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Obama to Cast Global Search for Chicago Presidential Center Architect

In May, the University of Chicago was selected to host the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum. Now referred to as the Barack Obama Presidential Center, the building's task force is expected to cast a global call in search of an architect. As the Chicago Tribune reports, officials sent a request for qualifications to a select group of architects yesterday, although others are welcome to submit. All those interested must send their credentials by September 16. 

"The foundation and its advisers wanted to present the president and first lady with a strong and broad list of options," a foundation spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune. "We are looking at architects who represent a broad range of approaches and styles, but who all have a position of eminence within the architecture profession and have achieved some degree of public recognition."

Open Call: Royal Exchange Design Competition for 2015 Graduates

Update: The competition deadline has been extended to September 11, 2015. 

Open Call: Redesign the Burning Man City Plan

Correction Update: This article was first published on Sunday 16th August, and originally stated that "the Burning Man management team will ultimately select a winner" and that "the final design plan will be implemented for the 2017 event." However, since then it has been brought to our attention that this is not an official competition, and the Burning Man organization is not planning to update their current design.

ArchDaily would like to apologize for this grave error, which arose because we did not realize that the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning (BRCMUP) had no official ties to the organizers behind Burning Man, and is therefore not a part of Burning Man's management team. For their part, Burning Man have stated "we love the ingenuity of Burners and are curious to see what they come up with through this competition. We will certainly take a look at all the top designs in this competition, not just the winner, out of curiosity and admiration... But there are no plans to redesign Black Rock City."

The article has been updated to correct our errors. If you wish to find out more, you can do so at the competition website or Burning Man's blog post about the competition.

Architectural Expertise vs The Public Vote: ArchDaily Readers Respond

Recently, staff at ArchDaily spotted an interesting trend: thanks to the opportunities afforded by the internet, the results of many architectural competitions and other proposals have been opened up to public opinion like never before. Whether via competitions that post all of their entries online for public viewing such as the Guggenheim Helsinki or Battersea Bridge competitions, designer Karim Rashid's informal poll of his Facebook followers to pick their favorite facade for his design, or a competition that is actually decided by public vote such as Den Bosch's city center theater, it has never been easier for members of the public to make their opinions known about the future of their cities. Even this morning, the US World War I Centennial Commission published the finalists in the competition for the redesign of the National World War I Memorial, actively soliciting public feedback on the proposals.

With that in mind, we asked our readers to share their thoughts on this empowerment of the public. Does allowing ordinary people to vote on such matters represent a radical new architectural democracy, or does it undermine the expertise of the architect? The responses we got were interesting and very varied - find out what people had to say after the break.

World War I Memorial Competition Finalists Announced

In May, the US World War I Centennial Commission launched its design competition for the redesign of the National World War I Memorial, located in Washing DC. Though some concerns about the fate of Pershing Park, which currently occupies the site, have been voiced, the competition will continue nonetheless, aiming to fulfill the Commission's stated aim "to transform Pershing Park from a park that happens to contain a memorial to a site that is primarily a national World War I memorial, within a revitalized urban park setting with a distinct sense of place."

After cycling through a first stage of entries, the competition has reached its second stage, which entails a public viewing and commentary of the top five designs, before a winner is selected in January 2016.

View the five finalists, after the break.

Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission

Piano, Chipperfield, Fujimoto Among 26 Considered to Transform Doha Flour Mill into Museum Complex

Renzo Piano, David Chipperfield, Sou Fujimoto, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and ELEMENTAL are among 26 celebrated architects that have been longlisted in an international competition that seeks to transform the Qatar Flour Mills in Doha's Arabian Gulf into a massive "Art Mill." Moving on to the competition's second stage, the remaining architects will now develop site strategies that focus on the mill's connection to the city. The complete longlist includes: 

Open Call: Sejong-daero Historic Cultural Space Design Competition

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced its Sejong-daero Historic Cultural Space Design Competition, which seeks creative designs for the site of the former National Tax Service Building, as well as a greater conceptual blueprint for the central Seoul area.

Monocle 24 Explore Architectural Competitions and 'Failed Bids'

For this week's edition of The Urbanist, Monocle's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team discuss urbanism projects that were planned and never realised, what 'paper architecture' really is, and the importance of the architectural competition.

In The Urbanist, Andrew Tuck explores how a terrace of old town houses in central London (152-158 The Strand, near Somerset House) have been recently saved from demolition by the efforts of campaigning journalists and a sympathetic public. In Brazil, the yet to be seen high-speed train link between Rio di Janeiro and São Paulo meets scrutiny while in Toronto, five unsuccessful architectural bids are examined. Finally, ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster visits their London studio to talk about the architectural competition, from Brunelleschi to Guggenheim and Den Bosch.

