American Institute of Architects (AIA) Announces Inclusive Cities Competition Winners

by Beverly Aarons

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the winners of the Displaced: Design for Inclusive Cities Competition Tuesday, September 18th, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. The event was part of the Seattle Design Festival and in conjunction with the Discovery Center’s exhibition Design With the 90%: Improving Lives Around the World. There were 40 submissions from 19 countries.

Competition Winners

First Prize:

Comparte/lo Simple by Juan Manuel Garcia Alvarez & Mariana Santibanez Pantoja – a conceptual design solution where existing support networks are fortified and strengthened to provide critical information and safe places for migrants transiting through Mexico from Honduras and Central America.

Second Prize:

Seattle Resource Hubs | Connect + Access by Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects – a conceptual project idea connecting refugee and immigrant communities with resources, information, and opportunities in flexible-use hubs on parking structures in the urban core and at regional transit centers.

Third Prize:

Cuiseen by Benjamin Ku – a conceptual design idea where food trucks serve as training centers and cultural storytelling platforms. Immigrants and refugees gain valuable business and food service experience while sharing culturally relevant dishes with the wider community.

Student Winner:

Rose Triangle Commons by Juliana Hom – a conceptual project idea for the heart of the Ethiopian community in Rainier Valley that uses an awkward and unused lot at Rose Street Triangle to create a neighborhood cultural and transportation hub.

The Process

The Rose Triangle Commons team worked closely with the Ethiopian Community in Rainier Valley to ensure that their conceptual design would meet community needs. They received feedback about what design elements would be culturally relevant, and they revisited and rethought their designs to remain responsive to community needs. For example, they initially thought that including bike racks in the design would benefit the community, but after getting feedback from members of the Ethiopian community, they realized that most people did not use bikes to commute.