Register: 04/05/2017, Submit: 04/05/2017, Eligibility: Professionals, students, designers, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, service designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, artists, inventors; individually, (multidisciplinary) teams, Fee: Free, Awards: 1st Prize 5,000 USD (travel stipend or cash award), 2nd Prize 2,500 USD, 3rd Prize 1,000 USD
The Hawaiian archipelago stretches over 1,600 miles from east to west and has 8 main islands. Each island is organized through a land division system that dates back over 500 years. Extensive knowledge of the topography, microclimates, water sheds, advanced irrigation technologies, and food production allowed Hawaiians to organize the land into self-sustaining zones. Today, Honolulu is the 4th densest city in the United States and is the most isolated urban center on earth. “Hawai‘i is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.” Honolulu was recently named one of the world’s “25 Most Livable Cities” by Monocle magazine.
Building Voices is an ideas + action festival that collects diverse perspectives surrounding design as a framework for addressing the contemporary challenges and opportunities facing Hawai‘i.
The festival aims to:
- Promote the value of design to create positive impact in the built and natural environments.
- Debate complex issues surrounding the Hawaiian archipelago.
- Learn from a broad spectrum of local and global perspectives.
- Engage designers with the community and the state and local government.
- Collect diverse ideas and collaborate on shaping an agenda for change.
The festival will include a symposium, an international design competition, a traveling exhibition, and other design-focused initiatives that will be captured in a forthcoming publication.
As part of the Building Voices festival, we are launching a single-stage international design competition seeking innovative design solutions that address Hawai‘i’s unique geographic location, cultural richness, global visibility, and ecological diversity.
The competition aims to:
- Highlight prototypical solutions for the built environment that generate a positive impact for the natural world.
- Celebrate designs that foster a deeper understanding of the unique context(s) of the Hawaiian archipelago.
- Spotlight hybrid projects that impact and benefit multiple populations.
- Foster communication between designers, political institutions and the larger community through catalytic projects.
- Recognize design that says “What is good for Hawai‘i, is good for the world.”
Submissions should draw knowledge from multiple disciplines, including architecture, product design, engineering, service design, landscape architecture, urban design and others. Designs must be Socially, Economically, Ecologically & Culturally sustainable.
We seek new ideas for buildings, environments, landscapes, community programs, infrastructures, product designs, network concepts, service design offerings, transportation solutions, among others.
Design solutions must address two or more topic areas.
1. Housing for all
How will we house middle and lower income citizens when the cost of construction requires a salary of 2 times the median household income?
- Honolulu needs over 25,000 new housing units by 2025.
- Construction costs in Honolulu are the second highest in the world, only Oslo, Norway is more expensive.
- The average home in Honolulu costs $747,500, the national average is $221,500.
- The “housing wage” in Honolulu is the highest in the nation, requiring an income of over $71,000 a year to rent a two bedroom apartment. 2.. Food autonomy
2. Food autonomy
How might food production and technology be a driver for a 21st century economy in Hawai‘i? How can we increase our food security, while lowering cost of production?
- O‘ahu used to produce 100% of its food on island. Today it imports over 90%.
- On average there are only 3 days of food reserves available on grocery store shelves.
- Hawai‘i aims to double its food production by 2020 to meet 10% of need.
- It is cheaper to ship food over water to Hawai‘i than it is to transport food over land to New York.
3. Resource independence
What advances in resource autonomy can we forward with an economy driven with 100% renewable energy production?
- Hawai‘i generated over 65% of its energy from imported petroleum and over 15% from coal in 2016.
- Hawai‘i has passed legislation to be powered by 100% renewable sources by 2045 and is on track to meet the deadline 5 years ahead of schedule.
- Kaua‘i which already receives up to 90% of its energy from renewables at peak times, is installing one of the world’s largest solar battery farms.
4. Community centered mobility
How can we innovate walkable communities for existing, dense urban fabric? How might we reimagine TOD’s for a future Hawai‘i less dependent on the car?
- O‘ahu has the second worst traffic in the nation, despite having an award winning bus transit system.
- Honolulu ranks in the top 20 most walkable cities in the nation.
- The nation’s first driverless, high-capacity, rail system will soon connect the west side of O‘ahu to downtown Honolulu.
- There are currently more cars on the island than there are citizens.
5. Healthy citizens
How might we further reduce spending on health care, while increasing access and wellness rates for indigenous and aging populations?
- Hawai‘i has the third lowest obesity rates in the nation, only DC and Colorado were lower.
- In 2016, Hawai‘i was named the “Healthiest State” for the 5th year in a row.
- Hawai‘i’s health insurance costs are among the lowest in the nation, currently among the Top 10 most affordable states.
- 25% of Hawai‘i’s state budget is committed to health care expenditures.
- By 2030 more than 25% of O‘ahu‘s population will be over the age of 65.
Entrants to the “Building Voices Design Competition” are tasked with selecting one of four sites to deploy their design concepts. Three are physical sites, located in the city of Honolulu, that span from Mauka to Makai. The fourth site is reserved for concepts that are not bound to one location and can span across O‘ahu or the entire archipelago.