The final week for the ULI competition was very intense for our team. After finally realizing that we needed to start producing final material and stop messing around with architectural concepts, we decided the best way to finish the competition was to divide the group into designers/revit modelers, graphics/diagram person, and financial people. The result was a mediocre design concept that involved the connection of districts into a "LiNK" District as we called it... a district that proved the complete amenities of a successful recreational/business/residential district in a linear fashion. And what I mean by that is we used pedestrian pathways to literally cut through the buildings and infrastructure and serve as the "link" between buildings and structure. The results are shown below, and the final result was something we were all proud of... given we only had 2 very short weeks to produce this.
The project was a success and we learned a lot. And even though we didnt win or even receive an honorable mention, we were satisfied with our final product. We gained an experience that put us ahead of other colleagues in our class who didn't do the competition, and i only wish this competition was incorporated into our curriculum.
The ULI Competition this year motivated designers to develop "bold, BIG ideas." So naturally, going into this competition, our team dreamt of just that. Being a graduate from the art-oriented architecture program at Kent State University, my ideas were nothing short of something BIG for an urban design competition...
We had this idea of "corridor connections" where the built environment acted much like a street would. It would facilitate and attract movement along a pathway.
Here's another approach to the idea designed by Gabriel Fey where each corridor served a different function.
We even explored bridging these connections to encourage relationships in section...
And after going through nearly 2 rolls of trace and 3 sleepless nights our advisers finally told us to step back into reality and realize what this competition is all about... It's about implementing a design solution that solves problems that already exist rather than trying to solve problems by creating new ones.
So our BIG ideas got shut down, and rather quickly. So, if there is a moral to this story, it's know your design limititations before going in.
Also, design planning can only go so far...
In terms of design competitions, making a work plan beforehand will only get you so far. That "production time" ended up lasting until about 2 hours before we had to print and ship our package. So, try to stick to it, but don't count on it!
More on this competition in future discussions...
At the beginning of the year, I took part of the Gerald D. Hines Urban Land Institute Design Competition. Me, along with two others from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative: Tommy Chesnes and Gabriel Faye, and two others from Cleveland State University, one a law student and one an urban planner, formed a very solid team, i must admit. But the competition process began a long time ago. In fact, our Urban Systems professor, Sagree Sharma persuaded us to compete in this competition. Beginning in the fall, we began the very long process of getting ourselves prepared for this competition. Beginning with the initial interviews (or blind dates) we selected teammates who I felt were well rounded students in a variety of subjects. Debby, who was from Germany, had much experience in leadership positions, was our urban planner, and Pete, who had experience in law, was also from CSU.
Gabriel Fey | Team Leader | M. Arch + M.U.D. @ CUDC
Brandon Young | M. Arch + M.U.D. @ CUDC
Tommy Chesnes | M. Arch + M.U.D. @ CUDC
Debby Riemann | M.U.P.D. @ CSU
Pete Zahirsky | M.P.A. @ CSU
The application process, I must add, is quite complex for a design competition. You know its a major competition when you need a separate email address for it. It was also a chance for me to review my teammates resumes; which were very impressive. Truth be told, I was confident that our team had a very good chance of becoming finalists.
So what is this competition?
"The ULI/Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, now in its tenth year, is an urban design and development challenge for graduate students. The Hines Competition challenges multidisciplinary student teams to devise a comprehensive development program for a real, large-scale site. Student teams comprising at least three disciplines have two weeks to develop solutions that include drawings, site plans, tables, and market-feasible financial data. Please visit the competition archives to view previous submissions and view thedocumentary video to learn more about the competition format. ULI will announce this year’s competition site on January 17, 2012, which is the day the competition officially gets underway.This is an ideas competition; there is no expectation that any of the submitted schemes will be applied to the site. The winning team will receive $50,000 and the finalist teams $10,000 each."-taken from the ULI Competition website
The competition was exactly 2 intense weeks, during the beginning of the spring semester. So, to top things off, we had studio and other class work to do as well. This just made the competition even more challenging than it already was.Of the 3 teams that participated in the competition from the CUDC, only 2 submitted. However, the other team put up a very good fight. More about this competition to come....
Brandon E. Young