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Debris Design Competition

Debris Design Competition: Turning Waste to Walls in Haiti

Submission deadline: May 15, 2010 – all submissions must be digital and are due by 12:00 pm MST

Eligibility: Individuals and teams in all fields of study and practice; international participants are welcome.

Debris Design is a design competition focused on removing materials from the waste stream in post-earthquake Haiti and using design ingenuity to alter them for new daily-life uses.  The goal is to develop uses for these materials that respond to basic, life-sustaining needs, both immediate and long-term. The competition is open to anyone interested in finding creative responses to the problems of waste and appropriate construction in Haiti.  Registration for individuals and teams is available through the competition website.

Winning entries will receive cash awards and will be included in a public exhibition.  In addition, authors of selected entries will have the opportunity to serve as design consultants to students at the University of Utah School of Architecture to further develop the ideas within the design of a school in Haiti for the Haitian Roots education non-profit organization.

Debris Design is scheduled as a three day event with the kick-off informational meeting at 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 13, 2010, at the Bailey Gallery of the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning.  The evening event will include information about available materials, an explanation of the current situation in Haiti, and a discussion of Haitian culture and lifestyle.  Design submissions are due at 12:00 pm on May 15 in electronic format (pdf files).  The competition will culminate with the awards ceremony and Hip Hop for Haiti celebration at 6:00 pm on Saturday, May 15, at the Utah Arts Alliance, 2191 South 300 West in Salt Lake City.  Details are available on the website.

The Debris Design Competition will act as a catalyst and collection point for innovative ideas benefiting underdeveloped areas affected by natural disasters.  Professionals and students are invited to reconsider current notions of emergency response and transform debris and other materials that typically become part of the waste stream into innovative materials and structures.

Participants can design with a range of materials from broken concrete and tangled rebar to natural fibers and discarded packaging.  Solutions may be related to building construction, energy production or storage, water collection, food production, public health, or sanitation.  Proposals will be judged on innovation, relevance, constructability, and sustainability.

Debris Design is hosted by the non-profit organization COMMONstudio with the support of the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning.

About COMMONstudio

COMMONstudio is a non-profit organization which seeks to provide design services, education and advocacy about the built environment to underserved populations and existing nonprofits. Through the power of professional design, we build safer, more sustainable and highly innovative environments that become assets to their communities and enduring symbols of the collective ability to envision a better future.

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