on a facilitator-led Scavenger Hunt to find out the secrets and stories of some the city's best buildings! Great for families and students 7—12 years old.

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Summer Camp: Skylines 101

July 27–31, 9am–3pm (5-day camp). Recommended for ages 7–11. Math, science, language arts, social science and fine arts come together in every building, but stories are what bring buildings to life. In Skylines 101 students will get to know Chicago's…

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Surface

Come explore explore architecture and experiment with making a building's surface! You will build with LEGO®, solve a design problem and learn the fundamentals to create your own designs. We'll spark your imagination with a new theme every month to drive…

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Member Appreciation Night - Summer 2015

Join us from 6—9pm on July 23 for a mid-year event just for you, our CAF Members! Enjoy a glass of wine and light snacks as you mingle with fellow members, meet some of CAF’s vendors and artists, shop with exclusive discounts and win prizes. You also…

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CAFamily: Sculpture in the City

Drop-in from 10—2pm in the Millennium Park Family Fun Tent and help us create an enormous, evolving public sculpture designed by kids, for kids! All ages welcome. Great for families!

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Design Dialogues: Downtown Hotel Boom

Many long-vacant historic office buildings are benefiting from Chicago’s ambitious tourism goals, as hotel conversions are popping up all over the loop. Will we continue to see more hotels like the Virgin, LondonHouse at the London Guarantee, and the…

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Behind the Scenes: Buffett Place

On July 9, 2015, come see the Fred and Pamela Buffett Place—a completely renovated, environmentally-friendly, supportive housing community by Landon Bone Baker Architects in 2014. This transformation of the 1920s Diplomat Hotel in Lakeview won a Chicago…

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Emphasis

Come explore how designers emphasize details to make our built environment more intriguing! You will Build with LEGO®, solve a design problem and learn the fundamentals to create your own designs. We'll spark your imagination with a new theme every month…

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Drinks + Design: Emphasis

Stand out! This month we explore the most attention grabbing Principle of Design: Emphasis. Together, we’ll create designs with EMPHASIS or a visual focal point utilizing LEGO® Architecture Studio bricks.

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Design Dialogues: A Connected Riverwalk

With the upcoming completion of the main branch of the Riverwalk, the City's long-held vision for our  "second shoreline" is starting to come into focus. How will the designs for this six-block overhaul transform the former industrial waterway into a…

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Members Only: ON YOUR FEET! Reception

Join us for an exclusive members-only presentation and cocktail reception as Richard Jaris, Senior Associate and Scenic Designer at the Rockwell Group, provides insight into the creative design that brings this set of "ON YOUR FEET!" to life. Afterwards…

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Read and Build: Iggy Peck, Architect

What are you passionate about? This month we will read about Iggy Peck Architect, a young designer passionate about buildings! We'll think like Iggy on a interactive walking tour. Suitable for ages 3—5; older siblings and friends up to age 7 will also…

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LEGO® Build Workshop: Asymmetry

We all want to build like the pros and now you can every Sunday in the ArcelorMittal Design Studio @ CAF. Come build with LEGO®, solve a design problem and learn the fundamentals to create your own designs. We’ll spark your imagination with a new theme…

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Burnham Society Tour: Home of Gordon Gill

Gordon is a trustee of CAF and partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. He uses cutting-edge materials to build the world's tallest skyscrapers, but at home he admires the 6-foot-4-inch, chocolate-brown brick wall that encloses his secret-garden…

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Drinks + Design: Asymmetry

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.

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