Longo Competition : Campus, City, and Pandemic

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Competition Launch: 6/12/20
Phase One Due Date: 7/17/20
Phase Two Due Date: 8/21/20
First prize: $7500
Second prize: $5000
Third prize: $2500
Jury: TBD

Step 1: Upload your stage one submission here! Do not include your name in the file name or submission itself.

Step 2: Complete the information on this Google Form.
This competition challenges participants to consider how the coronavirus pandemic will impact the design and occupation of urbanism. Cities and densely urbanized environments across the world are among the sites most intensely impacted by the pandemic. Especially in the United States, this impact is unevenly distributed along lines of race and class, amplifying institutionalized inequity. Focusing on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus and the surrounding city, this competition challenges interdisciplinary teams to imagine adaptations to our shared environment that will enable the persistence of public life within the urban milieu. While for some the novel coronavirus constitutes a profound threat to personal health and wellbeing, the more pervasive risk is one of public health. Measures such as quarantine and social-distancing are intended to not only promote individual health, but to prevent the massive fallout and collateral damage that would occur should our medical systems become overwhelmed. Similarly, for so many the virus brings personal economic precarity, and yet such individual precarity is only a prelude to systemic economic stress at the societal scale. The coronavirus is a grim reminder of an innocuous fact: that so much of our culture and society is reliant on shared systems and infrastructure, the collective, the public, the commons. Urbanism is the spatial and material milieu for such collective life.

How can we reconsider the space of the campus and city in the context of the pandemic in order to awaken modes of public life that will be valuable in a post-pandemic context? Can we imagine social-distancing, the use of masks, and other public health measures without prompting alienation? Can the present moment sponsor innovative thinking about equity, access, and justice in the urban environment? Is urban density really a problem, or can innovative spatial practices enable density without disease? How will the coronavirus pandemic impact emergent urban phenomena like the sharing economy or new forms of urban mobility? Is there an alternative to being together, apart?

This ten-week competition will take place in two phases. Phase one will be five weeks in duration, and will invite initial submittals for the adaptation of our campus and city in a pre-recorded slide presentation. The contents of the presentation may vary according to submission, but should be no longer that five minutes in length and should contain no more than twenty slides. Entrants are encouraged to base their submissions off thorough and rigorous research. Submissions must be made by teams of no fewer than two students, and interdisciplinary teams are encouraged. Teams in this phase must have a faculty advisor, selected from the list of advisors provided. Students participating in the Studio Redux competition are encouraged to integrate their work from that competition into submissions for Campus, City, and Pandemic. A jury will select five finalists teams from phase one. Each finalist team will receive a $500 honorarium to move on to phase two of the competition. In this phase, teams will be assigned an alumni advisor. Phase two submissions will be presented by finalist teams in a public online event. A panel of invited judges will award first, second, and third prize awards.

Available faculty mentors: Ellie Abrons, Craig Borum, McLain Clutter, Lars Graebner, Sharon Haar, Perry Kulper, Ann Lui, Julia McMorrough, Meredith Miller, Ana Morcillo Pallares, Neal Robinson, Craig Wilkins