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Student Competitions

The Student Ideas Competition at the Chicago Architecture Biennial encourages middle and high school students to share their ideas for how design can play a role in creating shared spaces and shaping communities. Through five competitions, CAB has engaged more than 1,600 students in youth-centered conversations about architecture and the built environment. 

CAB's 6th Student Ideas Competition will launch on September 27, 2021.

Pre-register to receive more information as it becomes available.

Past Competitions

Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 Student Ideas Competition invited young people to respond to the following question:

How can existing urban spaces be reimagined to better reflect the needs and interests of local residents?

Winners were determined by our panel of distinguished jurors:

Kimberly Dowdell | Principal, HOK
Melissa Mister | Chief Program Officer, After School Matters
Caroline O'Boyle | Director of Programs and Partnerships, Trust for Public Land
Walmer Saavedra | Executive Director, Human Scale
Taylor Staten | Founder, TnS Studio
Tricia Van Eck | Founder and Artistic Director, 6018North
Gibran Villalobos | Assistant Curator, Performance and Public Practice, MCA
Tanner Woodford | Executive Director, Design Museum of Chicago

View the virtual Awards Ceremony here.

Winners

1st Place | The Floating Village by ACE Chicago Team 5
2nd Place | Perspective Tower by Owen Somers
3rd Place | Grocery Garden – A Bodega for North Lawndale by Rosina Iniguez, Ian Hudson, and Jason Hart

Honorable Mention

Arts Center at North Lawndale by

Chloe Acosta, Maya Diaz, Angelynn Jimenez, Montserrat Lopez, Daveon Merrick, Devin Otto, Dominic Ridarelli, Max Rojas, Nicholas Tam, and Michael Wangler

Arts N Parts - North Lawndale by Sebastian Aguilar-Ripley, Ayomide Ajayi, David Davila, Alejandro De la Fuente, Marshall Ellis, Thomas Lawless, Eduardo Mora, Earl Christian Valzado, and Wynton Wright
Austin 2.0 by Ari Bates, Lazaria Brewer, Denim Cole, D'aja Dudley, Tyshawn Harris, Thelonious Johnson, Kenyatta Jordan, Keeontaye Mack, Stephanie Nelson, Jamesha Sumler, and Tiya Walls
Chicagrow by Kaleia Maxey and Sabine Ramirez
Modular Reimagination by Fernando Cisneros, Daniel Morales, and Elias Frey Reschly
Safe Pedestrian Pathway Near South Shore's Grand Crossing by Sandra Varona
Steam Park by

Mia Fritsch-Anderson and Nina L.

Fall 2019

The Fall 2019 bp Student Ideas Competition invited young people to respond to the following challenge:

Design a safe community space where young people can share ideas and take action on a local or global issue. Your space can be a physical place, an object, or an event.

Winners were determined by our panel of distinguished jurors:

Catherine Baker | Principal, Landon Bone Baker Architects

Juan Jimenez | Head of Control, Compliance, Financial Risk & Functions, bp America

Karen Rigg | Project Architect, Partners by Design, Inc.

Lydia Ross | Director of Public Art, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

Carrie Shepherd | Reporter, WBEZ

Helen Slade | Executive Director, Territory

RaMona Westbrook | President, Brook Architecture, Inc.

Asif Wilson | Associate Dean, Harold Washington College

View photos of the Awards Ceremony here. 

The competition was sponsored by bp America and presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Center. 

Winners

2nd Place | AstroVision by Dajanae Barbee, Sherwanna Liddel, Angelus Garay, Jayla Reese, Breanna Pitts
1st Place | Container House by Jaime Morales
3rd Place | Zoom Care by Nathan Sanchez, Tomiah Westbrook, Enrique Badillo

Honorable Mention

Zari’s Roller Skating Rink by Azari Miller
Chicago International Climate Change Center by Daniel Morales
The Nest by Fionn Hui
Visionary by Cedric Cade, Jessica Peters, Lacharia Reasnover,Jamar Roberts and Damien Underwood Jr.
The Royal Haus by John Babatunde, Brooklynn Daniels, A’lona Davis and Angela Hall
HPS Speak Out Center by The Masai Intellectuals: Adriana Hardin, Jordyn Posada,and Boubacar Seck
Planet B by Angela Ponce Solano
Teen Homeless Shelter on Laramie by Arturo Arroyo, Jason Guyette and Elias Kranicke
The Falling Woodlands by Linnea Jones
Life Changers United // Moral Justice by Jeremiah Goodman, Christopher Lee, Markiya O’Neal,Lacharia Reasnover, Kenari Seals, and Tamara Wright
Spring 2019

The Spring 2019 bp Student Ideas Competition invited young people to respond to the following question: 

How would you transform a vacant or underused space in your community?

