BP Student Design Competition

Registration for the 2019 BP Student Ideas Competition is now open.


The 2019 BP Student Ideas competition will ask young people to share ideas about how design can play a role in creating shared spaces and improving communities. The competition will welcome submissions that explore ideas about architecture and the built environment from a wide range of disciplines including design but also the humanities, visual and performing arts, and STEM fields.

A comprehensive competition manual including a detailed prompt, example projects, and curriculum resources are available for download at chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org/competition.

Winning entries from the 2017 BP Student Design Competition are listed below. The 2017 BP Student Design Competition invited young Chicagoans to solve a design challenge. Students chose to either create a bus shelter advertisement promoting a Chicago neighborhood, or design a public library that could serve as a vibrant community space. The 2017 Biennial theme, “Make New History,” served as the inspiration for the competition.

Graphic Design Winners

First Place
Graphic Design Division First Place Winner

Roberto Duarte
Benito Juarez Community Academy
Grade 11

Second Place
Graphic Design Division Second Place Winner

Lisbeth Droz
Kelvyn Park High School
Grade 11

Third Place
Graphic Design Third Place Winner

Manuel Diaz
John F. Kennedy High School
Grade 11

The finalists are Christian Cerna (Junior, John F. Kennedy High School), Jovanni Chavez (6th grade, George Washington Elementary School), Mary Coats (Junior, Kenwood Academy high School), Dellanara Delgado (Junior, Kelvyn Park High School), Emmanuel Gomez (Junior, Benito Juarez Community Academy), Jimena Saldana (8th grade, Emiliano Zapata Academy), Pheonix Wojnarowski (Senior, John F. Kennedy High School).

View all graphic design finalists

Architecture Winners

First Place
Architecture Division First Place Winner

Uriel Gutierrez
ACE Technical Charter High School
Grade 12

Second Place
Architecture Division Second Place Winner

Miguel Rodriguez
Curie Metropolitan High School
Grade 12

Third Place
Architecture Division Third Place Winner

Autumn Woodley
Simeon Career Academy
Grade 11

The finalists are Roberto Arroyo (Junior, ITW Speer Academy), Team: Awesome Designers (Janise Poole, Tasima Allen, Roger Space, Kadeijah Bailey and Xavier Dennis) (Juniors at ACE Technical Charter High School), Junteng Chen (Senior, Curie Metropolitan High School), Brenda Gutierrez (Junior, Benito Juarez Community Academy), Galilea Ines (Junior, CICS Northtown Academy), Milena Marchan (Junior, Northside College Prep), and Cesar Teliz (Senior, Curie Metropolitan High School).

View all architecture finalists

Thank You

The BP Student Design Competition enables young Chicagoans to engage in a dialogue about our buildings, neighborhoods and incredible public spaces. It stimulates and inspires a new generation of designers who are shaping the future of our city.

A special thank you to all of the teachers, mentors, community members and jurors who supported the ambitions of every student participant.

The competition jury included representatives from: BP America, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Choose Chicago, the City of Chicago Department of Planning, the Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Housing Authority.


Derk Wehner
Head of Operations, BP America

Eleanor Gorski
Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development

Elizabeth "Lee" Kelley
Public Art Administrator, Chicago Transit Authority

Jeremy Dunn
Director, Teen Services, Chicago Public Library

Kerl Lajeune
Senior Designer, Public Building Commission of Chicago

Kevin Hall
Director of Planning, Design and Engineering, Chicago Housing Authority

Todd Palmer
Executive Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial

Jason Lesniewicz
Director Cultural Tourism, Choose Chicago

Rashaan Meador
Senior Program Coordinator, Chicago Public Schools

Level 1

Graphic Design Division:
Chicago Neighborhood Bus Shelter Ad

Ages 10 and up

Chicago has more than 130 bus routes that are used by more than 800,000 people each weekday. Design a bus shelter advertisement for your neighborhood that will entice people to want to visit. Your design must respond to the Biennial’s theme “Make New History” by showcasing and celebrating your Chicago neighborhood’s unique past, present and future.

Entries must be two-dimensional and can use any media (crayon, paint, marker, digital, etc.) or mixed-media. All entries must be scanned or photographed to be uploaded to the competition portal.

Level 2

Architecture Design Division:
Library + Community Space Design

Ages 14 and up

There are 79 public libraries in Chicago that serve as community anchors, and spaces where people can come together for civic and community activities. Yet, not everyone has access to a library within walking distance of their house. Design a library on 75’x125’ lot in the Little Italy neighborhood to improve access to this public resource. Designs must be engaging, attractive, safe and accessible for all ages. Strong entries will enhance the unique qualities of the site and community.

Entries may be 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional or both, and can use any media (cardboard, paper, pencil, digital, etc.). A photo or digital file of your entry must be uploaded to the competition portal.



To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Must be a resident of the City of Chicago
  • Must attend an elementary school or high school in the City of Chicago
  • Free to enter

Competition Timeline

September 1
Competition registration opens
November 30
Registration closes; submissions due
December 6
Jury day
December 12
Final showcase and winners announced

Winners & Prizes

Competition winners will receive free design software and varying cash prizes. They will receive public recognition at the final showcase and have their work on display at the Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Competition manual and other resources are available to download here.

Download PDF