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The Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition annually invites students to use the design process and critical thinking to create personalized reactions to Chicago architecture.

Named after late Illinois Senator Richard Newhouse, this program showcases the talents of Chicago-area youth. Through this competition, we inspire teens to understand why design matters by researching, representing and redesigning the built environment to solve challenges that are personal and place-based.

See the 2018 winners

2018 Newhouse

The 2018 Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition partnered with firms, non-profits and studios that work on Chicago-focused issues. Each division partnered with an organization that helped to define the challenge and served on the jury evaluating division entries. For more information on each partner, see the individual divisions.

Advanced Architecture: Resilient Building

Digital & Physical Modeling: Chicago Bungalow

Fine Arts: Future Skyline

Graphic Design: Chicago Poster

Industrial Design: Neighborhood Bike Rack

Photography: City in a Garden

Social Impact Design: Community Market

Download the Newhouse Student Manual for all the details.

Teachers, download the Resource Packet for lesson plans to help you complete the competition challenges.


Any Chicago-area high school student is allowed to participate in Newhouse. Students participating in after school programs or working independently should reach out to so we can help you plan, set goals and finish!


Registration opens March 14 and closes April 27. Only register for divisions that you intend to finish before the project deadline of May 11.

Project Deadline

The project deadline for Newhouse is May 11. Teachers are allowed to choose an earlier due date if it suits their classroom, but will have to hold onto projects until the drop-off date. 

Project Labeling

CAC will be providing individual student and project labels based on the registration. Labeling instructions are located in each specific division requirements.

Project Drop-off

All projects must be dropped off at the showcase site on May 14 or 15. Drop-off times and details will be announced closer to the submission date.

Showcase site:
Robert Morris University
State Street Gallery
401 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605

Competition Jury & Entry Evaluation

CAC will convene a robust network of more than 40 professional architects, designers and engineers to serve as jurors for Newhouse entries. Each division will be chaired by the division partners. Jurors will review and evaluate student work for evidence of the design process, critical thinking and professional presentation.

Final Showcase

The Newhouse Award Ceremony takes place May 19 in downtown Chicago. All students, teachers and families are invited to view and celebrate the accomplishments of the competitors. All complete competition entries submitted by the deadline will be displayed in the Robert Morris University State Street Gallery.

Saturday, May 19

Formal program begins at 1pm
Robert Morris University

State Street Gallery
401 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605

The Newhouse Competition is generously supported by

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services logo