Mayor Rahm Emanuel honors winners and participants at showcase reception held at the Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Architecture Biennial, Founding Sponsor BP and Signature Education Partner Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), announced yesterday the winners of the BP Student Design Competition at a showcase reception hosted at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Biennial host site. Following on the success of the program during the inaugural 2015 BP Student Design Competition, the 2017 edition allowed aspiring artists and architects in Chicago’s elementary and high schools the opportunity to create projects that challenged their creative thinking and skills around the Biennial’s theme, “Make New History.” More than 1,000 students from 60 Chicago Public Schools were involved in the citywide competition.

The winners of this year’s BP Student Design Competition are:

Level 1: Graphic Design Division
First Prize Winner, Roberto Duarte from Benito Juarez Community Academy, 11th Grade,
Second Prize Winner, Lisbeth Droz from Kelvyn Park High School, 11th Grade,
Third Prize Winner, Manuel Diaz from John F. Kennedy High School, 11th Grade,

Finalist, Christian Cerna from John F. Kennedy High School, 11th Grade
Finalist, Phoenix Wojnarowski from John F. Kennedy High School, 12th Grade
Finalist, Jovanni Chavez from George Washington Elementary School, 6th Grade
Finalist, Mary Coats from Kenwood Academy High School, X Grade
Finalist, Dellanara Delgado from Kelvyn Park High School, 11th Grade
Finalist, Emmanuel Gomez from Benito Juarez Community Academy, 11th Grade
Finalist, Jimena Saldana from Emiliano Zapata Academy, 8th Grade

Level 2: Architecture Division
First Prize Winner, Uriel Gutierrez from ACE Technical Charter High School, 12th Grade
Second Prize Winner, Miguel Rodriguez from Curie Metropolitan High School, 12th Grade
Third Prize Winner, Autumn Woodley from Simeon Career Academy, 11th Grade

Finalist, Team Awesome Designers (Tasima Allen, Janise Poole, Roger Space, Kadeijah Bailey, and Xavier Dennis) from ACE Technical Charter High School, 11th Grade
Finalist, Roberto Arroyo from ITW David Speer Academy, 11th Grade
Finalist, Junteng Chen from Curie Metropolitan High School, 12th Grade
Finalist, Cesar Teliz from Curie Metropolitan High School, 12th Grade
Finalist, Brenda Gutierrez from Benito Juarez Community Academy, 11th Grade
Finalist, Galilea Ines from CICS Northtown Academy, 11th Grade
Finalist, Milena Marchan from Northside College Prep, 11th Grade

The winning designs were judged on originality, the student’s ability to creatively solve the design challenge, the quality of the imagery and how well the student communicated the concept in the written response portion.

"The BP Student Design Competition is an incredible opportunity for young people across the city to expand their horizons and explore their creativity,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago is a global hub for design, and this initiative provides students with real-world knowledge that will guide their success as they lead our next generation of architects and graphic artists.”

The competition had two divisions – a Graphic Design division for students aged 10 to 14 and an Architecture Design division for students 14 and older. Participants were required to design solutions for Chicago-centric challenges, providing a platform for these young, creative minds to explore how the past informs the present.

For the Graphic Design division of the competition, students designed an advertisement for one of Chicago’s 77 unique community areas that would be displayed on a local bus shelter and showcase the neighborhood’s unique past, present and future. Students were encouraged to break boundaries with their design in order to entice people to explore the city. The advertisement was designed for display in a different neighborhood than the one featured in the design.

The Architecture Design segment required students to design a library on a 75’x125’ lot in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. The library would serve as a community site where people gather to access free resources and take part in civic and community activities. Students had to make their designs engaging, accessible, attractive and safe for residents of all ages. This aligns with Chicago Public Library’s strategic plan to create more open spaces and transparency in its buildings, to increase the richness of interactions among patrons and between patrons and their local communities.

