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THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: College Students & Professionals
Project Brief > PDF

THE JUNIOR DESIGN CHALLENGE: Junior & Highschool Students
Junior Project Brief > PDF


In cities across America, neighborhoods are struggling economically and socially because of high rates of home foreclosure and financial divestment. The Austin neighborhood on the Westside of Chicago is one example of a community that is working hard to persevere in the face of this crisis.

Austin is the largest of Chicago’s 77 community areas. It is rich in infrastructural and community assets like beautiful, classic homes and buildings, two rapid transit lines, expansive parks, an active town hall, a public library, engaged religious congregations, block clubs, and hard working community and social justice organizations and the coalitions among them.

At the same time, Austin faces the highest foreclosure rate in Chicago and lacks strong commercial corridors. Businesses struggle and many institutional pillars of the community, such as schools, community banks and post offices are at risk of shutting their doors. All of this and more is impacting Austin residents.

This is a critical concern in your city and you are a designer. What will you do about it? Using Austin as a model for change, create a design or plan that helps to answer one or more of the following questions:

• How can design help the residents, businesses, and institutions in neighborhoods like Austin face and adapt to the current economic environment?
• How can design help keep people in their homes or get people back into their homes?
• Using Austin as a model, how can design help Americans stay invested and economically engaged in the places where we live?



THE JUNIOR DESIGN CHALLENGE: Junior & Highschool Students

In a separate category this year we decided to also ask young designers and creative minds at the high school and junior high school levels to imagine a design or plan for our competition which will offer a separate winning entry. Please help us spread the word!




IMPORTANT DATES

Launch date: March 1, 2012.
Deadline for all submissions: October 19th, 2012
Top entries announced: November 17th, 2012
Exhibition & Symposium: December 15th, 2012

PRIZES

Design Challenge: 1st Place - $2000 in Project Seed Money + a recommendation of professional assistance to help further develop and implement the design solution.
2nd & 3rd Place - Honorary Mention

Junior Design Challenge: 1st Place - $500 in Project Seed Money + a recommendation of professional assistance to help further develop and implement the design solution.
2nd & 3rd Place - Honorary Mention


Juried Exhibition:
All participants will have the opportunity to participate in a juried exhibition at a gallery space in Chicago and be featured on the Design Makes Change website.



PROJECT ESSENTIALS

Show your design phases from research and concept to resolution. If your solution is an object, structure or space, show us your finished design through detailed drawings, 3-D renderings, and/or prototypes and physical models.

If your solution is a plan, process, program, or visual campaign, present all print media, interactive media, or packaging materials with a plan for implementation. Please also include a strategy for implementation, especially if you and/or your team reside outside the Chicago metropolitan area.

• Show depth of thinking and quality in your design.
• Communicate the feasibility of your concept.
• Provide supporting evidence to prove relevance and importance- tell us why your idea is the best.
• Submit a strategy for implementation.

 


JURORS

Submissions will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of jurors from the fields of design, social justice, advocacy, activism, and community development. Our jury will identify the designs with the greatest potential for implementation and success. All submissions will be judged equally regardless of discipline or whether the submitter is a professional or academic. Judging will be based on design thinking, relevancy, efficacy and viability.

ELCE REDMOND (SOUTH AUSTIN COMMUNITY COUNCIL COALITION)
“The foreclosure crisis in Austin is systematically decimating the collective wealth of the African-American community. Our hope is that this project will shine a bright light of justice for those fighting for neighborhood preservation,” said Elce Redmond, South Austin Community Council Coalition organizing director and Sweet Homes Chicago judge.


JOHN PAUL KUSZ (JPKUSZ LTD, SUSTAINABILITY CONSULTANCY)
“The application of comprehensive and anticipatory design is essential to the reframing of social and environmental problems. Through this contest, Design Makes Change is helping us rethink design’s ultimate purpose; the ‘making’ of stronger communities and ultimately a better world,” said John Paul Kusz, sustainability consultant and Sweet Homes judge.


STEPHEN MELAMED (TRES DESIGN & UNIVERSITY OF IL, CHICAGO)

LINDA PULIK (MOTOROLA & BAO DESIGN LAB)

CARL BOYD (MAKE 4A LIVING, COLOMBIA COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN)
MONICA CHADHA
(STUDIO GANG ARCHITECTS)
ERICA SWINNEY (CENTER FOR LABOR & COMMUNITY RESEARCH)
MELISSA KELSEY (BETHEL NEW LIFE)
FRANCES COX, AUSTIN RESIDENT & COMMUNITY ACTIVIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWEET HOMES CHICAGO POSTER

Download a pdf of the poster to print > PDF


AUSTIN TALKS
Art student creates Sweet Homes Chicago design competition poster:

"Michael Adams, a junior at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, created the winning poster that captures the essence of the Austin-themed Sweet Homes Chicago design competition.


He found inspiration for his design from a Thomas Edison quote: 'The body is a community made up of its innumerable cells or inhabitants'. He said communities are made of people from different ethnicities who need to come together to build up their community and restore it.”

LEARN MORE | ABOUT THE ISSUES

Sweet Homes Chicago: Design Competition To Combat Austin’s High Foreclosure Rate Kicks Off, Austin Talks Newsletter

Separated, Unequal & Ignored, Chicago Reader


Austin Foreclosure Crisis: 'Bank Of America Is Creating Eyesores Throughout Chicago', Huffington Post

Designing a Fix for Housing, NY Times
By JEANNE GANG and GREG LINDSAY

CHICAGO NEWS COOPERATIVE
School on Probation Faces a Struggle, NY Times


The Field Museum:

A Practical Introduction To Participatory Action Research For Communities & Scholars (PARS)


An Austin Snapshot: A 9 Week Asset Based Ethnography Of The Far West Side Of Chicago


Austin: A Place Of Extremes, Catalyst Chicago


Building A Healthier Chicago: Austin in Focus


The Mortgage Deal: A Reality Check, NPR


Betting Against Struggling Homeowners, NPR


Designing A Fix For Housing, NY Times


Most Americans Want A Walking Neighborhood, GOOD


“More and more designers are exploring ways to address social and environmental concerns -- whether through print or media campaigns, public space or architectural projects, product design solutions, or transportation innovations. This contest is a platform not only for those types of ideas to be brought to the table, but also to challenge to designers to understand how their ideas will work within a community,” said Siobhan Gregory, founder of Design Makes Change. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 COMPETITION | SWEET HOMES CHICAGO

In cities across America, neighborhoods are struggling economically and socially because of high rates of home foreclosure and financial divestment. This is a critical concern in your city and you are a designer. What will you do about it?


1ST PLACE WINNER:

3 INTERVENTIONS TO TRIGGER A SELF-SUFFICIENT LOCAL ECONOMY IN CHICAGO'S AUSTIN

By Carlyn So



See More > Winners & Entries