Architects in Schools at Cameron Elementary-Students share their thoughts about day 1

Eighth grade students at Cameron Elementary share their thoughts about Lesson One of the AIS program.  In the first session, students learn the definition of architecture. Our mentors introduce the idea of architecture through quick design exercises such as speed sketching, measuring with their bodies, and creating zero waste sculptures.

Shawnte Child’s, Sean Richardson, Angel Ornelas and Yailin Gomez talk about what they learned. 

What did you like/dislike about the lesson?

What we liked about the architects was when we did the sculptures. That was really fun. And when we drew the buildings,  that was also fun.  One thing that we disliked was when we were in the hallway measuring the walls and how long the hallway was. But we never knew that a lot of kids can fit in the hallway.

What did you find challenging?

What we found challenging was when we had to measure how long the hallway was. Another thing we found challenging was when we had to look at the pictures and then draw them,  but sometimes not really getting the same thing. Another thing we found that was challenging was when we had to do the sculptures and use our own ideas. 

Did you learn new skills? What were they?

The skills that we learned were to draw with as much detail in a little amount of time. And to start with the main part of the picture then look at the other things around it. It does not matter how good it looks;  it’s about drawing.

 Did you do something new or that you didn’t think you were able to do? How did it make you feel?  

 Yes we did do something new.  We made sculptures and it looked nice just by ripping paper. Another thing we did new was looking at the pictures and then drawing what we saw.  It was fun doing the activity.


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NEED A COUPLE MORE: Give back with CIC! Volunteer Opportunity at Inspiration Cafe

Are you looking for a way to get involved in your community and make a direct impact on the lives of those around you? Come volunteer at Inspiration Cafe with the Community Interface Committee on Thursday, October 26!

Inspiration Cafe provides restaurant-style meals to homeless or poor men, women, and families in a therapeutic community that promotes dignity and respect. The Community Interface Committee will be cooking and serving dinner for participants on the evening of October 26. Join us to help serve community members in need.

For more information and the link to sign up, go here:

Sign up early – spaces are limited.

THURSDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 26, 2017 (see link for specific time information)


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TONIGHT: Tour Lakeview Pantry with Wheeler Kearns!

The Community Interface Committee will be touring Lakeview Pantry, winner of the 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence, with Wheeler Kearns this evening. If you are free, we invite you to join us to learn more about this transformative community project. More information here.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 / 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

LAKEVIEW PANTRY, located off the Sheridan Red Line Station at 3945 N. Sheridan


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Become a Mentor: Fall Training Session for Architects in Schools

Interested in teaching middle school students about architecture and design?  Become a mentor in the AIA Chicago Foundation’s Architects in Schools (AIS) program. We will be teaching in two schools this fall semester.

The training session, Sept. 13, 6pm-7:30pm at AIA Chicago offices, will briefly review each lesson plan, outline various mentor levels and necessary time commitments, offer tips on working with students, and more.

AIS is an initiative that brings architecture professionals into classrooms to introduce middle school students to the field of architecture and to discuss the broader theme of architecture as a change-maker. It is a 7-week long program, with 2-4 practicing architect volunteers visiting a single classroom once a week for the duration of one class period (90-120 minutes).

The program is run by the Community Interface Committee.

Click here for more information on becoming a mentor and to register for training.


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Volunteer for INOMA’s Project Pipeline summer camp

PROJECT PIPELINE CAMP is a process driven architecture camp for Chicago students in grades 6th – 8th. Students will be introduced to the concepts, professionals, and opportunities that make up the design profession. Students will work individually and collaboratively to address community focused issues through creativity and design innovation.

Volunteers needed for 1 to all 4 days of the camp.
August 2-6
S. R. Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3360 S. State St., Chicago.

Click here to learn more about Project Pipeline.

Click to sign up as a volunteer.


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June 7: Community Interface Committee Meeting

Are you interested in strengthening the link between architects and the greater community? Join the Community Interface Committee for our next planning meeting Wednesday, June 7 at 6pm at AIA Chicago. We’ll provide an update and plot next steps for the ongoing Architects in Schools program (our volunteer initiative to integrate design skills into elementary school classrooms in partnership with CPS), as well as discuss current and new endeavors relating to our continued Housing theme.

Refreshments are provided; please bring your enthusiasm and ideas for promoting architecture’s involvement in the community. Register here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 6:00pm

AIA Chicago, 35 E. Wacker, Suite 250

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March 11: Tour Habitat for Humanity’s West Pullman Development

AIA Chicago’s Community Interface Committee is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity Chicago to host a tour of HFH’s community development efforts in West Pullman on Saturday, March 11. The tour will highlight the West Pullman neighborhood’s assets and initiatives and feature a visit to the Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center, HFH’s build site, and a local business under construction.

The tour starts at 10am at the Kroc Community Center, 1250 W. 119th Street, Chicago. The tour will move to the build site at 11928 S. Union Avenue at 10:30am, followed by a stop at a jazz club and salon under construction at 641 W. 119th Street at 11:15am. The tour will conclude at 12pm after discussion and Q&A.

A vehicle will be needed to travel from the Kroc Center to the build site. Participants should coordinate transportation in advance.

Spots are limited – sign up today! For more information and registration, click here. We hope you are able to join us for what will surely be an engaging and inspiring morning.

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March 8: Community Interface Committee Meeting

Join us March 8 at 6pm at AIA Chicago for the next Community Interface Committee Planning Meeting! We will be discussing the expansion of our Architects In Schools initiative to Whittier Elementary and recruiting volunteers for the spring program. We will also investigate events and outreach pertaining to our 2016-17 community-based housing theme.

Take an active role in the architecture community and beyond. Help us structure a challenging and inclusive conversation and course for the year. Please bring your ideas for potential programs, volunteer events, and other ways we can increase our outreach and impact.

All are welcome; refreshments will be provided. Register here.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 6:00pm

AIA Chicago, 35 E. Wacker, Suite 250



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March 2: Art in Urgent Times with Rick Lowe

The National Public Housing Museum is excited to partner with UIC’s Social Justice Initiative, the Illinois Humanities, and the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts at UIC for an evening with MacArthur “genius” Rick Lowe and Chicago-based artists Isis Ferguson and Kristiana Rae Colón. We hope to see you there on March 2nd for this timely conversation about what artists can do in our current climate to advance social justice. RSVP at


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Architect Volunteers Needed for Girls STEM program

Female architects needed to lead Architecture and Design Thinking Workshops for the Tech Savvy Conference at Triton College in River Grove, to be held on Saturday, March 25 from 9:00am-1:00pm. Tech Savvy is a full day STEM program for middle school girls. The program offers girls the opportunity to explore areas of science, technology, engineering, and math in 45 minute workshops.

Please contact Allison Garwood Freedland, to volunteer or for more information.

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