Donating your time to the benefit of others is important and as an architect, the opportunities to use our abilities and knowledge to perform community service are plentiful. One event that I will be working on this year will be the Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses. CASA (which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a nonprofit organization of community volunteers trained and supervised to serve as voices in court for abused and neglected children. On any day in Dallas County, there are nearly 2,000 children waiting for a safe place to live. Many times the CASA volunteer is the only constant in the child’s life during this very difficult process. Parade of Playhouses raises funds for Dallas CASA to continue serving more children who need safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.
I worked on this event last year, designing two of the playhouses that were raffled off and it was an incredible experience. Of the 15 entries, we designed two; one for ORIX (the events title underwriter) and one for Dallas CASA.
This year I am working on this event again because it provides an opportunity to apply my creative abilities in fun and beneficial manner. One of my personal objectives is to involve the Dallas Chapter AIA. The plan I am working on is to have a design competition with young architects (newly licensed) associate architects, and members of the AIAS (students). Representatives from CASA, our local construction community and other architects will jury the competition with the top entries being built and displayed at NorthPark Mall during the month of August as part of the annual CASA Parade of Playhouses event.
I really think this will be an amazing experience for all who participate and I will be working feverishly over the next few weeks to try and align all the different groups of people who will be necessary to pull this off. Some important dates to remember are:
Friday, April 30th – Preliminary evaluation round by YAF competition sub-committee members to bring number of final entries to be judged to manageable number of semi-finalists entries.
Monday, May 3rd – Semi-finalists will be notified that they have advanced to the jury round. The entries will be printed out full sized and mounted to foam core for final judging. These boards will remain the property of Dallas CASA.
Friday, May 7th – Final Judging at AIA Dallas/Dallas Center for Architecture. Winners will be announced at a reception at the Dallas Center for Architecture at a cocktail reception.
For current information and status updates, please go to the Dallas AIA YAF blog (here). You can find the competition guideline here. For questions please feel free to send an email to AIADallasYAF@gmail.com