Access: Open House Chicago at CIADC


Open House Chicago is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 architecturally significant buildings across Chicago. This year, the Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center location at 6433 North Ravenswood Avenue will be one of the featured locations open to the public on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15.

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Come learn about the engineering/construction accomplishment and the past tenants of thebuilding we occupy – tour our shops and hear about our adult and teen programming!

Tours on Saturday from 8:30am to 7pm, and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm.

Exhibitions: Call for Entries – Review

Review will be our year-end survey of new works created at CIADC during 2017.

We are seeking your exemplary objects from a year of making in metal, wood, casting, and design – wrap up the year and show us your best work! CIADC Members and Students interested in taking part in this exhibit should complete a “Call for Entry” exhibition form available at the front desk.

To participate, please complete a submission form by Monday, October 23

·      Works will be selected and coordinated by Monday, October 30

·      Drop-off will take place November 6 through November 12

·      The exhibit will open on Saturday, November 18


Community: Join the CIADC Online Member Gallery

We want to show off our Members! Current Members please send an email to, subject line “CIADC Online Member Gallery” with the following:

1. One representative image of your work, as an attachment

  • sized at a 1:1 square ratio, minimum 1000px by 1000px at 72ppi
  • saved as a .jpg file extension, with a filename yourlastname_worktitle

2. Title of work, or Untitled

3. (Optional) URL link to personal website or other online portfolio used to redirect when your image is clicked

4. Your first name and last name as you would like it to appear


Need help documenting your work? Join our two-day workshop led by Matt Runfola – Photographing 3D Objects: Digitally Documenting Your Work (ITD520-02) – CIADC Members receive a 50% discount on tuition; use Promo Code Photo50 at checkout!

Additional Fall Workshops Start October 17

Education: Register Now for Fall and Receive Discounted Tuition


Register Now! Fall Teen and Adult Classes Begin Monday, September 11

Casting & Molding (**Save 10% through 9/10**)
modeling, mold-making, and casting of 3D objects in aluminum, bronze, and more!

Metalworking & Forging (**Save 10% through 9/10**)
cutting, shaping, welding, and finishing 3D objects in steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and bronze!

Technology & Design (**Save 10% through 9/10**)
3D Computer-Aided Design: design for shop construction, rendering for presentation, and CNC output!

Woodworking (**Save 10% through 9/10**)
cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing 3D objects in hardwoods, sheet goods, and lumber!

Fall Workshops

Teen Classes (Ages 12-15)
in all 4 Departments!

Holiday Immersion Classes (Ages 16+) (**Save 10% through 9/10**)
1-week, Mon-Fri classes in each Department. 3-hour -or- 6-hour per day options!

Education: Teen Summer Camps and Beyond

Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center is working hard to provide education and access to the younger generation – spring marked our first term hosting teen-focused courses, and we've partnered with After School Matters and Embarc Chicago to share our expertise with students. This week marks another milestone for our youth education efforts – the first completed week of Teen Summer Camps.

Five students this week were introduced to the world of industrial arts in the CIADC Metal and Woodworking Departments. Monday through Friday, instructors brought students through the basic processes and tool applications that underpin all of the advanced work undertaken in fabricating and sculpting objects from metals and wood.

There are still open spots for interested youth in the morning and afternoon for the next two weeks in Casting, Metalworking, and Woodworking:

Week B: July 17 - 21
Camp 1B: 9am-12pm
Camp 2B: 12:30pm-3:30pm

Week C: July 24 - 28
Camp 1C: 9am-12pm
Camp 2C: 12:30pm-3:30pm

Sign your teens up today, and employ creativity and functional design for the rest of the season! We'll leave you with a few kind words from our Embarc Chicago visitors:

"It's exciting to meet folks who are equally as passionate about providing hand-on, engaging learning experiences for students. You all are such a strong team – talented, professional, enthusiastic . . . we hope to work with you again"

Exhibitions: Call for Entries – Fault Lines

Fault Lines will feature works with material irregularities – imperfections channeled toward greater ends.

We are seeking objects that utilize unforeseen complications in the process of creation, engaging potential flaws with ingenuity. The exhibition will aim to highlight improvisation and problem solving.

