In 2007, I co-found the Cleveland Design Competition with friend and colleague Bradley Fink. The Cleveland Design Competition is an international, annual design competition founded as a tool for generating ideas for underutilized sites in Cleveland. Each year, we hold this competition advance conversations around important and under-utilized Cleveland sites in an attempt to raise the expectations of the public environment and ensure when the project does get built, the best possible ideas for the public are implemented. Since its founding in 2007, more than 500 designers from over 25 countries have submitted entries, with over $16,000 in prizes awarded. In 2007, the Cleveland Design Competition saw registration from 200 designers in 10 different countries. In 2008, over 230 individuals formed teams to submit from 15 different countries. In 2009, over 80 teams of designers, representing 16 different countries submitted entries. The competition just completed its fifth and most exciting challenge yet asking for design ideas for the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge. We received over 160 entries from 24 difference countries.
Since the competition’s inception, we have partnered with a number of great organizations. The two main partners who have continued to ensure the competitions success each year are the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. Without their guidance and fiscal support, we would not be able to do what we do with the competition.