About the Archive

The Chicago Design Archive (CDA) launched in 2002, provides an exclusive and permanent online record of design excellence created from 1927 to the present. The CDA provides a means for Chicago design firms and Chicago clients to showcase their creative effort to a worldwide audience.

The CDA began as a collection of nearly 900 slides of exemplary work between 1927 and 2002. That collection, shown at the STA's seventy-fifth anniversary celebration, has grown through contributions of personal collections, selections by the CDA board and curators, and by juries of the STA-sponsored annual Archive competition.

Currently, over 2,000 examples of work by 500 designers and their clients can be found. Nearly 100 design firms have been added within the past three years alone. The archive is not merely a static collection of historically important design, but also a living, growing record of the vibrant local design scene.

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