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Call for Proposal

PIDPR (Public Interest Design Practices and Research) Competition:
“Empowerment By Design"

Sponsored by
Lawrence Technological University Detroit Studio (ltu-DS) & Good Deeds Good Design Group in Detroit [gd]3.
Who are We?  

Good Deeds, Good Design Group in Detroit [gD]³ is a group of volunteer designers. These designers are passionate about improving the built environment in collaboration with organizations or individuals who are dedicated to socially responsive design projects. [gD]³ primarily investigates public interest design practices and research. [gD]³ is a part of Lawrence Technological University’s Detroit Studio (ltu-DS), which is located in Detroit (information on ltu-DS:
What is PIDPR 

PIDPR (Public Interest Design Practices and Research) explores new and innovative ways of practicing architecture to empower and assist disadvantaged groups around the world. In order to promote the well-being of the public and the environment through design, architects and designers must propose alternative practice models. Through alternative practices, PIDPR aims to challenge and expand the boundaries of architecture. [gD]³ investigates examples, methods, principles and theories of PIDPR. The [gD]³ website at provides various practice models or examples that can be valuable resources or help define the goals of PIDPR.
International Competition 

The PIDPR International Competition challenges students and professionals alike to investigate the potential of public interest design. By expanding the traditional boundaries of architecture, the competition seeks innovative PIDPR projects that assist others, help designers learn from others, and advance the architectural profession. The competition seeks PIDPR models that engage local stakeholders and a worldwide audience via digital networking and community participation.


In the United States as well as all across the world, an economic and environmental crisis has shaken the very foundation of what the public, and architects themselves, believe about the significance of architecture as a profession. The traditional definition and boundaries of the architectural profession are being called into question. Everyone within the discipline of architecture needs to promote trans-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing the current crises, as well as educate students about entrepreneurship and exploring new possibilities in architecture. Both academic leaders and practitioners need to help promote collaboration between the academy and the profession, while at the same time incorporating research into design and practice. These proactive efforts, therefore, will help everyone in the discipline of architecture to view the profession and education in a new way in order to promote a renewed sense of purpose, and create new opportunities for future generations of architects.

Competition Goals

The concerns addressed above bring to light certain goals that the PIDPR hopes to reach through the design competition. They are:

(1)Challenge the traditional definition of architecture,

(2)Explore ways in which the boundaries of architecture profession can be expanded to have a renewed sense of purpose in architecture, and to meet the demand of our future generations of architects,

(3)Educate students and others about how to expand the architectural profession and create new opportunities in architecture,

(4)Promote applied research on values, benefits, theories, and principles of PIDPR, as well as application of PIDPR in practice,

(5)Explore innovative and meaningful civic engagement, and

(6)Help and empower organizations and communities who are in need.


There are two categories in this competition: a student category and a professional category. In each category, both built and un-built projects are accepted. They may be design projects (e.g., building design, site design, urban design, art installation, etc.) or design-build projects that promote improvements or revitalization of underserved communities in Detroit, Michigan (for other eligible locations, see Criteria). The projects should also address the goals of the PIDPR Competition as mentioned above. 

(1) A team-based project is strongly recommended, although an individual-based project is acceptable.

(2) Projects must be located in Detroit. However, projects undertaken outside Detroit are acceptable as long as strong evidence is provided to support the compelling argument that the projects are applicable to Detroit.

(3) A submitted project must promote sustainability, environmentally-friendly design, innovation, and livability.

(4) All of the PIDPR goals must be successfully met.


Registration & Submissions

For this competition, there are registration and submission requirements and criteria. Please click on the links above to find out more information.

The final submission is DUE NO LATER THAN 11:59PM EST on November 27, 2012. 

For more information and updates, please visit our Facebook page.

For inquiries, please contact  

Award, Dissemination and Publication

Top projects will receive awards. The selected applicants will be interviewed on video for YouTube. Their projects will be published in the PIDPR online magazine, which will be disseminated worldwide. Selected applicants will be invited to a symposium (see below) on PIDPR planned for Fall 2012 in Detroit. 

The jurors for this competition are national experts in the field of Public Interest Design and Research. They are: 
Bryan Bell, SEED
Founder and Executive Director of Design Corps, Raleigh, North Carolina 
Founder of the Public Interest Design Institute

PIDPR Symposium

National experts on PIDPR will be invited for a lecture and panel discussion at Lawrence Tech in Southfield, Michigan. These experts will select top projects for awards and publication. 


PIDPR Online Forum: ArchInnovation Jams

To promote a dialogue on PIDPR among interested people around the world, we will have a PIDPR online forum via our Facebook page, ArchInnovation Jams and our blog. You are required to post useful information, resources, comments, and questions. You are also strongly encouraged to register early and post work-in-progress updates via ArchInnovation Jams and our Blog.


  • Registration Opens: Friday August 24, 2012
  • Registration Form and Submission of Draft Project Files to [gd]3 website: Tuesday November 20, 2012
  • Final Submission Deadline: Tuesday November 27, 2012
  • Review of Submitted Projects begins: Monday November 26, 2012
  • PIDPR Panel Discussion: Wednesday November 28, 2012
  • Award Winners Announced: Sunday December 9, 2012


Click on the Resources link above to find a list of precedent studies, articles and blogs that will help in your projects.