CIADC Members and Students interested in taking part in this exhibit should send images and a description to or speak to Nathan Smith at the front desk.

To participate, please be in touch by Monday, July 31

·      Works will be selected and coordinated by Monday, August 7

·      Drop-off will take place Monday, August 14 through Sunday, August 21

·      The exhibit will open on Saturday, August 26

Education: Summer Term Begins Next Week!

Register now for 5-week -or- 10-week classes offered weekday mornings, weekday evenings, and weekends to fit everyone's schedule:

Casting & Molding

Fabricated Metalworking & Forging

Integrated Technology & Design


Summer Teen 5-Week Classes Begin Wednesday

There are lots of summer education opportunities for teenagers at CIADC as well. 16-17 year-olds can sign up for any of the adult Classes above with parental approval, and 12-15 year-olds can enroll in our teen-centric courses listed below:

Work with your hands to create cool objects. Apply STEAM principles in a shop setting.

Summer Teen Camps

For a concentrated burst of youth education, CIADC will also offer a series of week-long teen camps during the weeks of July 10-14, July 17-21, July 24-28:

Education: Embarc Chicago at CIADC

Last week, Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center was happy to welcome a group of 11th graders from Sullivan High School with Embarc Chicago for an experiential learning journey that encompassed our Casting, Metal, and Woodworking departments. Embarc is a three-year program that provides community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income High School students to inspire and prepare them for college and career success.

CIADC instructors Micki LeMieux (Casting & Molding), Erik Newman (Woodworking), and Matthew Runfola (Metalworking) designed a 3-hour program, rotating students through each shop learning more about design, material, and process while creating components to assemble into a personal sculpture.

In the casting department, students created plaster casts of their fingers, using alginate molds.

In woodworking, they cut and sanded clear pine wooden base, using bandsaw and scroll saw.

And in the metalshop, students cut and folded a steel platform, using power shear, throatless shear, and magnetic sheet metal brake.

CIADC hands-on, experiential learning: learning shop skills directly applicable to creating objects, but also learning transferrable skill sets such as creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and empowerment. Our thanks to Ellen Muench of Embarc Chicago for choosing CIADC as a journey destination!

Teen programming (12-15): 5-week Summer classes, 1-week Summer Camps. Ages 16+ enrolled in adult programming with consent.

Education: Spring Five-Week Classes Start May 1

Learn something new, receive the STUC pre-requisite to work in a new Department during Open Studio Access, and save 5–10% on your class!

Adult classes
Intro to Casting
Saturdays 9am-12pm

Intro to Metal Fabrication
Tuesdays 9am-12pm
Saturdays 9am-12pm

Intro to SketchUp for the Object Maker
Saturdays 9am-12pm

Intro to Electronics and Microcontrollers For The Built Object
Wednesdays 7pm-10pm

Intro to Woodworking
Mondays 7pm-10pm,
Saturdays 9am-12pm

Teen classes
Casting for Teens: Ages 15-17
Wednesdays 4pm-6pm

Metalworking & Forging for Teens: Ages 12-14
Mondays 4pm-6pm

Metalworking & Forging for Teens: Ages 15-17
Wednesdays 4pm-6pm

Woodworking for Teens: Ages 12-14
Mondays 4pm-6pm

Woodworking for Teens: Ages 15-17
Wednesdays 4pm-6pm

Rogers Park Art: Alejandro Acierto at Roman Susan

This spring, Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center is offering new instruction in our Integrated Technology & Design Department for the final five-week run of spring term: Intro to SketchUp for the Object Maker and Intro to Electronics and Microcontrollers For The Built Object. The latter course will be led by Alejandro Acierto, a local artist, musician and educator. This month, Alejandro has a solo exhibit in Rogers Park utilizing some of the techniques he will be teaching at CIADC.

In the small storefront exhibit space at 1224 West Loyola Avenue, Alejandro as created an installation with a responsive, inflatable sculpture. The work Corporeal displacement (Roman Susan) is composed of an Arduino, custom software, a CO2 sensor, a silo breather bag, and an air pump. The sensor reads the oxygen level of the room, and based on the amount of CO2 present in the environment, the sculpture receives varying inputs of new air to animate the body of the work. When the CO2 levels are low, the work is expansive and large, like the image below.

