Subject: Viridian Note 00141: Other People's Contests

Key concepts: design competitions, website design,
programming, solar power, Department of Energy, architecture, sunwalls, bamboo construction

Attention Conservation Notice: it's nothing much to do with us Viridians, we're just watching with interest and nodding approvingly.

(((A couple of new contests have crossed our ken recently and they look intriguing.)))


"Energy Department and The American Institute of Architects Announce 'Sun Wall' National Design Competition for DOE Headquarters Building

"$20,000 Prize for Design of Largest Federal
Government Building Solar Energy Installation in the World

"Contact: Phil Simon, (202) 626-7463, John B. Townsend II, Department of Energy, (202) 586-5806

"For Immediate Release

"WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2000 == Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and The American Institute of Architects President Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, today announced a national design competition for the largest federal government building solar energy system in the world. In the process, the Department of Energy's (DOE) Forrestal Building headquarters will become the home of the world's largest 'Sun Wall.'

"'By demonstrating on our own headquarters building that solar energy systems can be attractive as well as practical, we will show the real benefits of clean energy technologies available today,' said Secretary Richardson. 'Once completed, the solar energy project will join other landmarks in our nation's capital.'

"Secretary Richardson added that architects,
engineers and other design professionals who enter the competition are ideally positioned == because of their training and expertise == to successfully blend aesthetics with complex, technological systems.

"'Architects understand that the best design
solutions are those that are not only practical, inviting, and visually pleasing, but respectful of the environment as well,' said AIA President Skaggs. 'This design competition will offer a perfect example of how beauty and grandeur can go hand-in-hand with environmental sensitivity. We're pleased to play a role in a project that will likely culminate in a beautifully designed and environmentally sound facility that adds significantly to the architectural landscape in the District.' (((See, folks, that's DC-centric "patrician-Viridian" rhetoric there.)))

"Architects, building design professionals, engineers
and energy technology companies are invited to design a technologically advanced and visually exciting solar system for the south-facing wall of the department's headquarters building in Washington, D.C. (((I'm especially liking this 'visually exciting' part.)))

"The wall, which is currently blank, spans a space
nearly two-thirds of an acre. The system could generate as much as 200 kilowatts of electric power, enough energy for more than 60 homes.

"Once completed, the 'sun wall' will be the largest
such solar energy system on any government building in the United States and one of the largest such systems on any building in the world. (((Okay, who's got the BIGGEST ONE? Danes? Germans? Israelis? 'Fess up!)))

(...) "The 'Sun Wall' Design Competition officially opens on March 1. The winning design will be selected by an eminent jury of architects, design professionals and solar energy experts. The contest will close on August 1, 2000, with the winning design scheduled to be announced during Energy Awareness Month 2000 in October. The winning design team will be awarded a $20,000 cash prize.

"DOE and the AIA jointly established the rules for
the competition and determined the award categories. Criteria for the contest, design specifications, rules of entry and registration materials will be available on March 1 on the Sun Wall Design competition website at or by contacting Dr. E. Jackson, Jr., The American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006-5292, (202) 626-7446."

(((And while we're at it, why not a green CIA headquarters, too?)))

(((With its blatant amateurism, prestige economics and lavish 50-buck award, this latter contest is really Viridian.)))

The "5K" contest
"An Award for Excellence in Web Design and Production

"D E A D L I N E
"The deadline for entries is 5:00pm PST, April 2nd 2000. No late entries will be accepted. Winners will be announced May 1st.

"R U L E S

All HTML, script, image, style, and any other
associated files must collectively total less than 5 kilobytes in size and be entirely self-contained (employing no server-side processing).

"P U R P O S E

"The idea behind the contest is that the rigid
constraints of designing for the web are what force us to get truly creative. Between servers and bandwidth, clients and users, HTML and the DOM, browsers and platforms, our conscience and our ego, we're left in a very small space to find highly optimal solutions. Since the space we have to explore is so small, we have to look harder, get more creative; and that's what makes it all interesting. Just celebrating that is all.

"J U D G I N G

"Entries will be judged according to four criteria:
(i) size, (ii) aesthetic appeal, (iii) function, (iv) overall concept & originality.

"Judges will be drawn from across the web design
industry, and will use their own platform, their own browser with their own plug-ins and none of these will be revealed.

"P R I Z E
"5120 (5k) US cents. Fifty bucks. So, it's not much. Do it for the honor. Enter by sending files (zipped, stuffed or plain), your name, a title and (optionally) a brief description to"

The Sustainability Institute's energy meter contest is still under way, and has been archived by^^^ (Michael North) at the very lively

Refreshingly Delightful Bamboo Structures That One Might Enjoy Simply Gawking At:

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