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Join us for Girls Build! Day in the CAC's Skyscraper Gallery. Check in anytime during the event for Hands-on activities running from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. with a keynote speech and Q&A immediately following.

August 24, 2024
10:00 am
Free (RSVP required)
Chicago Architecture Center


Girls Build! Day—one of the CAC’s signature family offerings—is a special STEAM festival designed just for girls. During the festival, youth are invited to build, learn and network with professionals in architecture, construction, engineering, design and related fields. The day also includes a keynote speech, where attendees hear from (and ask questions of) a distinguished female STEAM professional: 2024 AIA President Kimberly Dowdell.

Activities are geared toward ages 11-17, with an emphasis on engaging youth who identify as female and other marginalized genders. All youth participants must be accompanied by an adult; chaperoned organized groups of youth are welcome.



Kimberly N. Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC

2024 AIA President

Kimberly N. Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, leadership, diversity, sustainability and the future of cities. In her 2019-2020 term as national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she worked to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building professions. She also more than doubled the organization’s membership and significantly raised NOMA’s profile.

Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit, where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration at Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned architecture to government and teaching real estate development. Kimberly is currently the director of strategic relationships and a principal with HOK, a leading global design firm. She co-founded the SEED Network in 2005 and has been a LEED-accredited professional since 2007. In 2022, Kimberly was elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees.

Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve people’s lives, by design.

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