Learn / BP Competition

An annual BP Student Ideas Competition for middle and high school students encourages exploration of the built environment through design and also the humanities, visual and performing arts, and STEM fields. Winning entries are honored with cash prizes and displayed at the Chicago Cultural Center during the Biennial. Competitions are free to enter and open to 7th-12th grade Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana students.

Our current competition invites young people to respond to the following challenge:

Design a safe community space where young people can share ideas and take action on a local or global issue. Your space can be a physical place, an object, or an event.

Accepting submissions through 11:59pm CST on December 6, 2019.

Learn more at bpcompetition.org
BP Student Competition Finalist Camryn Gosa © Chicago Architecture Biennial/Marcin Cymmer, 2019
First Place Winner Jessica Chaidez and Mayor Rahm Emanuel © Chicago Architecture Biennial/Marcin Cymmer, 2019
BP Competition Project Entry by Camryn Gosa © Chicago Architecture Biennial/Marcin Cymmer, 2019
BP Student Competition finalist Steve Wilson © Chicago Architecture Biennial/Marcin Cymmer, 2019
Spring 2019 Awards Ceremony © Chicago Architecure Biennial/Marcin Cymmer, 2019
2017 competition finalist Roberto Arroyo © Chicago Architecure Biennial/Jaclyn Simpson, 2017
2017 finalists for graphic design division © Chicago Architecure Biennial/Jaclyn Simpson, 2017

The Fall 2019 BP Student Ideas Competition presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Center will run September 19 - December 6, 2019. For this challenge, we are asking you to choose an issue that you are interested in or concerned about. This can be something that impacts you directly or something that you see impacting your city or the world at large.

From Greta Thunberg’s work on Climate Change to March For Our Lives to Black Youth Project 100 — kids and teens just like you are creating community centers, organizing demonstrations, making art, recording podcasts, writing articles, and making a huge difference along the way. Many of the projects included in the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial represent how architects, artists, activists, researchers, and others respond to the issues they care about through architecture and design. How would you make your voice heard?

Download the competition manual here.

Get started with a brainstorming worksheet!

Learn more and submit your entry at bpcompetition.org

The Spring 2019 BP Student Ideas Competition invited young people to respond to the following question: How would you transform a vacant or underused space in your community?

Winners and submission entries below were reviewed by a panel of jurors including:

  • Geoffrey Baer | Television Personality, Host, and Producer, WTTW Chicago
  • Mejay Gula | Lecturer and Gallery Curator, Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Lisa M. Daugherty | President & CEO, Lake Area United Way
  • Luis Ramirez | Graffiti Artist and Muralist
  • Ian Spula | Program Operations Specialist, Chicago Architecture Center
  • Anthony Wells | Chief of Staff, BP
  • Vivian Garvia | Manager of The 606, Chicago Park District
  • Roark Frankel | Director of Planning of Construction, Obama Foundation


All participants were celebrated at an awards ceremony and showcase at the Chicago Cultural Center. View photos here.

Winning entries will be on view in the Biennial x Lendlease Discovery and Learning Lab at the Chicago Cultural Center from October 1 - November 10, 2019. 

Select Entries

A Place Full of Resources by Jimena Saldana
Asian Creation by Meilian Wu
Beverly Bicycle Park by Emily Kurylak
Chicago After School Recreational Center for the Youth by Kenny Robles, Phillip Paloma, Felix Arroyo, and Miguel Garcia
Chicago Pocket Park by German Aceves
CLM (Chicago Land Movie) Logan Square Theatre by Marian Rodriguez, Iliana Hernandez, and Emmanuel Lopez
Community Park by Derian Orozco
Community Park by Jose Martinez
Community Pocket Park by Jacqueline Gonzalez
Community Space by Axel Nolasco
Dog Park by Erik Saenz
Dog Park for Service Dogs by Mia Gravina and Bella Starmach
Englewood Community Center by Christopher Padilla. Isabelle Dizon, Jonathan Garcia, Jumikah Martinez, Sabrina Hudson, and Kimani Jackson
Family Garden by Juan Ruiz
First Hope by Amulya Jasti
Garfield Park Community Park by Daniel Piolet
Garfield Ridge Community Park by Fabiola Palomo
Greene Farm Barn/ Pradle Arena by Matas Skucas, Micah Ramsey, and Turner Pahl
Harold Washington Cultural Center Corridor Development by Cameron Foster
Inside Out Park by Alejandra Cahue
Jose Community Space by Jose Adan Garcia
Kilbourn Avenue Park by Joanna Sanchez
Montanez Park by Joshua Montanez
Naperville Cultural Center by Jonathan Chang
Neighborhood Dog Park by Angel Rios
Phe-Phe's Pet Shop by Phoenix Henry, Angela Mathews, Donnell Hopgood
Pocket Park by David Stachnik
Pocket Park by Lesli Gonzalez
Pocket Park by Jose Ruiz
Pocket Park by Jaime Morales
Pocket Park by Paulina Lopez
Pocket Park by Pedro Lopez
Pocket Park by Paulina Lopez
Pocket Park by Zitao Li
Pocket Park Community Space by Harim Solano
Small Community Park by Gabriela Garcia Gonzalez
Spectrum Park by Rocio Gaytan
Sweet Water Foundation Pocket by Joshua Castro
The Four Pergolas by Tania Cisneros
Westlewood Haven Park by Daniel Vargas Fuentes
Winfield Butterfly Garden by Melanie Dawson and Natalie Doyle
Winfield Community Center by Gabrielle Christman and Itzel Carrasco
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