Building Voices Design Competition

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Building Voices Design Competition

April 5, 2017


The BUILDING VOICES DESIGN COMPETITION is a single-stage, international design competition seeking innovative design solutions that address Hawai‘i’s unique geographic location, cultural richness, global visibility, and ecological diversity.

The FIRST PRIZE WINNER will be invited to present their vision in Honolulu at the Hawai‘i State Capitol on April 22, 2017.

We seek new ideas for buildings, environments, landscapes, community programs, infrastructures, product designs, network concepts, service design offerings, transportation solutions, among others. 

The competition aims to:

  • Highlight prototypical solutions for the built environment that generate a positive impact for the natural world.
  • Celebrate designs that foster a deeper understanding of the unique context(s) of the Hawaiian archipelago.
  • Spotlight hybrid projects that impact and benefit multiple populations.
  • Foster communication between designers, political institutions and the larger community through catalytic projects.
  • Recognize design that says “What is good for Hawai‘i, is good for the world.”

Submissions should draw knowledge from multiple disciplines, including architecture, product design, engineering, service design, landscape architecture, urban design and others.

Please visit… for more information.


BUILDING VOICES is asking Hawai‘i and the global community to develop design solutions for a deeply sustainable future of the built and natural environments. Prototypical solutions should be uniquely suited for Hawai‘i and shareable globally. 

Topic areas:


We call on all designers to tackle multiple topic areas with singular designs, while visually and verbally describing how their designs address these issues. Designs must be structured around a QUADRUPLE BOTTOM LINE, being Socially, Economically, Ecologically & Culturally sustainable.


Designs should be uniquely suited to the Hawaiian archipelago, which stretches over 1,600 miles from east to west and has 8 main islands. All physical sites are located in Honolulu, the 4th densest city in the United States and the most isolated urban center on earth.


The First Prize Winner will be invited to present their vision in Honolulu at the Hawai‘i State Capitol on April 22, 2017.

First prize: $5,000 (travel stipend or cash award)

Second prize: $2,500

Third prize: $1,000

Honorable mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the jury but will receive no cash prize.

Award winning and other selected projects will be featured in the BUILDING VOICES TRAVELING EXHIBIT, to be launched at the Hawai‘i State Capitol in Honolulu on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. They will be also included alongside other selected entries on the BUILDING VOICES website and in a forthcoming BUILDING VOICES publication.


  • 02.06.17 Competition launched / Online registration opens / Question & Answer period opens*
  • 03.10.17 Question & Answer period closes
  • 04.05.17 Online submissions are due
  • 04.07.17 Design Jury
  • 04.22.17 Winners Announced on Earth Day


  • Xavier Vendrell / Director / Rural Studio / Auburn University / Newbern, AL
  • Healoha Johnston / Honolulu Museum of Art / Assistant Curator of Arts of Hawai‘i / Honolulu, HI
  • Rebecca Buck / UX Strategist / Amazon / San Francisco, CA
  • Clément Blanchet / Founder / Clément Blanchet Architecture / Paris, France
  • Alisa Weinstein / Senior User Experience Researcher / Uber / San Francisco, CA

Additional jury members to be announced on competition website.


Registration Fee: $50 / Free for students (with valid ID)

Register and download competition brief on the competition website,

Submissions Competition submissions are due at 12 noon Hawai‘i Standard Time (HST) on April 5, 2017. Submissions are electronic and submitted via email only.

Questions regarding the competition will be accepted until March 10, 2017. Questions should be emailed to: Answers to all questions will be posted to the competition website.


April 5, 2017
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