AIA 'I Look Up Film Challenge' People's Choice Award revealed

Top films address accessibility for the disabled, 18th century urban planning, and a recycling facility that does more than repurpose material.

November 02, 2016 |

Pixabay Public Domain

The People's Choice Award for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) I Look Up Film Challenge is ARCH 335: Rebuilding Medcamps, which was also the selection for the juried portion of the film challenge. Brad Deal, Robert Brooks and Michael Tolar submitted the short film, which garnered 46,339 votes. It explores the important work of the Design Build Studios of Louisiana Tech University to provide Medcamps of Louisiana, a non-profit organization that offers free summer camp to children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. The camps provide spaces for gathering, learning, and adventure.  

The second place film, Timeless Innovation, received 40,701 votes. This film, submitted by Minji Kim, Seth F. Johnson, and Shawn Griffin, looks at the importance of General James Oglethorpe’s original design of Savannah, Ga., and how it is blending with modern elements. Savannah is considered the first planned city in the U.S. and largely retains the original town plan Oglethorpe developed.

Brandon Brown submitted the third place film, Renewal: The Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility. This film received 11,062 votes and focuses on the largest commingled recycling facility in the U.S. The Sims Municipal Recycling facility, designed by Selldorf Architects, not only employs sustainable design concepts, but it serves as an educational facility to groups interested in learning more about how recycling works.


The films placing four through 10 are listed below.

4. Scale – In Austin, Texas, affordability and accessibility are an essential component to a thriving entrepreneurial environment.  By rethinking the office typology to better accommodate a start-up friendly landscape, architects are stimulating innovation.  

5. A Home – Tells the story of how an ambitious project transformed the lives of the residents of East Harlem, by creating Harlem RBI, a multi-purpose building that includes Harlem RBI's offices, DREAM Charter School, a new community center, 89 affordable housing units, and a beautiful public park.

6. HOME – The Dr. Davis Senior Center in the Bayview neighborhood outside of San Francisco provides housing for low-income seniors, but more importantly provides a thriving community for its residents.

7. Precipitating Change – By integrating an air-to-water technology called 'Skysource', up to 300 gallons of water can be produced per day. The water is offered free to the public in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, as well as to Community Healing Gardens.

8. Urban Frontier House – High Plains Architects had a vision to create a comfortable, affordable, and low maintenance house that is also almost entirely self-sustaining.

9. Intervention Whispers – The renovation of a series of adjacent modest historic structures in downtown San Antonio has had a large cultural community impact. Architects discuss their process and challenges, such as a lack of interior historical documentation, in this adaptive reuse.

10. ALBIZIA – An invasive tree specimen in the state of Hawaii that has caused damage to both the built and natural environment is now being repurposed as a building material to address housing for the homeless. 

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