Winners were determined by our panel of distinguished jurors:

Geoffrey Baer | Television Personality, Host, and Producer, WTTW Chicago

Lisa M. Daugherty | President & CEO, Lake Area United Way

Roark Frankel | Director of Planning of Construction, Obama Foundation

Vivian Garcia | Manager of The 606, Chicago Park District

Mejay Gula | Lecturer and Gallery Curator, Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Luis Ramirez | Graffiti Artist and Muralist

Ian Spula | Program Operations Specialist, Chicago Architecture Center

Anthony Wells | Chief of Staff, bp America

View photos of the Awards Ceremony here. 

The competition was sponsored by bp America. 

Winners

3rd Place | Angolo Verde by Leslie Sadkowski
2nd Place | Engineering Museum for North Aurora Youth in Minority Ethnic Groups by Michelle Wang
1st Place | Blackwell Hospital by Jessica Chaidez

Honorable Mention

Brighton Park Community Center by Elias Reschly, Fernando Cisneros, and Daniel Morales
Team Abandoned Closes The Adventure Gap by Ashley Baker-Shaw, Kyra Lee, Jelani Miller, and Yaree Wilson
Shine by Baoyi Chen
The Ashburn Community Center Project by Camryn Gosa
Lindblom Community Innovation Center by Team Stagger: Steve Wilson and Diana Miller
The LightBox by Shelby Palmer
Homeless Houses by Rasa Keenan Braswell
Comer Recreational Recharge Center by Austin Honeycutt, Michael Slater, Jeremiah Jones, and Zion McKinnie
Eco Friendly Park for Kids with Disabilities by Sadie Smith and Lily Gonzalez
Blackstone Barks by Sandra Varona
Fall 2017

The 2017 bp Student Design Competition invited young people to respond to challenges in the following two categories:

Architecture: Design a new Chicago Public Library branch.

Graphic Design: Design a Chicago neighborhood bus shelter advertisement.

Winners were determined by our panel of distinguished jurors:

Jeremy Dunn | Director, Teen Services, Chicago Public Library

Eleanor Gorski | Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development

Kevin Hall | Director of Planning, Design and Engineering, Chicago Housing Authority

Elizabeth "Lee" Kelley | Public Art Administrator, Chicago Transit Authority

Kerl Lajeune | Senior Designer, Public Building Commission of Chicago

Jason Lesniewicz | Director, Cultural Tourism, Choose ChicagoRashaan Meador | Senior Program Coordinator, Chicago Public Schools

Derk Wehner | Head of Operations, bp America

The competition was sponsored by bp America and presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Center.

Winners

1st Place: Architecture | Little Italy Library by Uriel Gutierrez
2nd Place: Architecture | Little Italy Library by Miguel Rodriguez
3rd Place: Architecture | Little Italy Library by Autumn Woodley
1st Place: Graphic Design | Back of the Yards by Roberto Duarte
3rd Place: Graphic Design | Little Village by Manuel Diaz
2nd Place: Graphic Design | Humboldt Park by Lesbeth Droz

Honorable Mention

Little Italy Library by Junteng Chen
Bronzeville by Mary Coats
Chinatown by Dellandara Delgado
East Side by Jovanni Chavez
Little Village by Jimena Saldana
Boystown by Phoenix Wojnarowski
Little Italy Library by Cesar Teliz
Little Italy Library by Galilea Ines
Little Italy Library by Brenda Gutierrez
Little Italy Library by Tasima Allen, Janise Poole, Roger Space, Kadeijah Bailey, and Xavier Dennis
Little Italy Library by Milena Marchan
Pilsen by Christian Cerna
Little Village by Emmanuel Gomez
Little Italy Library by Roberto Arroyo
Fall 2015

The Fall 2015 bp Design Competition invited young people to respond to the following challenge:

Design a pocket park less than a half-acre in size and within a 10-minute walk of every home in the Dunning, Chicago Lawn, or Roseland community areas of Chicago.

Winners were determined by our panel of distinguished jurors:

Richard C. Bumstead | University of Chicago

Khatija Hasmy | Chicago Park District

Sarah Herda | Graham Foundation 

Rashaan Meador | Chicago Public Schools

Michael J. O'Brien | bp America

The competition was sponsored by bp America and presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Center.

Winners

3rd Place | Abstract Park by Jose Ruan
2nd Place | Komensky Park by Christopher Mena
1st Place | Daniel Burnham Park by Aylen Pacheco

Honorable Mention

The Flame Park by Julissa Ortiz
The Lounge by Ivan Loeza
Energetic Generation by Shalaya Rayford
United Divine by Gisselle Juarez
Space Fusion Park by Diana Licea and Julia Lopez
Rye Park by Anthony Alcantar and Isabel Chavez
Unitwine by Monica Castaneda
Infinite by Robert Greer