Past Meetup

Chicago Design Education Symposium, Saturday November 2nd

This Meetup is past

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The Chicago Design Education Symposium will convene students, educators, and professionals from all over the Midwest, for an in-depth conversation on the current state and future course of design education. The design industry is changing rapidly, and dramatically. Out of necessity, the industry has become quick to adapt to new technologies and methods of communication, broadening their scope of services and blurring the lines between design fields. How can the academy remain nimble and flexible in its methodologies, and keep pace with a radically dynamic industry? The educational system needs to be reexamined in a frank discussion between students, educators and professionals in order to produce the valuable insights that will change our thinking, and ensure that design education remains relevant and effective.

This event is being planned in conjunction with FORUM, the national conference of the AIAS, which is being held in Chicago this year, and is expected to draw almost 1500 of today's most ambitious and passionate architecture students from all over the world. The conversations initiated in this symposium will continue through the FORUM Conference, and the following spring leading up to the AIA National Convention, also in Chicago. In light of the AIA Repositioning Campaign, which includes a focused new effort to engage the emerging professionals, this conversation is likely to be a very present issue in the programming for Convention.

The day will begin with an afternoon of breakout discussions on related topics, led by educators from some of the top programs in the midwest, outspoken young professionals, and leaders of the industry. Next, we'll tour four spaces in the historic Santa Fe Building: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, VOA Associates, Goettsch Partners, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation. After a dinner break, we'll reassemble for a screening of the new documentary, ArchiCulture [ ], which follows a group of students at Pratt Institute as they approach and defend their theses. The film addresses, quite concisely, many of the most pertinent issues facing design education. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, where guests will be invited to submit questions via text message, twitter, and facebook to be addressed by the panel.

Finally, the night will conclude with a reception in the MacLean Ballroom, including a silent auction to benefit the newly-formed Freedom by Design Chicago, a collaborative community service effort of the four Chicago schools of Architecture. While Freedom by Design, a program of the AIAS, is typically operated at the level of individual chapters, IIT, SAIC, UIC, and Judson have decided to combine efforts and share resources to have a greater impact on the Chicago community. This is precisely the type of informal, hands-on education that many students may be missing as a part of their academic career, and very often their first taste of the real power of design to change lives.


SAIC Neiman Center, 37 South Wabash Ave

1:00pm-1:30pm: Symposium Registration and Welcome Session

1:30pm-2:30pm: Breakout Discussion One

2:30pm-2:45pm: Break

2:45pm-3:45pm: Breakout Discussion Two

3:45pm-4:00pm: Wrap-up and walk to Santa Fe Building

Santa Fe Building, 224 South Michigan Ave

4:00pm-5:30pm: Firm Tours at SOM, VOA, Goettsch, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation

5:30pm-6:30pm: Dinner Break

SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 South Columbus Dr

6:30pm-7:15pm: ArchiCulture Screening

7:15pm-8:30pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A

SAIC MacLean Ballroom, 112 South Michigan Ave

8:30pm-11:30pm: Reception and Silent Auction

The Chicago Design Education Symposium is made possible by the generous support of our major sponsors, including AIA Illinois, AIA Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gensler, Latent Design, and Black Spectacles, with additional support from a wide variety of commercial and design related entities across the Chicago area.

Charlie Klecha
[M.Arch '14]School of the Art Institute of Chicago
[Chapter President]American Institute of Architecture Students

[Student Director]AIA Illinois Board of Directors

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