Are "Public Votes" in Architecture a Bad Thing?

UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands was selected in July thanks to support from 57% of the public voters. Image © UNStudio
UNStudio’s design for a theatre in Den Bosch, the Netherlands was selected in July thanks to support from 57% of the public voters. Image © UNStudio

For decades, one of the most pressing questions surrounding architecture and urban planning has been "who gets to decide what is built?" Various systems have been tried, but one of the most popular strategies to emerge in recent years has been "The Public Vote." Thanks to the new possibilities afforded by the internet, it's becoming increasingly common to display all the entries to competitions to the public, as in the Guggenheim Helsinki competition, and even to have the public vote for their favorite, as in the recent competition to design Den Bosch's city centre theatre, or even Karim Rashid's informal poll of his Facebook followers to choose a facade for one of his designs. In some ways these approaches seem like the perfect response to years of complaints that decisions are made behind closed doors, away from the people who they affect.

Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Lakefront Kiosk Winners

The Chicago Architecture Biennial, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and BP, has announced the winner of its Lakefront Kiosk Competition, which sought out designs for an innovative lakefront kiosk to be inaugurated on October 3 for the opening of the Biennial.

In addition to the winner of the competition, the Biennial is also partnering with local schools—the Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago—in order to build three more kiosks to be featured at the Biennial. View the grand prize design, as well as three competition finalists, honorable mentions, and the three architecture school designs after the break.

Open Call: Chandigarh Unbuilt Competition to Complete Le Corbusier's Capitol

Online international competition organizer archasm has launched its “Chandigarh Unbuilt: Completing the Capitol” ideas competition, which seeks designs to finalize and complement Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, India.

Open Call: International Competition to Design a Beautiful House

BW International is now accepting entries for its Design a Beautiful House competition, an international call offering £25,000 (about $39,000 USD) to winner(s). The competition is open to all designers, students, artists, and others from anywhere across the globe, and requires no registration fee.

Registration Opens for eVolo 2016 Skyscraper Competition

eVolo Magazine has announced the start of their 11th annual Skyscraper Competition. Inviting architects, students, engineers, designers and artists, the competition places no restrictions on site, program or size, leaving participants free to explore the skyscraper as creatively as possible.

Shelter Global Announces 2015 Dencity Competition Winners

International architecture non-profit Shelter Global has announced the winners of its 2015 Dencity Competition. Out of 300 entries from 50 different countries, three winners and six special mentions were selected.

The competition’s goal was “to foster new ideas on how to handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of the massive problem,” and jury members sought out project designs that empower communities and allow for self-sufficiency. Read about the three winners, after the break.

10 Shortlisted to Re-Envision Kazan's Kaban Lake Embankments

Ten finalist have been shortlisted as part of an open, two-stage competition set to redesign the Kaban lake system embankments in Kazan. Held under the authority of the Republic of Tatarstan Government, the competition will now ask the remaining teams to work on other town-planning projects in the Republic of Tatarstan held within the three context of the Water-Conservation Zones Year - in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk and other cities. Visiting sessions with the President of the Republic will be organized to introduce the context of the competition to the finalists.

The Winner will receive one million Rubles and a contract for the design project development of the future embankment.

The 10 remaining finalists are...

London's Royal Academy Launches 'Urban Jigsaw' Ideas Competition

The Royal Academy of Arts in London have launched a new international ideas competition which aims "to refocus attention to the huge potential of the brownfield sites that still exist across London." 'Brownfield' sites, or those earmarked for potential building development that have had previous development on them, are plentiful in the UK capital. This competition seeks "speculative ideas [which] make the most of these missing pieces in London’s urban jigsaw."

Design With Company + Arup Create “Shaw Town” Theatre in Chicago

Chicago based architecture studio Design With Company, in collaboration with Arup, have constructed their winning proposal for the Ragdale Ring design competition, which asked entrants to redesign Howard Van Doren Shaw’s 1912 performance venue for a Chicago artists’ community. Their design lightheartedly references features of Shaw’s architecture, while creating a venue for acoustically unamplified performances.

Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company

Open Call: Entries for Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture 2nd Edition

Eighteen years after its original publication, Paul Oliver’s Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World will be updated, revised, and expanded to include over 30% of new material. With around 3,000 entries, the new version of the encyclopedia is set to be published in 2018, and will reflect the considerable growth and changes in the architectural field.