The Biennial collaborated with the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the City of Chicago to provide opportunities for teachers and students that spark the interests of the next generation of architects and designers. The resulting suite of education programs – including a teaching guide, field trips, Saturday Studio “master classes” with architects and designers, a Teen Ambassador program, and a student design competition sponsored by BP – reached thousands of Chicago-area youth who might otherwise not be exposed to architecture and design.

Educator Guide

An educator guide to the 2015 Biennial is available for free download here. This guide supported teachers, encouraging them to bring groups of students to the Biennial and to explore exhibitions through interpretive themes such as Play, Live, Gather and Work.

BP Student Design Competition

Chicago Public School students aged 13 or older were eligible to enter the BP Design Competition. The BP Design Competition challenged participants to think outside the box and imagine a pocket park that would improve access to public open space for a Chicago area neighborhood. 

Awards were given to the top 10 designs. First Prize included $500, as well as dinner and an overnight stay in a hotel downtown for the winner’s family. The competition jury included representatives from the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, The Chicago Architecture Biennial and BP. Students could compete individually or in teams.

Further information about the BP Design Competition, and shortlisted and winning competition entries can be found here.

Teen Ambassadors

A group of dedicated high school students received training to become volunteers for the Biennial. Stationed at the Chicago Cultural Center on Saturdays and Sundays, these Teen Ambassadors served as interpretive exhibition guides for visitors to the Biennial.

ArcelorMittal was the sponsor for the Teen Ambassador program.