3-day Landscape Urbanism Design Challenge in Melbourne

The Office of Urban Transformations (OUTR), a non-profit organization at the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University, Melbourne, has launched a design competition and event called Urban Realities: Landscape Urbanism 3-day Challenge. The idea: 100 international and national architects, landscape architects, designers, craftspeople, and artists will “race the clock to design and construct exciting new public space projects in just 72 hours in a real-time design challenge aimed at transforming Melbourne’s Docklands.”

According to OUTR, the Docklands is a neglected neighborhood just a 10 minute walk from Melbourne’s central business district. Since the late 1800’s, the Docklands have been largely home to abandoned shipyard infrastructure. “The space remained vacant and unused during the 1980s and it fell in to disrepair. Docklands became notable during the 1990s for its underground rave dance scene.” Recent efforts to revitalize the neighborhood include Etihad Stadium, Southern Cross Station, and the Southern Star Ferris wheel. 

Starting July 25, inter-disciplinary teams of 10 will spend three days and three nights to create new urban sites on 10 pre-selected locations across the Docklands:

“Day 1. Teams arrive and get settled into camp. Uniforms will be handed out at the welcoming ceremony and the afternoon will be spent doing an orientation of the docklands sites reviewing previous working models.

Day 2. Participants have the opportunity to attend an organised symposium where local and international designers, policy makers and artists are invited to present their works. The symposium aims to set the radical and innovative framework and expectations of the event. Teams will have the chance to complete a number of small group exercise to get the imaginations flowing.

Day 3. Teams will assemble at the docks at 9.00am sharp where an opening ceremony will take place. Guest speakers will be invited to announce each of the teams with a brief and a site. Once the start time has been called teams will have precisely 72 hours to complete that mission! Teams will most likely spend the day brainstorming and designing their sites.

Day 4. Day 2 of the competition. Teams will purchase materials and construction of sites in response to missions will commence.

Day 5. Day 3 of the competition. Teams should be well underway with construction. As of midday teams will have 24 hours left to complete their mission.

Day 6. Time will be called at 12pm and teams must cease working. The jury will spend the day viewing the projects. A closing party will take place from 7pm where the winners of the competition will be announced.”

OUTR believes the temporary nature of the competition has value. “Development occurs in a state of flux and we must learn to design and construct an urban environment that embraces continual transition. Temporary use is the opposite of the masterplan: it starts out from context and the current condition, not from a distant goal. It seeks to use what already exists rather than inventing everything anew.”

The competition is open to individuals and groups who want to “design, build, work and sleep on site, enriching the city with a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary experience.” In addition to all that fun, first prize winners will take home $20,000 AUD ($21,700 USD). 
Apply by May 31.   

Also, check out AECOM’s Urban SOS 2011 student design competition. The focus of this year’s competition is water. Submissions are due by July 29. Winners will receive $15,000.
Image credit: OUTR