One of the more fascinating events I’ve been able to take part in over the past year has been serving as a judge for the BuiltWorlds Obama Presidential Center crowdsourced design competition. If you’re unfamiliar, the Barack Obama Foundation announced it had narrowed its field of candidates to seven prominent architects who will compete to design the upcoming center and library on Chicago’s south side. For fun and creativity’s sake, BuiltWorlds decided to ask, “What sort of Presidential Library would the people design?” and invited all designers, from everywhere, to unlock their design talent and generate visionary architectural and urban design schemes for this extraordinary, one-time opportunity to shape our president’s future library. While the crowdsourced competition has no bearing on the actual design competition, it spurred scores of submissions, idea-sharing and creative brilliance.
As one of the judges for the BuiltWorlds competition, I was able to review the proposals and we recently announced the winning design schemes. There’s a great video online that features the submissions and thoughts from the judges that I’ve embedded below and you can learn more about the competition online.