UA Students Compete in Arizona Challenge 2.0

Seven teams from the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture are in a juried competition to design communities of the future.
May 22, 2012
Extra Info: 

Members of the news media are welcome to attend the announcement of the winners of Arizona Challenge 2.0. Members of the CALA faculty and students will be available for interviews. Contact Bob Richardson at 520-971-3294 or to make arrangements.

Arizona Challenge 2.0
Wednesday, May 23, 4-6 p.m.
College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Sundt Gallery
Water harvesting projects, like this one at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and other innovations are increasingly a part of the built environment in the Southwest.
Water harvesting projects, like this one at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and other innovations are increasingly a part of the built environment in the Southwest.

If you had the opportunity to design the future communities and buildings in which Arizonans would live, what would that design look like? If you could not worry about cost, but rather place your emphasis on sustainability, transportation needs, density, vitality and more, what would be the result?

Seven teams of students from the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture were given that challenge this spring, and the community will be able to see the results and hear the decision of a distinguished jury that will decide on an honorable mention, along with third, second and first-place finishes.

The competition is called Arizona Challenge 2.0 and follows the innovative similar effort in Maricopa County last year. Two teams from the UA participated in that effort and won recognition.

Arizona Challenge is a product of the Two World's Community Foundation. The design-based Two Worlds Community Foundation explores beyond the world of today in order to envision a more humanely sustainable world for tomorrow. The original challenge was to design the model city of the future in our arid region.

The school's success in the original effort, led by faculty members Susannah Dickinson and Ryan Perkl, inspired the two to collaborate further with the Two Worlds Community Foundation to develop a second iteration of the original challenge exclusive to UA students.

The students began work on their project at the start of the spring semester in January and represents collaboration among students from architecture, landscape architecture and planning within the college. The students have been working in these interdisciplinary teams and fine-tuning their efforts.

Recently, a jury comprised of distinguished Arizonans from the community and the University judged the results. Members of the top three teams will share cash prizes.

Those results will be announced at a public reception on May 23 from 4-6 p.m. at the Sundt Gallery at the UA College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 1040 N. Olive Road.

Design work from each of the seven teams will be available for inspection, and many of the students who worked on them will be available for questioning. The jury's decision will also be announced and cash prizes awarded to the winners.

The dean of the UA College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Jan Cervelli, served on the jury and has seen the work created.

"The University of Arizona students present inspiring and yet achievable visions for our future. The students have created a vision of the New, Old Pueblo – a blend of Tucson's long-treasured traditions and new technologies and strategies that address our future environmental, social and economic challenges," said Cervelli.

Vern Swaback, a Scottsdale architect who envisioned the Two Worlds Foundation, said, "The UA team, having so distinguished itself in the international competition, was asked to take another step, exploring beyond the fragmented possibilities of development based on that which is easiest to engage and most possible to get approved, financed and to sell."

Said Swaback: "Their task was to envision a future in which the most successful development patterns would make it possible to integrate life and work, reduce or eliminate the long commute, conserve and regenerate water and energy. They were to image a future in which codes and ordinances would go beyond that which is most easy to standardize and measure, in pursuit of the greater lesson of nature in which balance, cooperation and everything is related. We couldn't be more appreciative and excited by what these remarkable students have produced."

The winning teams have already been selected, and they are currently working on their presentations for the event. Their work will be displayed and recognized at the reception.

Members of the jury include:

  •         Vernon Swaback
  •         Dino DeConcini
  •         Pao Cagnina
  •         Ernesto Fonesca
  •         Arlan Colton
  •         Jan Cervelli
  •         Susannah Dickinson
  •         Ryan Perkl