Africatown International Design Idea Competition winners discuss their designs for the historically layered site and the collaborative process behind their submissions.
In 2023, the Current Work series will look at collaborative design processes across scales, from urban design to individual buildings. In an effort to reflect the many disciplines that are involved in the processes of design and building, rather than focusing on individual practitioners or firms, each event will instead explore a single project or instance of collaboration.
Inspired by the nearby 2019 discovery of the Clotilda, the last known ship used to transport enslaved Africans to the United States, sunk in the Mobile River Delta, the Africatown International Design Idea Competition gave design teams the opportunity to imagine a revived Africatown. Encouraging architectural concepts using African design principles, creative placemaking, and destination tourism planning, the competition engaged a jury of sixteen local leaders and design professionals to evaluate proposals for four land and water-edged sites across three cities in southern Alabama.
Architecture firms WXY architecture + urban design, Body Lawson Associates, Architects & Planners, JEROME HAFERD / BRANDT : HAFERD, Total Consult, and Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architecture formed the team “Blood Memory,” alluding to the seven fires prophecy of the Anishinaabe Nation. The group developed a shared design vision, vocabulary, and material scheme to support their individual submissions in a collaborative approach befitting the scale and ambition of the competition and the historically layered landscape.
Announced on Juneteenth 2023, the jury awarded first prize to WXY architecture + urban design for Site 1: Historic Africatown, JEROME HAFERD / BRANDT : HAFERD for Site 2: Josephine Allen Public Housing Site, and Body Lawson Associates, Architects & Planners for Site 3: Africatown Connections Blueway Site out of 110 submissions.
Presentations from the three firms about their winning collaboration will be followed by a conversation moderated by jury member and president of the Architectural League Mario Gooden, as well as a response from competition organizer Renee Kemp-Rotan, and audience Q&A.
Free for League members
$15 general admission
Comment as :