Place by Design, the SXSW Eco Public Space Design Competition, honors visionary design work that achieves a positive community impact through the creation or re-imagining of public spaces.
Application submission is now closed. Stay tuned for updates regarding Place by Design at SXSW Eco 2014!
Human connection with place is a key factor in the struggle for a sustainable world. Good design has the ability to reflect a community’s culture and values and compels people to engage with their everyday surroundings. Vibrant public spaces signify a vibrant community and will be maintained and conserved for years to come. Placemaking and related initiatives such as tactical urbanism and public interest design focus on strengthening our connection to place by making it more accessible, community-centered, aligned with nature and even playful. Place by Design will highlight projects that transform the way communities interact with place as a means of inspiring our attendees to improve their own places.
The Place by Design 2013 Award Winners
Recognizing excellence in how the design shapes or reinterprets the physical environment.
Winner: Ballroom Luminoso
Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, Creative Machines, Inc. | San Antonio, TX
Ballroom Luminoso transforms an ordinary underpass into a community shadow theater. A series of six brilliantly lit, color-changing chandeliers hang from the underpass and each casts bright shapes and colored shadows approximately 40 feet. The chandeliers are made from recycled bike parts and other metals with LED lights used to allow for creative expression with minimal maintenance.
Recognizing the critical role that community plays in shaping place and excellence in community engagement and empowerment at all levels of the design process.
Nicholas Waissbluth, uAbureau | Medellin, Colombia
Insitu is a community-designed outdoor play area that not only performs a functional need but at the same time teaches children and families about three primary issues; sanitation, agriculture, and urban furniture. Combining these elements, Insitu 2013 created a permanent installation giving a place for children to play, dance, learn and for families to gather and celebrate.
The ability of an idea to spread is critical to placemaking. Replicability is essential to empowering communities to change their public spaces. This award recognizes the idea that has the greatest potential to spread to different places and cultures.
Winner: The Looper
Patrick Keeney, Jocelyn Hoppe, Bill Jackson, Daun Jung, Ian Marcus, Mark Palmer, Amie Sell, Agustina Soler, Bryant Yee & Jeramy Yoon; RTKL | Washington, D.C.
The Looper challenges the idea of a greenhouse and leverages one very simple concept: the growing of plants inherently cleans an ecosystem. The project, designed to align with the Living Building Challenge, repurposes an existing river barge into a greenhouse which collects, uses, filters, and returns water to the river in a remediated state – a loop.
Autodesk Sustainable Innovation Award: From Blight to Bright
Rachel Ganin & Eric Tan, Gensler | New York, NY
The Blight to Bright project imagines a flexible, sustainable and community-driven system of plug & play park modules, designed to take advantage of under-utilized spaces throughout the city.
Place by Design 2013 Finalists
For the inaugural year of this competition, we were stunned by the many exceptional submissions received. In the end, the Place by Design jurors decided on 15 projects that make up our inaugural class of Place by Design finalists. The projects display a wide range of project scales, locations, and approaches and together represent the best of design in placemaking. Take a look at our finalists page for an introduction to the design teams and the projects that were displayed at SXSW Eco 2013.
Place by Design Presenter
Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. For more information visit autodesk.com or follow @autodesk.
Place by Design Community Partner
The Downtown Austin Alliance is a partnership of individuals and businesses devoted to preserving and enhancing the value and vitality of downtown Austin. They work with property owners, residents, business owners, community organizations and government officials to advance our collective vision for the future of downtown.
Place by Design Media Partner
As an established custom media platform, gb&d (Green Building & Design) strives to connect and inspire green building professionals by partnering with those at the forefront of sustainable design, development, planning, and policy.