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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Competitions
  3. Arch Out Loud Open Competition - Human Trafficking: Tenancingo Square Mediascape

Arch Out Loud Open Competition - Human Trafficking: Tenancingo Square Mediascape

Arch Out Loud Open Competition - Human Trafficking: Tenancingo Square Mediascape
Arch Out Loud Open Competition - Human Trafficking: Tenancingo Square Mediascape, Courtesy of Arch Out Loud
Courtesy of Arch Out Loud

Dedicated to providing opportunities for designers to explore contemporary sociopolitical issues, arch out loud is now hosting the first international architecture competition addressing the global epidemic of human trafficking.

Invisible and incomprehensible to most, the issues of modern day slavery are real and widespread. The Polaris Project, a leading organization in the battle against human trafficking, reports nearly 20.9 million victims worldwide fueling an obscene, yet lucrative, multi-billion dollar Industry.

Courtesy of Arch Out Loud
Courtesy of Arch Out Loud

Human trafficking denies basic freedoms and degrades life to mere commodification. In source communities, such as Tenancingo Municipality, Mexico, human trafficking has become industry, sustaining both the wealth of its citizens and international networks of illegal human exchange. Positioning itself in such a context, arch out loud seeks to investigate architecture’s capacity to challenge entrenched exploitation.

Human Trafficking: Tenancingo Square Mediascape challenges designers to reimagine the town square of Tenancingo, Mexico in response to the prevalent issues of sex trafficking existing in the area. Designers should explore the catalytic potentials of architectural intervention, inciting positive change through the introduction of a transformative mediascape. The proposed conversion should aim to both educate and empower, influencing a long-term recalibration of consciousness.

Courtesy of Arch Out Loud
Courtesy of Arch Out Loud

Located at Tenancingo’s highest and most central point, the competition site lies adjacent to the church (Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel) and local government office. A prominent intersection within the community, the existing square accommodates a number of temporary programs and events, serving as both a public plaza and marketplace. The site also hosts the annual carnival, briefly exposing an extensive and sophisticated network of traffickers. Designers should consider the provocative potentials of media, both digital and physical, and

the juxtaposition of square and scape to accommodate a variety of relational conditions while also promoting a singular image of change. How might a modified square reshape communal mindset and motivation, reconstituting the image of a town where exploitation has become normalized?

We encourage all designers to consider engaging this issue by registering now at


Prizes total to $8,000

OVERALL WINNER - $5,000 + AO feature and certificate
3 Runners up - $1,000 each + AO feature and certificate
10 Honorable Mentions - AO feature and certificate
Directors Choice - AO feature and certificate


Hilary Sample - Founder, MOS Architects | Columbia University Tatiana Bilbao - Founder, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO
César Guerrero - Partner, S-AR
Ana Cecilia Garza - Partner, S-AR
Anouk Legendre - Founder, XTU Architects
Nicolas Desmazières - Founder, XTU Architects
Ashley Schafer - Founder, Praxis Journal | Harvard GSD, Knowlton School OSU
Kathrin Susanna Gimmel - Partner, Ja-Ja
People’s Architecture Office (PAO)


Advanced Registration: Feb 20 - Mar 18
Early Registration: Mar 19 - Apr 17
Regular Registration: Apr 18 - May 14
Submission Deadline: May 15

Contact arch out loud at 

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About this author
Patrick Lynch
Cite: Patrick Lynch. "Arch Out Loud Open Competition - Human Trafficking: Tenancingo Square Mediascape" 08 Mar 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884