The Africatown International Design Idea Competition leverages the spectacular Clotilda find (a sunken slave ship discovered in May 2019 in the Mobile River Delta) to give multi-disciplinary design teams a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to imagine a revived Africatown, with 16 land and water-edged venues on 4 sites across 3 cities that interpret and honor its history.
Taken together, the 16 venues are destined to constitute a major new cultural heritage tourism destination system called The Africatown Cultural Mile™. We believe it can attract millions of visitors and generate billions of dollars in revenue for the economy of Africatown, the Cities of Prichard and Chickasaw, and the greater Mobile region. You can view the overview for the competition here.
Open To All : architects, students, designers, landscape architects, artists, graphic artists or other; individuals or teams up to 4 members per team multicultural/multidisciplinary teams, if possible)
The total value of cash prizes to 1st, 2nd & 3rd place competition winners will be up to $100,000.
Entry fee is $100 per site, per team to download site briefs.
Story: Connect The Dots
The Africatown Cultural Mile™ will be a network of well-designed cultural amenities—welcome center and museums, Clotilda boathouse, performing arts venues, signature spa hotel, water taxis, boutique retail, restaurants and more—across 3 cities in the Mobile area. All are connected by Africatown’s unique history. Collectively, they can be among the biggest cultural heritage tourism assets in the State of Alabama.
Besides tourism amenities, the Idea Competition also seeks well-designed concepts for community amenities like new housing, school updates, and green spaces that attract new Africatown residents, who can reinvigorate under-served neighborhoods in and near The Africatown Cultural Mile™. All things work seamlessly together to create equitable collective social impact for Africatown and its environs.
Competition: Design Principles
This multi-site Idea Competition seeks architectural concepts using African design principles, creative placemaking and world-class destination planning. Winning designs should: honor the Africatown story; anchor current and future redevelopment plans; preserve Africatown’s unique cultural identity; and spark community economic revitalization.
Designs should incorporate the latest digital technologies, imbued with “Wakanda Forever” Afrofuturistic sensibilities. Additionally, LEED® architectural standards and ways to produce sustainable green energy solutions are encouraged.
The Africatown International Design Idea Competition’s 16-member jury panel (8 design professionals, 8 local leaders and professionals) is headed by Jack Travis, FAIA NOMAC. The architect, author and educator deeply explores Afri-cultural mores, specializing in architecture and interiors fused with African iconography. He founded The Studio for Afrofuturism in Architecture and Design. He runs workshops on Afrocentric design themes and on black communities, with a focus on social directives. See the full list of jurors here.
Winners to be announced in March 2023.