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Key Issues

  • Sustainable and responsive building materials
  • Advanced technology in architecture
  • Innovations in 3D scanning, 3D printing and other design visualizations

About This Topic

Architectural innovations like the steel-frame skyscraper have reshaped the built world's look and function. And every day, new technologies enable architects to address the challenges of the future.

Chicago has long been an incubator for design innovation. Advances in engineering have led to supertall buildings that define skylines worldwide, big data has become an urban design material unto itself, and sustainable materials and 3D printing are helping us reimagine the built environment. Here, we’ll track the technical and creative developments that push architecture’s boundaries and impact our interactions with the world around us.

Latest Updates on Innovation in Architecture


From CAF

Tall buildings around the world rooted in Chicago


Some of Chicago’s tallest buildings aren’t located in Illinois, or even the United States. That’s because skyscrapers around the world can trace their roots—or rather their grillage—to Chicago.

From CAF

Design Thinking and CAF


Your new running shoes. The latest app for your phone. A breakthrough cancer fighting drug. You may never have stopped to consider it, but all these objects were created utilizing design thinking and the iterative steps of the design process.