Universal Design in the Young Architects Forum Competition

From the AIA blog:


The AIA Young Architects Forum (YAF) and the AIA Committee on Design (COD) invites architects, students, and allied design professionals to submit sketches to the international 2011 YAF/COD Ideas Competition. Visit the competition website.

In this unique sketch competition, submitters are asked to explore the concept of Universal Design as well as their overlap with values of social and environmental sustainability.

Winners will be announced and will have their work exhibited at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 12-14, 2011. Selected entries will be displayed on the AIA website.


Over the past decade, the planning and operation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been fundamentally re-defined, guided by an emphasis on inclusion, as well as social and environmental sustainability.

In 2009, the City of Tokyo, Japan was one of several cities selected as a finalist to become the Host City for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games. The International Olympic and Paralympic committees ultimately awarded the Games to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - but Tokyo again is in the process of compiling a bid for the 2020 Games.

Inspired by the recent trajectory of thought and action exhibited by the IOC and IPC, the American Institute of Architects invites designers to participate in a design competition intended to build upon the efforts of the past decade by proposing a vision for Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Games that is guided not only by socially- and environmentally-sustainable principles, but also by the concept of Universal Design.

Universal Design has been defined as "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." This definition was developed by the architect Ron Mace, FAIA, an architect and the founder of the Center for Universal Design at N.C. State University. In recent years, architects and designers in the US and abroad have come to recognize significant and growing overlaps between Universal Design principles and emerging values of social and environmental sustainability.

This year's design problem, to create a master plan for the Olympic Village and a design for a representative mixed-use building that includes athlete housing, will provide entrants with the opportunity to explore these overlaps. Successful solutions will demonstrate a commitment to Universal Design, as well as social and environmental sustainability, throughout the Village during its Olympic, Paralympic, and Legacy modes by creating designs that will allow the Village to play a vital role in the ongoing development of the City of Tokyo - not only for the short-term as athletes' housing during the Games, but also for the long-term as a catalyst for infrastructural revitalization once the Games have closed.


The following section outlines the submission requirements, registration fees, eligibility details, and judging criteria. For more information, please contact AIA Honors & Awards at kcawards@aia.org.

Entries may be submitted anytime between January 14, 2011 and March 14, 2011

Visit the competition website.

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