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uncover | highlight | reveal | the essence of phoenix

While we may not always see it for ourselves, each PLACE has the potential to inspire great possibilities.

PHXMetroCompetitionPosterPostAll of us explore, create and move our way through the world. The places we live become the context of our stories. These places hold a unique quality that makes them specific and memorable. This can be called a place’s identity. While Phoenix is a relatively young city, it has a growing identity. The City is calling for that identity to be clarified, highlighted, documented and celebrated in a new design intervention that celebrates the essence of Phoenix.

We are calling all placemakers – architects, planners, landscape architects, designers, storytellers, graphic thinkers and visual artists – to help flush out the story of Phoenix. Create a truly unique place or experience that becomes emblematic of who and what we are as a city, a community, a PLACE. Phoenix enjoys broad national and international familiarity while not always being recognized for its distinct identity. It’s often seen as a place where people have come to re-invent themselves, a place of transition. It’s an environment of unique geography and climate. It has specialized, yet quickly evolving economies and resources. While sometimes maligned, it has robust transportation infrastructure and capacity for physical growth. It’s a city poised on the edge of transformation, yet some contend there is no entity or place that is quintessentially Phoenix; no identifiable symbol/aspect/representation that captures our City’s unique qualities or leads the way to what Phoenix could become.

AIA Design Competition Poster

THIS IS PHOENIX is a competition that asks entrants to propose an innovative program and design a structure, an element or a place, which supports that program, and expresses the uniqueness of Phoenix. The entrant’s assessment of what Phoenix is or could become is not limited to what is contained in this brief. It is hoped that creative approaches will be considered in both programming and the entrant’s physical project. Entrants are allowed to propose any use and any built form that they feel best communicates and celebrates the City. Entrants will not be limited by specific zoning laws or overlays. Entrants are encouraged not to follow trends set forth in other cities, but to find ways to use this City’s unique assets, infrastructure, climate to forge a unique vision for the City’s future.

Entrants are asked to present their ideas through a concise written description and a single digital board that elegantly conveys their project. This competition is intentionally open-ended and entrant directed. Proposals can be as visionary or pragmatic as desired in both identifying and answering the challenge(s) set forth. Entries will be judged on the clarity with which they present the relevance of their proposal and how effectively they design and communicate the idea that captures its essence. The winning entry will be thoughtful, well conceived, graphically communicative and inspirational not only to architects but to the community at large.

For complete contest details and official entry form, please visit the AIA Phoenix Metro website.

Images courtesy of AIA Phoenix Metro.