The Autonomous City takes top prize in the Arizona Challenge ideas competition

The results of the Arizona Challenge, an ideas competition for new forms of arid-climate communities that are highly efficient, sustainable, livable and healthy, were recently announced. First prize was awarded to an interdisciplinary team comprised of Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud and Daniel Ibañez. Adams is a graduate (architecture) from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, as is Masoud (landscape architecture). Ibañez is a candidate in the Master of Design Studies program at Harvard University.

The international student competition sought new forms that may first lead to prototyping, with the ultimate goal of helping to shape our future cities and urban environments well beyond the limitations of what currently exists.

The team’s Autonomous City entry envisioned compact, self-sufficient and resilient enclaves embedded in the landscape, as new territories beyond current urban reaches. The team saw the vision as a response to exhausted models of urbanism and to the coming challenges associated with rising energy costs and significant demographic changes. Architect Veronon D. Swaback, chairman of the jury, noted that “the jury gave high praise and appreciation for the thoughtful and artful qualities of the Autonomous City proposal. Replacing the outmoded downtown core with a great central infrastructural park celebrates not only the use and pleasure of its citizens but also the metabolic processes and relationships between man and nature. This is an unmistakably clear and radical idea for the future.”

The team will be travelling to Phoenix, Arizona to take part in a series of forums related to the vision of the Arizona Challenge.