The exhibit includes two other works by Alejandro, all with a focus on breath – the exhibit Breathing Room is on exhibit through April 27 at Roman Susan Art Foundation – a little less than a mile northeast of CIADC.

Check out this active application of tech in our neighborhood, and consider joining Alejandro to learn more about these techniques on Wednesday nights beginning May 3rd.

Education: CIADC Helps Chicago Teens Build Birdhouses, Learn Woodworking Skills

In late March, Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center teamed up with CIADC Member Cathy Taylor and her After School Matters classes to teach basic woodworking skills and help bridge classroom subjects with experiential learning.

The students – teenagers from three different Chicago schools – had been learning about various bird habitats. Cathy selected three unique birdhouses, designed to attract a variety of bird types from wrens and nuthatches, to barn swallows and robins, kestrels and owls. CIADC prepped the wood in-house and joined the ASM classes at Gallery 37 for the final assembly. Each class was able to take three birdhouses back to their school for installation!

Our well-placed gratitude to Erik Newman, Sarah Lu, Doug Rhodus, Donna Hapac, and Vic Nelson for their help with the project. And a special thanks to Cathy Taylor for involving CIADC in this rewarding program!

Education: The First Term of Teen Courses at CIADC

Our winter season marked the first term of youth education at Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center with the completion of two consecutive five-week classes for 12 to 14 year olds in the Metalworking and Fabrication Department.

In the first class, students undertook the classic folded box exercise (shearing, bending, drilling, and riveting sheet metal) and created a forged coat hook (shearing, forging, tapering, and bending bar stock, with a wax finish). In the second five weeks, students made a candle sconce (plasma cutting, grinding, bending, and riveting sheet metal) and created a welded sculpture (shearing, bending, MIG welding, sandblasting sheet metal and finishing with a lacquer coating).

We're looking forward to ongoing and expanding involvement with young makers at CIADC – Teen Education options are open now for spring term, and for week-long summer camps!

Spring Classes

Summer Camps

Education: Full Spring 2017 Registration Listings

Sign up now to join any of our four departments. 5-week and 10-week classes beginning March 27, with educational programming for ages 12 and older:

Casting & Molding

Fabricated Metalworking & Forging

Integrated Technology & Design


Teen Education

Spring Open House and Cc Exhibition Opening

Join us this Saturday from 1 to 3 PM for our Spring Open House and our next exhibit opening!

Cc is a showcase of duplicates – and near duplicates. See the new works, tour the facilities and workshops, and join us to celebrate the onset of spring! Works by Brian Blankstein, Susan Curry, Danielle Euer, Tricia Fox, Natalie Kling, Peter Mikalajunas, and John Saliba.

Image: Foxes by Tricia Fox –

Call for Volunteers

“Volunteer (#rtweek2012)” by Ron Mader is licensed under CC BY 2.0

CIADC is looking for volunteers to help with planning and day-of activities for our annual fundraiser. We're looking for help with the following:

  • co-chair event
  • event planning
  • soliciting sponsorship and item donations
  • neighborhood poster and postcard distribution
  • physical pickup up of donated items (drinks, food, supplies, auction items, etc.)
  • pre-event space transformation - Metal shop to party room (physical work)
  • decorating event space
  • working the night-of activities
  • post-event clean-up (night-of)
  • post-event space transformation - party room back to Metal shop

To volunteer, please email Janet Austin, event co-chair, at and let us know what tasks you are interested in helping with. Thank you!

Exhibitions: Call for Design Entries


99/1 will feature speculative designs for new public artworks. What is your ideal public work, where would it be in the city of Chicago, and why?

For 99/1 CIADC seeks 2D plans for new works designed outside the restrictions that have determined public art in Chicago to date – no budgets, no limits for location or function, just free reign for creative design.

CIADC Members and Students interested in taking part in this exhibit should send your public art design images to or speak to Nathan Smith at the front desk. Each submission should include an image of a proposed artwork, a location/site within the city of Chicago that the work was designed for, and a personal statement about the design.

To participate, please be in touch by Sunday, May 21 or fill out the form online at The exhibit will open on Saturday, June 3 and will be on display through Sunday, August 13.