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Design Competition Looks To 'Activate' Forlorn Public Spaces

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Architecture is what attracts people to an area but public space can be the element that would make them want to stay. Some areas benefit more than others when it comes to lively public space so each year for four years running the City of Chicago along with Architecture for Humanity sponsor a competition, ACTIVATE!, that tries to address this issue.

According to Katherine Darnstadt of Latent Design:

ACTIVATE! is a single stage open design competition that challenges teams to create one or more objects that can activate a vacant site, is universally accessible, and fosters multi-generational community interaction within a budget of $1,000. The American city is rooted in its neighborhoods, public spaces, and infrastructure. Transforming the interstitial open spaces that characterize our cities can be a fundamental catalyst for community connectivity and socialization. When neglected or inaccessible, these vacant spaces become detrimental to neighborhood health and vitality. To address the needs of a diverse and changing urban population, space must adapt to the needs of a broader range of ages, physical abilities, and cultural backgrounds. Through small acts of acupuncture style activation, we can repurpose public space to be more universally accessible, inclusive, age friendly, and a builder of community.

Below are your winning proposals for each vacant site, furnished by Architecture for Humanity Chicago. Click here for more information.

Woodlawn Site (TIE): 62nd & Drexel
"Game On" by Meghan Funk and Kevin Pazik

Woodlawn Site (TIE): 62nd & Drexel
"Poetry on the Street" by Naoto Kumazawa

Pilsen Site: Laflin & Blue Island
"ReActuate" by Jameson Skaife and Eric Koffler

East Garfield Park Site: Jackson & Homan
"look.listen.feel" by Kimberley Adamek and Daniel Sebaldt

Old Town Site: Wisconsin & Lincoln
"Tie Me Down" by Nichole Tortorici, Marko Dumlija, Felicia Franzese
·Activate 2013 [Official]
·Architecture for Humanity Chicago [Official]