BP has a long history of contributing to the Chicago area, where 3,500 employees live and work. In 2015, BP donated $2.5 million to the inaugural three-month exhibition. The company has shown a continuous effort and dedication to supporting Chicago architecture since 1974 with the construction of the Standard Oil Building (now the Aon Center) and the Frank Gehry-designed BP Bridge that connects Maggie Daley Park to Millennium Park.

“The BP Student Design Competition is another sign of BP’s commitment to Chicago and to the architecture that makes this city great,” said Doug Sparkman, Chief Operating Officer, BP Fuels, North America. “It’s also a sign of our continuing support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education -- and the world of possibility it represents for young people, as we can plainly see by this competition.”

The winners of the BP Student Design Competition received free design software and varying cash prizes in addition to public recognition at yesterday’s final showcase.  

“BP’s generous support, in partnership with CAF, makes it possible for the Biennial to engage students from across the city and to provide them with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the world of architecture and design,” said Jack Guthman, Chairman of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. This "hands on" experience, in conjunction with the broad range of materials on view at the Biennial, is in keeping with our dual mission of presenting an exposition of international import while also serving Chicago’s neighborhoods and its citizens.”

“CAF congratulates the winners of this year’s BP Student Design Competition,” said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of CAF. “By partnering with the Biennial, BP and the City of Chicago, we’re able to provide students with an opportunity to think critically about the power of design in connection with their communities.”  

Please see below for more information about CAF and BP. To learn more about the Chicago Architecture Biennial, visit

About the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
The 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is open to the public and on view from September 16, 2017 through January 7, 2018. The hub of the 2017 Biennial is once again the Chicago Cultural Center, located in downtown Chicago.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial’s mission is to provide a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience. Through its constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations and programming, the Biennial invites the public to engage with and think about architecture in new and unexpected ways, and to take part in a global discussion on the future of the field.

Sponsors and Special Partners of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
The 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is presented in partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and funded through private donations, with lead support from SC Johnson, Presenting Sponsor; BP, Founding Sponsor; and Alphawood Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Clayco, MacArthur Foundation, and Zell Family Foundation, Principal Sponsors.

The 2017 Biennial has been made possible by gifts from Shahid Khan; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; Edlis-Neeson Foundation; Lendlease; Magellan Development Group; Joe and Rika Mansueto; The Walsh Group; American Institute of Architects; Artek; Comcast-NBCUniversal ; Marriott; National Endowment for the Arts; Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Samuel M. and Ann S. Mencoff Foundation; Graham Foundation; Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; Thornton Tomasetti; AT&T; Allstate; The Field Foundation of Illinois; The Joyce Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. William H. Hood; Jones Lang LaSalle; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; Polk Bros Foundation; Pro Helvetia; New England Foundation for the Arts; Terra Foundation for American Art; Aesop; Golub / CIM; Ann Kaplan; Kenny Construction Company; Neisser Family Foundation; Onni Group; AT Mechanical LLC; Kovler Family Foundation; and Powers and Sons Construction.

Support for participant exhibition projects comes from Rauch Clay, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the University of Southern California. In-kind support is provided by Bombay Sapphire; Tito’s Vodka; Casamigos; Sprinkles; Intelligentsia; Blue Moon; Revolution Brewing; Lagunitas; and Redemption Rye Whiskey. 

Media Partners of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
ArchDaily, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Archinect, Architizer, artnet News, Bustler, Cultured Magazine, designboom, Dezeen and Metropolis.

About the Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. As an education leader in architecture and design, CAF offers tours, programs, exhibitions, field trips, curricula and online tools that are part of a dynamic learning journey for all ages. Proceeds from CAF’s tours and gift store, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission. For more information, visit

About BP
BP is a global producer of oil and gas with operations in over 70 countries. Over the past 10 years BP has invested $90 billion in the U.S. – more than any other energy company. BP employs about 14,000 people across the U.S. and supports more than 106,000 additional jobs through all its business activities. For more information on BP in the U.S. visit