About the Archive

Serving the entire community of Chicago designers since 2002, the Chicago Design Archive provides the one permanent, online record of excellent design created by local professionals from 1927 right up to the present. The major goal of the Chicago Design Archive is to provide a means for those practicing in the Chicago area, independent of professional affiliation, to have their best work permanently preserved and made accessible to a worldwide audience.

The Chicago Design Archive began as a collection of nearly 900 slides of outstanding work done by Chicago designers between 1927 and 2002. That collection, shown at the STA’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebration, has grown through the contribution of personal collections and, since 2005, by juried entries from the STA sponsored annual Archive competition.

There are currently over 1,800 examples of significant work created by more than 650 Chicago designers from approximately 266 firms in the collection. Nearly 100 design firms have had their work selected for inclusion in the permanent collection during the past few years alone. So, the archive is not merely a static collection of historically important design, but also a living, growing record of the vibrant local design scene.