At 2015’s Chicago Architecture Biennial, local teens gained new design insight, met with working architects, and fell in love with the Chicago Cultural Center itself. And CAF was there every step of the way.

As early January, 2016, brought a close to the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, architectural critics—including Blair KaminLynn BeckerEdward Keegan—began to sum up the broader influence of the 3-month exhibition, which drew more than 500,000 visitors. At North America’s largest international survey of contemporary architecture, installations that explored “The State of the Art of Architecture” provided a snapshot of the ways designers are wrestling with today’s most pressing global issues.

At CAF, we saw an entirely different face of the Biennial’s impact, in working directly with more than 2,000 teens and tweens. We also helped empower hundreds of local educators, who used the Biennial’s exhibits in their curriculum. Named the event’s Signature Education Partner, CAF was tasked with making the Biennial accessible to Chicago-area youth who might not otherwise be exposed to architecture and design. Perhaps more than anything else, these young people reminded us why the Biennial mattered. 

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