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Call for Entries: 2017 Urban Marker Competition


March 10, 2017
by Canadian Architect

The RAIC is seeking new and innovative proposals for an urban marker to be displayed at the 2017 RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture, taking place in Ottawa from May 24-27.

The Urban Marker Competition was created and established by Storefront Manitoba, along with the Architectural Fringe Festival at the 2014 MAA / RAIC Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Urban Marker created a unique physical marker to signal and to celebrate events and locations of the Architecture Fringe Festival happenings.

At the 2002 RAIC Festival of Architecture, a vertical marker was created that stood 50’. It consisted of a scissor jack platform raised on site, draped with neon mesh, lit at night from within, and inscribed with famous quotations centered around urbanism. It was transported, erected and set alongside a number of Festival venues. This Urban Maker was the first of its kind.

At 2014 MAA / RAIC Festival of Architecture in Winnipeg, the 2014 Urban [marker] Branding was the proposition of a way-finding system and the transformation of mundane, temporary city signage systems, repurposing them to direct the attention of the casual observer, the passerby, the motorist, and the pedestrian to important and significant events occurring within the city and within the design community. Simply a magnetic signage application, the use of reflective material, and bright colour, the strategic placement and the accumulation of these of the markers around design venues enhanced the sense anticipation and awareness of the event. The Urban Marker had simple text, a venue name, a date or a QR code directed to the events website.

The 2015 winning entry “Public Speaker” was created as a vessel for dialogue in the public realm and an amplifier for citizens to share their thoughts. The Speaker was comprised of an alcove for sitting and listening and during Festival events, the Speaker projected live audio from the various lectures, allowing individuals on the street the opportunity to listen and learn about architecture.

The design criteria for the 2017 Marker are as follows:

  • striking and inspiring in its formal and material constitution;
  • visible, both by day or by night;
  • able to incorporate a limited amount of text, logos, and colour;
  • easy to transport;
  • easy to assemble and to take down;
  • able to withstand spring/summer/fall weather (sunshine, rain, snow, wind, etc.);
  • have a shelf life (i.e. be easy to store, transport, and assemble again) to exceed the OAA / RAIC Festival. (It is expected that the marker will live on in Ottawa for future events, ie. 4 year minimum).

The marker(s) should be flexible to fit in a number of locations as the final site has not yet been determined. It is the sole responsibility of winning entrants to ensure the safe transportation and installation of their submission. Below is a preliminary listing of potential sites:

  • OAA / RAIC Festival venues:
  • The Westin
  • Shaw Centre
  • Elgin and Wellington at Rideau Canal
  • Rideau Centre
  • others to be determined

The competition jury consists of members from the architectural community across Canada. The jury will choose a winning entry based on the criteria noted and be subject to a technical review to ensure that it meets sound construction practices and budgetary constraints. Information on individuals and team members will be withheld from the jury until the final selections have been made. The winning entrants will be required to prepare construction / production drawings consistent with the technical review.

This call for entries is open to all OAA or RAIC Intern/Student members (individual or team), located in Ontario and Quebec. Any teams not including OAA or RAIC Intern/Student members will be disqualified. For more information, please click here.



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