I've signed up as a Mentor. Now what?

Thank you for your interest in signing up as a Mentor for DiscoverDesign.

Feel free to select whichever best applies to your profession. We view DiscoverDesign users in three broad categories of Students, Educators, and Mentors. Students and Educators typically have a school associated with their accounts, while Mentors (Architects and Designers) have an architecture firm or design employer associated with theirs.

We typically match Mentors with classes throughout the school year and during the National DiscoverDesign High School Competition.

Furthermore, if you are located in Chicago, we also reach out to Mentors to take part in the Jury process for our annual Newhouse Competition and encourage mentors to sign up as volunteers for Chicago Architecture Foundation's education and outreach programs.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to get involved and we hope you choose the option that works best for you.

For further help head to: and

What curricular resources can I use?

Thank you for reaching out and inquiring about curricular resources to use with

DiscoverDesign is based off of Chicago Architecture Foundation's AIA award-winning textbook: The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide To Understanding Buildings, available for sale.

In addition to the text, DiscoverDesign also hosts several case-studies in architecture on the “Discover Architecture” section. Each case-study usually links to PDFs and video interviews with the architects of each site. This section of the site can be reached at:

Futher examples include the following: and

We invite you and your students to take part in the site by creating accounts and exploring the "Discover Architecture" section.

What programs are available for kids aged 8-12 in this subject?

CAF offers many resources for younger audiences through our Studio Programs. More information can be found at

Does my high school have to be affiliated with DiscoverDesign for me to use it?

A student's high school does not need to utilize DiscoverDesign for the student to sign up. To sign up, DiscoverDesign users must be of high school age and able to provide the name of the high school that they attend.

How do students present their work on DiscoverDesign?

Along with text, DiscoverDesign allows for students to upload images and videos of their work to document each step in their design process. 

Students also have the option of working publically or privately by setting their privacy setting for each project withing their user profile. 

What sort of competitions does DiscoverDesign host? hosts one national competition a year, alongside many smaller design challenges that students can take on at any time. As a web property of Chicago Architecture Foundation, DiscoverDesign also links to CAF competitions that are specific to Chicago and its surrounding area such as the Newhouse Architecture and Design Competition.

When does the 2016 National High School Competition begin? When does it conclude?

The competition begins in September and concludes in mid December. Exact dates are TBA.

For the 2016 National High School Competition, do students work independently or in groups?

Students should work independently to qualify for the grand prize.

How is the design challenge for the National Competition formulated?

Each year, content staff and professional mentors at Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) develop one new design challenge specifically for the competition.

Can students use any 3D modeling software?

Students are encouraged to use whatever design tool that suits them. Contestants can engage in the design process using hand sketching to digital model making to physical model making. Tools are not limited but the competition requires students to document their process through each step of the design process.