Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beat Bob Stern: Architecture for Humanity/Chicago street furniture competition

OK, those ubiquitous bus shelters designed by architect Robert Stern may not be the worst thing in the world, although their thick limbs and heavy lids seem a long way from Parisian grace, much less good Chicago design. Now the Chicago Chapter of Architecture for Humanity is holding what promises to be a bit more democratic Street Furniture Competition for the design of "one or more pieces of 'street furniture' that can be easily distributed to vacant sites and parks throughout the city for two months during the summer."
The fabric of any city has pockets of underutilized and neglected spaces. These vacant pieces of the city are often intended for development at some point in the future but currently sit empty and unused. Left unattended, they can become dangerous and unwelcoming areas along the streetscape. Through small acts of community we can repurpose these empty spaces and imagine for ourselves a better streetscape.
The rules are pretty simple: two 11 x 17 boards as PDF's, with "with at a minimum a plan, section/elevation and design detail. Please list the required materials and provide a narrative that describes the following: build process, materials, estimated cost, and end of use/deconstruction plan. Scale of drawings at the discretion of the entrants."

As far as I can tell, you don't even have to figure out where the advertising will go, or come up with prospects for the leasing.

Deadline is 5:00 p.m., February 26th, with the winners to be announced at AFH Chgicago's March meeting. and a series of "Saturday Build Days" in April and May to infiltrate the winning entries into the city's parks.

Questions and final PDFs to submitted via email. You can view the brief as an on-line pdf.

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