Arizona Challenge 2.0

Unlike the global challenge that attracted responses from 56 nations, this competition was a collaborative effort between the Two Worlds Foundation and the University of Arizona School of Architecture and its School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. The competition was made part of the University’s curriculum with members of the Foundation making periodic visits to work directly with the staff and students.

The students organized themselves into seven teams each, selecting a specific site in the Tucson area as the basis for their work. Among the competition’s instructions were the following five guidelines.

1. Describe how your proposed land-use relationships will provide for proximity between home and work, education and culture, with a connecting network of open space, all artfully related.

2. Describe any proposals for facilitating individual mobility, including the sharing of vehicles or other innovative transportation systems including devices of your own design.

3. How will what you are proposing make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle, including on-going education as a cultural way of life?. And how have you provided for a variety of housing types, including the possibilities for residents to remain in their neighborhood while moving to varied provisions to suit their changing needs at different stages of life?.

4. The great architect Eero Saarinen said, “When you design anything, always think of it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house or building, and all such structures in a community. Frank Lloyd Wright saw architecture as embracing, in one reality, all that we more conventionally divide into the specialties of ecology, urban design, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, streetscapes, signage, sculpture and furnishings. How have you approached the relatedness of these elements?

5. The most-dominant attention given to being smart, green and sustainable is focused on the easy-to-measure performance of structures, systems and materials. A more difficult task, that has no easy metrics, is the urgent need to address the damage resulting from human behavior, including the cost of ignorance, improper diets, our overloaded court system, juvenile delinquency and incarceration... all elements of what some have called our “throw-away society”. Many say “it takes a village to raise a child,” but we’ve yet to know how to design and operate what that village might be. With this background, give a brief summary as to what positive behavioral impacts are expected to be influenced by your proposal.

Summary of Objectives

To envision a future in which the most successful development patterns make it possible to integrate life and work, reduce or eliminate the long commute, conserve and regenerate the use of water and energy.

The competition results were announced at a public reception on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 in the Sundt Galley under the auspices of the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.


Jan Cervelli, FASLA, FCELA, Dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Vern Swaback at the University of Arizona awards presentation.