Architecture for Humanity Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Village of Igaraí in Brazil have just launched 1.99 Real Housing: Communities + Designers, an open platform competition attempting to locate that middle ground between "top-down and bottom-up systems" in public and emergency housing development.
Designers, makers and thinkers from all over the world are invited to work directly with a group of residents in Igaraí, Brazil who currently live in a public housing development that isn't working out so well. The title of the competition, 1.99 Real Housing, is based on the nickname locals have developed for the type of structures they live in, "R$1.99", based on the popular R$1.99 stores (Brazil's US dollar store equivalent) and a reference to the cheap and flimsy construction of their current homes.Here's an excerpt from the full brief:
Residents living in informal urban settlements are being relocated to formal mass produced housing prototypes outside city centers. These prototypes for public housing have been largely unsuccessful for a complex number of reasons, including undesirable living environments for families. Displaced people face compounded obstacles to success, with issues such as lack of infrastructure, transportation and public amenities leaving individuals feeling powerless to impact their own lives. Building upon the premise of barn raising or quilt making, this call utilizes social networking as the foundation for a virtual, integrated, pluralist design process, that seeks a middle ground between top-down and bottom-up systems, aims to better utilize the collective intelligence of designers, makers and users to design creative interventions and customizable retrofits for 1) private, 2) shared and 3) public spaces with/by/for residents who currently live in a "formal" housing development in Igaraé, Brazil.
Utilizing the Open Architecture Network, entrants may submit concepts in three project categories: private, shared and public spaces. At the end of the project, March 1st, 2011, a selection of projects will travel to Igarai in the form of a catalog, for a final workshop with residents and final implementation.
Read more about eligibility requirements, timelines, and submission instructions here,
Submission Deadline: January 25th, 2011