Enter the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge.
In the United States alone more than 6 million students spend much of their day in “portable” classrooms. Anyone who has spent time in one of these classrooms knows that we can do better.
In 2003, the Modular Building Institute estimated that more than 220,000 K-12 portable classrooms were in use by public school systems. Because school systems cannot readily access capital funding, temporary and makeshift classrooms have become an unintended fixture of many educational campuses.
In Florida alone, 75 percent of a school’s portables are now counted as permanent classroom space.
Each year Architecture for Humanity’s Open Architecture Challenge design competition brings public attention to inequities in the built environment affecting the health, prosperity and well being of under-served communities. In 2009 the Open Architecture Challenge will focus on the issue of portable classrooms.
The Open Architecture Challenge will tackle the health, environmental and performance concerns associated with today’s portable schools. New classroom design solutions will be implemented across the nation. Students and teachers understand best what makes a learning space work. The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge will invite them to partner with architects in their community to design better, greener classrooms for their schools.
Entrants will be required to develop a design for an existing student body and demonstrate student participation throughout the design process. The competition will be promoted throughout the global design community and timed to coincide with the academic calendar to encourage student involvement. A curriculum package will be developed in tandem with the competition. The curriculum will be distributed by mail and delivered digitally to schools across the country through partnerships with educational organizations. An inter-disciplinary team of architects, educators and others will jury the entries. The winning design will be built with funds raised as a result of the competition.
All of the designs entered into the competition will be displayed in classrooms across the country, and made available for download on the Open Architecture Network. By sharing the designs-including CAD files-freely, we aim to give school systems access to hundreds of sustainable alternatives to portable classrooms and to impact decision-making where it matters most-at the local level.
The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge aims to use architecture and design as a vehicle for strengthening communities by:
Offering innovative and viable alternatives to traditional portable classrooms, introducing K-12 students to architecture, spatial planning and 3D modeling, teaching students, faculty and parents about how buildings impact the environment, and advocating for greener, healthier, more conducive learning environments.
Teachers and Students know what makes a classroom work. Lets let them design the classroom of the future.
1. Program Development and Needs Assessment (complete)
2. Identify Project Partners (on-going)
3. Finalize Competition Brief and Companion Curriculum January 15, 2009
4. Competition Launch January 20, 2009
5. Educational/Design Outreach January – April
6. Early Registration March 31, 2009
7. Submission Deadline May 15, 2009
8. Competition Jury June 1-7, 2009
9. Announcement of winners June 15, 2009