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Architecture Issues 'Call for Help'

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's School of Architecture and Design is putting out an all call for submissions for its “A Call for Help: Rebuild Louisiana Competition.”

According to Geoff Gjertson, assistant professor and co-director of the Building Institute in the School of Architecture and Design, “the goal of the competition is to gather and disseminate strategies to help the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts associated with hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

With this effort, the School hopes to have a direct effect on the evacuees and those who are going to help rebuild New Orleans in particular by proposing a way to preserve the history that was there post Katrina and Rita. By coming up with a redesign that promotes this preservation and rebuilding effort, the area will have a new image, yet it will still maintain its historical significance.

The faculty members of the School of Architecture proposed the idea for this type of competition, and hope to eventually publish the submissions they receive. Submissions are being accepted in all forms including but not limited to artwork, poetry, text, design, architecture and engineering.

PDF files are preferred or submissions may be saved as a MSWord file, one or two vertically formatted 8-1/2" x 11”'s, 5 MB maximum size. Please email to rebuild@louisiana.edu or postmark a hardcopy & CD by November 1st, 2005 to: Louisiana Calling Competition PO Box 43850 Louisiana, LA 70504. As the files are received, they will be posted on http://soad.louisiana.edu/wordpress/. Please visit this site for an information form to be submitted with the ideas. There is no cost for submission as well as no limitation on who can enter the competition. The only requirement is that each entrant signs the information form as a publication release.

“ It will be a competition in the sense that after the acceptance of all the submissions and their initial publication, special recognition in the form of additional publications and invitations to speak will be given to a limited number of the best submissions,” Gjertson said.

The competition includes various art forms aside from strict architecture and design because those other art forms can affect the relief efforts. “We believe that there are lots of good ideas out there, but often no forum in which to project them,” Gjertson said. “Our competition offers such a forum. Additionally, there may be a cathartic effect for the participants generated by giving them an outlet for their ideas and emotions.”

The ideas and information provided in the submissions may be used by agencies when coming up with a plan to rebuild New Orleans, and it is the hope of the School of Architecture and Design that these creative and intelligent ideas will be adopted.

“ If we assemble a critical mass of good strategies, it could and should direct the decision makers,” Gjertson said.

Currently, an outside source has been utilized to fund the initial publication of this project, but the School is seeking outside funding through grants to further publicize the project.