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Open Architecture prize follows a long tradition

The IP Health listserv carried an interesting announcement today though far from unique when I searched a bit from Google and Technorati. There’s a new $250k prize in Architecture for development applications. The first winner was announced at the final day of the TED 2007 conference last week. Follows up nicely on the design movement captured in the book Design Like You Give a Damn also put out by Architecture for Humanity. IP Health also carried an interesting research note by Benjamin Krohmal at KEI. The short history of prizes provides an intriguing list of the brilliant and sometimes bizarre conundrums humanity set out to solve with cash incentives over the past 400 years. The Economist wrote at length about the topic in their March 1st issue too. Finally an interview on the project with Cameron Sinclair with several screen shots can be read at Inhabitat (an interesting site if you haven’t already checked it out). among many news outlets reported on the architecture prize:

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — March 9, 2007 —Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) and Cameron Sinclair, winner of last year’s TED Prize and founder of Architecture for Humanity, today announced the first ever Open Architecture Prize at the annual TED Conference. The $250,000 Open Architecture Prize is the largest prize in the field of architecture and is designed to be a multi-year program that will draw competition from design teams around the world. Each year, a winning design will be selected from a field of low-cost, sustainable design projects and built in a selected community. The first project for the Open Architecture Prize will be an “e-community center,” a centralized building equipped with internet connectivity solutions designed to enable an entire community to access the transformative power of the Internet. The winning designs will be built as part of the prize and in alignment with the 50×15 Initiative, a program founded by AMD to connect 50 percent of the world’s population to the Internet by 2015.

“The Open Architecture Prize delivers on Architecture for Humanity’s vision of encouraging collaboration and challenging designers to reach beyond the traditional bounds of architecture to develop innovative solutions that improve global living conditions,” said Dan Shine, director of the 50×15 Initiative, AMD. “The creative designs developed in this competition will contribute to the 50×15 Initiative’s ambitious goal of connecting 50 percent of the world’s population to the Internet by 2015.”…

About 50×15
The 50×15 Initiative, launched by AMD in 2004 at the World Economic Forum, is a far-reaching effort to develop new technology and solutions that will help enable affordable Internet access and computing capability for 50 percent of the world’s population by the year 2015. More than just goodwill, 50×15 is about fostering long-term economic progress and investment within high-growth markets in ways that benefit a wide range of people and businesses. For more information, visit www.50×

About Architecture for Humanity
Architecture for Humanity is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crises and provides design services to communities in need. Currently it involved in the reconstruction of homes on the Gulf Coast, rebuilding after the South Asia Tsunami and the construction of healthcare facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information, please visit

About the Open Architecture Network
The Open Architecture Network is an online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. For more information please visit:


Written by Ben

March 13, 2007 at 12:47 pm

One Response

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  1. John Thackara, a designer in Amsterdam, was highly critical of the assumptions behind the prize. We had an interesting exchange:

    Steve Cisler

    March 16, 2007 at 6:11 am

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