Design a Community Market for Social Good
The National DiscoverDesign Competition is an annual ideas competition challenging high school students to design solutions to a real-world problem using the design process. The competition is hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters.
This year’s challenge was developed in partnership with Borderless Studio, an architecture and urban design office that focuses on the future of cities and the roles that architecture plays in supporting healthy, vibrant and meaningful communities.
Design a community market on a transit-oriented site in Chicago to improve access to resources and provide public gathering spaces for the Marshall Square or McKinley Park neighborhoods in Chicago. Your design must be able to be built on one of the following transit-oriented development sites:
2012 S California Avenue
Vacant lot under the train line at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Pink line, California station
2211 W 35th Street
Vacant lot near the CTA Orange line, 35th/Archer station
Competition entries will be judged on both process and final designs. Strong designs will demonstrate evidence of research, written and visual documentation through the following criteria:
- Consideration of the relationship between market space, community gathering, dialogue and engagement for all times of year and all ages.
- Consider the context of the site: Who lives around here? What kinds of places surround it (schools, shops, transit)? What are the neighboring resources and/or needs?
- Includes options for additional programming or functions to enable gathering and communicating. For example areas for raising awareness to community issues through performances/lectures/concerts; steps for gathering; and/or exhibition space for public art.
- Research and understanding of the community for which the market serves.
Designs must adhere to the following constraints:
- Build on one of the proposed sites and within the specified lot dimensions
- Include at least one permanent structure
- Include solutions for providing access to healthy/locally sourced food as a resource
- Include solutions for activating the space year-round
- Include site elements (trees, people, etc.)
- Include at least one scale figure
- Show your overall, final design in context on the site
Registration closes: deadline extended
Project submission deadline
Must be a student age 13-18 who lives within the United States and has not graduated high school yet. See additional eligibility details.
The National DiscoverDesign Competition is free to enter. Register online at https://architecture.slideroom.com by October 31, 2018 to compete.
Winners & Prizes
The jury will select ten finalists to compete for first, second and third place.
- First Prize: Economy-class round trip flight for two within the United States serviced by Southwest Airlines , $100 cash prize & framed certificate
- Second Prize: $250 cash prize & framed certificate
- Third Prize: $150 cash prize & framed certificate
- Finalists: $50 cash prize & framed certificate
- Educators: The primary sponsoring educator for the top three winners will receive a gift card for classroom supplies.
All of the following requirements must be submitted by November 30 to the competition portal in order to qualify for jury review:
Completed design challenge steps on DiscoverDesign. A completed design challenge must include:
- a unique cover image of your design
- at least one description and three images per step of the design process
- written statement (250-500 words) addressing: Reflect on your initial success statement. How did you successfully address the challenge and serve the identified community? What are some unresolved aspects of your design?
Completed registration on the competition portal including:
- All form questions answered
- URL to your completed design challenge
- One (1) overall image showcasing your final design (jpeg) (this needs to be the same as your header image for your DiscoverDesign project)
- Click the SUBMIT button by November 30, 2018.
Projects must be submitted to the competition portal on November 30, 2018 to qualify for jury review. You must submit your design project URL and one (1) overall image to the competition platform.