Frequently asked questions about rentals

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Are there any restrictions on when I could have my event?

Yes! We try to host all events between 9am and 9pm Tuesdays–Saturdays. Generally we are available for rentals only while there is an exhibition on display. This is usually late April through mid-August and late October through mid-February.  However, if your date falls outside of this description, please feel free to contact us to see if there’s still a possibility to partner. We’re as flexible as we can be! We tend to start to book events 2-3 months in advance of the date, although that can vary. It’s really more about making sure a date is available, and that you have the lead time to plan a great event!


Do you have any special requirements for rentals?

We require that all renters and any onsite vendors, including deliveries, to have a Certificate of Insurance, and can provide specifics upon request.

The City of Chicago also requires all food and drink served in the museum space to be individually packaged (think cans of pop rather that 2L bottles, wrapped brownies rather than a cookie tray.) We ask that events refrain from serving guests red wine or saucy foods in order to protect the material on display.


Do you have required vendors?

We do not, although we do require that all vendors supply Design Museum of Chicago with a certificate of insurance and be properly licensed by the City of Chicago and State of Illinois. We’re also happy to recommend the people we love working with!


What is included in my rental fee?

You have access to the space, five 6′ folding tables, five highboy tables, black table linens, two large coolers, ~40 folding chairs, a projector, a screen, two amps, a mixing board, and two wireless microphones. Any additional needs are the responsibility of the renter.


Can you promote my event?

Our standard rental agreement does not include promotion of any kind, but if you’re interested in working with us to promote either onsite or off, please let us know. We’re happy to see how we can work together!


How many people can can I host at the museum?

For a cocktail reception, the museum can host up to 200 guests at a single time. For a lecture or discussion, the space can generally host up to 40, although this changes with each exhibition. For a workshop, we suggest capping attendance at 30 simply in order to keep participants in close proximity to each other.


Can you send me a floor plan?

We can, but depending on when you are hosting your event, it may make more sense to send you sample photographs. We completely redesign the gallery for each exhibition, so sending you a floor plan of the current exhibition may not be reflective of the floor plan on the day of your event.


Do you have parking? A loading dock? A freight elevator?

There is a paid, public parking garage below the building. Design Museum of Chicago is unable to validate any parking. There are also multiple bus lines within 2 blocks of the museum, and the Red and Blue lines have stations in the lower level of the building. There is a loading dock which can be utilized upon request, as well as a small freight elevator.


How much does it cost?

Our rates are based on the number of people anticipated at your event, the type of event, and the day of the week your event will happen. Please contact us at info-at-designchicago-dot-com with these details for a quote. We do offer non-profit and sponsor discounts.