I am excited to announce plans to host the first ever
Life of an Architect
Playhouse Design Competition
benefiting Dallas CASA! This is an event that is very near and dear to me and I have been working on a way on how to get more people involved for the last 5 months. This is my fourth year to be involved in this event, and it’s time to kick it up a notch!
Here is the short part – people submit playhouse designs, a group of judges pick the top two, and than they get built. How awesome is that?!!
Who can enter?
This competition will be open to anyone from anywhere – the only entry criteria is the following:
- you have to be a decent member of the human race.
That’s pretty much it, so there really isn’t a good reason not to submit. Oh, did I mention that there’s no fee required to enter!! It just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it?
What do I submit?
All submissions are required to be in electronic form with a file size not to exceed 5MB. For the judging process, you should submit plans, elevations, sections, perspectives … whatever you feel best conveys your design. Whatever drawings you do choose to create need to be arranged on a 24″ x 36″ board oriented vertically – this is very important that you follow these submission guidelines. I would humbly request that no animations be submitted.
**You are not required to generate construction drawings unless your design is selected as a winner**
How do I register?
Please send an email to me – firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Playhouse Competition” in the subject line. In the email, tell me who you are, what you do (architect, intern, student, housewife, phlebotomist – etc.) and current location of residence (just city, state, country – I don’t need your home address). If you want to include some additional biographical information about yourself feel free. I will respond to your email and send you the design guidelines (these playhouses have to get moved around so there are size limitations).
The judging process will most likely be handled in two rounds; the first round will be a review of all the entries judged by me and up to 4 other people who will be chosen at a later date. The number of qualified entries we receive will determine how many entries will advance to the final judging round but I am shooting for around 20%. The criteria used for judging will be:
- buildability, and
- the ability of the playhouse to be built for approximately $4,000 in material costs
On the costs, there are lots of people who don’t know how much stuff costs and that’s okay. The point is that you need to be considerate of the cost as you are designing your playhouse – which means designs that require CNC routers, GFRG castings, or cast in place stainless steel will most likely not advance to the final round. Entries can be submitted by individuals or by a team, it doesn’t matter and will not be a consideration during the judging. I will also feature all the entries that advance onto the final judging round here on the site.
Registration starts immediately – so send me that email (email@example.com with “Playhouse Competition” in the subject line – remember?)
April 16th – design submissions will be due. Deliverable will be a 24″x36″ vertically oriented JPEG or PNG file format emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (file size not to exceed 5MB). In the case of multiple entries by a single designer (person or group), please send each entry by itself. Do not place any personal information (like your name) on your digital submission – I want to keep things fair during the judging process.
April 23rd – initial round of judging (by celebrity judges not yet selected) to bring number of entries to be judged to manageable number of finalists will be complete with the finalists announced here on the Life of an Architect website.
April 30th – the final judging round will be completed and the winners will be announced here on the Life of an Architect website.
May 28th – Winners are required to prepare construction drawings (with possible value engineering considerations) for their entries and submit final construction drawings to the designated contractors.
Playhouses will be constructed and ready for delivery to Dallas CASA by the beginning of August to be raffled off.
What do you get out of this?
Other than being a decent person and helping out some kids who need all the help they can get, if your playhouse is selected as one of the winners (yes, there will be more than one winner), you receive:
- your playhouse will get built and will be part of the Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses event that takes place later this year
- you will get profiled here on this site
- you will receive my undying gratitude for participating (actually, everyone will receive this particular “prize”)
- you will receive one of my Life of an Architect t-shirts (retail value $20+ but the actual value is priceless)
There might be other things but that should (hopefully) be enough to get you to enter a design.
If you want, here is a link to every post I’ve written on the Parade of Playhouses (here) which includes construction drawings.
Information on Dallas CASA
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.
This should be a fun thing for you to do and the end result could be that your playhouse gets designed and raffled off to benefit some needy kids. Doing this sort of work is what fills your karma tank up … and the effort required is minimal unless your design wins and even then – not so much work. I really hope that I can get a good showing so that I can go to more people in the industry for funds next year and build more of these playhouses. Every part of this process will be well documented and represented here on the site, I hope you come along for the trip.