Crowded: Votes pour in for Obama design finale

The people have spoken and the final results are almost in.

What some may have dismissed as a silly exercise when it was launched five months ago has now drawn enthusiastic participation from thousands of voters from all over the world, and evaluations from dozens of architecture school deans and accomplished design principals, all focused on nearly three dozen undeniably thoughtful and creative design proposals. Each has imagined what a national learning center “of the people, by the people, and for the people” — to quote an earlier U.S. President from Illinois — could, and perhaps, even should look like when it is built on Chicago’s South Side in the next five to 10 years.

  • Pictured above and below are all of our entries. To see more images, and to read individual descriptions of each project, with a final chance to vote, visit Arcbazar’s OPC competition page

Co-sponsored by ArcbazarBuiltWorldsCannonDesign, AIA ChicagoDwell on DesignGreenApple CampusAutodesk, and Forum8, this unique, non-binding, intentionally fun architecture competition has solicited designs for the upcoming Obama Presidential Center (OPC) on Chicago’s South Side. It is distinct from, and not affiliated with, the ongoing official contest now also nearing its end, run by the Obama Foundation. (Still, nothing bars our crowd-sourced ideas from influencing the actual OPC.)

This Thursday evening, June 16, in the BuiltWorlds Studios, we will be hosting and even “live streaming” the final presentations, judging and Obama Presidential Center Competition and Awards Ceremony. Our geographically diverse contestants are vying for $10,000 in total prizes, plus two additional non-cash awards, and the opportunity to be featured and to present at subsequent national design expositions.

This week, they will be judged in-studio by an international panel of six juror practitioners:

Online, a ‘digital’ panel of 28 juror academics, has helped the public to rank the entries. They are:

NOTE: The winning design will be turned into a Hologram (courtesy of Zebra Imaging) and presented at the massive Dwell on Design exposition in Los Angeles on June 24-26, 2016.

  • To attend the June 16 event, or watch it ‘live’, click here.

Check back after the event for the results, judges’ comments, and a deeper dive into the winning designs.