AMD and Architecture for Humanity establish the $250,000 Open Architecture Prize to develop technology centre in developing world

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Architecture for Humanity has announced the first ever Open Architecture Prize. $250,000 will be awarded to the winning design of an open competition to develop technology centers in the developing world. The competition is set to launch later this year.

The first great challenge for the prize will be the design of a sustainable technology facility and community center which incorporates a centralized building equipped with internet connectivity solutions designed to enable an entire community to access the transformative power of the Internet. The competition will be developed with a local community partner for a specific site and community. Once a design is selected, the prize money will be used to implement the winning scheme. Designs will also be made available through the Open Architecture Network.

“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.”

The network was unveiled at TED 2007 by Architecture for Humanity and a number of its technology partners, including AMD, Creative Commons, Hot Studio, and Sun Microsystems, Inc.

“For far too long many great award-winning designs have gone undeveloped,” said Cameron Sinclair, executive director and co-founder, Architecture for Humanity. “Through the Open Architecture Network we unveiled yesterday and the Open Architecture Prize we are announcing today, we are not only challenging the creative world to design innovative structures, we are going one step further and implementing the winning solution to positively affect thousands of lives.”

In addition to technology expertise and a diverse portfolio of innovative connectivity solutions, the 50×15 Initiative brings significant experience in assessing regional technology problems and deploying relevant solutions to the winning project. This expertise is essential in developing the competition criteria, as well as determining which design will empower a community to the greatest extent possible.

Most importantly, one has to be an Open Architecture Network member to participate. So make sure to sign up at in order to receive information on the competition and brief.