Cameron Sinclair Launches ‘Dead Prize’ Competition Honoring Architecture That’s Caused Remarkable Environmental Harm

August 5, 2014

Architects and designers love getting and giving accolades, and rightly so—there are some stellar projects out there transforming the world that deserve recognition. However, Cameron Sinclair, the Executive Director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, seems to be fed up with the lack of discourse when it comes bad design, and in response he’s just kicked off a new competition that aims to “honor” works that have inflicted serious harm on our environment. Called “Dead Prize“, Sinclair hopes that this award will recognize the bad, point out the failures, and hopefully inspire individuals to do something to rectify these designs against humanity.

architecture for humanity, cameron sinclair, dead prize, design competition

Though the award may sound snarky, the point of the competition isn’t necessarily to shame its nominees, but rather to bring awareness to the poor designs weren’t as carefully thought out as they should have been. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a reference of the “worst practices” in architecture and design. As written on the competition site:

“We don’t believe in being negative, our focus is to discover what the benchmark is to design against or getting a better understanding of how a design failed or was intentionally harmful. It is our hope that like-minded designers see these failures as a challenge to create something new, to correct the mistakes of the past or to find the antidote for the project in question. Beyond the award is something more important, the solution.”

The Dead Prize jury will also try to reach out to select nominated designers or companies to give them a chance to tell their side of the story.

So, do you know of some crimes against architecture, design, or the environment? Or maybe you’d like to pass along one of your own projects that went terribly awry (Dead Prize welcomes satire). Send your nominations via Twitter @DeadPrize. Submissions are due by All Souls Day, November 1, and the “winner” will be announced early 2015.

Complete details on the competition can be found here. And here’s one we plan on tweeting at Dead Prize: What will replace graffiti art mecca 5Pointz.

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  1. A

    I hope this prize can inspire designers to be more responsible for what they create. Great idea!