CHICAGO ARCHITECTURAL CLUB
Strawn + Sierralta are active members of the design community, including serving as Co-Presidents of the Chicago Architectural Club from 2012-2014.
The CAC was originally founded in 1885 as an architectural sketch club. It is an old and prestigious institution that throughout history has seen young Chicago movers and shakers dedicate their intellectual abilities to the betterment and advancement of the profession of architecture. Previous presidents have included Stanley Tigerman, Andrew Metter, Jeanne Gang, Elva Rubio and John Ronan.
RE-IMAGINING CAC AS A PLATFORM FOR THE CITY OF CHICAGO
Today the Chicago Architectural Club operates as volunteer lead a not-for-profit organization. It is an independent forum for the discussion, debate and thinking of current and critical issues of architecture and its related disciplines. The club is known for organizing competitions, exhibitions, publications, talks and other events.
During our tenure as Co-Presidents of the CAC we re-imagined the club as a public platform for Chicago’s next generation of architects and designers. We held three competitions, co-developed three exhibitions and launched a new lecture series.
CHICAGO PRIZE: FUTURE PRENTICE
The CAC partnered with AIA Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Foundation to launch the international ideas competition "Future Prentice" in August 2012. This turned out to be one of the most successful competitions the CAC has ever held, receiving seventy-one entries from thirteen countries.
RE-CONSIDERING AN ICON
Our first competition, the "2012 Chicago Prize: Future Prentice”, was launched with a simultaneous exhibition and public event held at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The exhibition featured all entries to the competition, as well as, those of ten up-and-coming designers that we invited to imagine possible future uses of the landmark structure.
BURNHAM PRIZE: NEXT STOP:
Our second competition, the "2013 Burnham Prize: Next Stop - Designing Chicago BRT Stations”, was launched in close collaboration with AIA Chicago, Chicago Architecture Foundation, CDOT, CTA and the BRT Steering Committee. The BRT stations designed by the winning entrants of this competition are being built in downtown Chicago in the coming year. This is an unprecedented impact by CAC supporters on the built environment.
EMERGING VISIONS 2014
Our third competition, the "2014 Emerging Visions”, was held to recognize the significant architectural endeavors by promising young architects and designers based in Chicago. For this iteration we partnered with the Graham Foundation and AIA Chicago. The competition was held earlier this year, and for the first time all previous "Emerging Visions” winners were assembled to serve on the jury. The two winners lectured at a public event at the Graham Foundation and had their work exhibited at the AIA National Convention.
INFORMAL LECTURE SERIES
We also had the great opportunity to launch the “Informal Lecture Series”, where we invited renown architects such as Will Bruder, Dan Wheeler, and Brinda Somaya to discuss their work in more intimate settings. The lecture series also hosted emerging designers, such as Timo Schmidt from Germany, Pauline Marchetti from France, and most recently, a group of award-winning young, Australian architects.
PARTNERSHIPS, COLLABORATIONS AND SUPPORT
Most critically, a lot of hard work was put in behind the scenes creating new partnerships and renewing old ones. These efforts led to successful collaborations with recognized organizations and institutions including AIA Chicago, the Graham Foundation, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Landmarks Illinois, Docomomo, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Department of Transportation, and the Chicago Bus Rapid Transit Steering Committee. Since 2012, we were generously supported by Herman Miller, Valerio DeWalt Train and Gensler.