top of page

Design Competitions: A Chance to Get Famous Fast?

Design competitions are a classic way for an organization that plans to construct a new building to attract architects to submit design proposals. They can be open to anyone (students or professionals), can be paid or unpaid, domestic or international. The winners can either receive monetary awards, exhibits, or (ideally) can see their designs actually built. Competitions can provide opportunities to young or unknown architects to demonstrate their talents; a recent example is when Maya Lin, then only 21 years old and still an undergraduate at Yale University, won the national competition for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

Hopefully following in her footsteps is our own Jason Swichtenberg, who along with a team of designers from DAG’s sister company, the Fitzgerald Collaborative, has submitted an entry to the domestiCITY competition sponsored by the City of Atlanta’s Department of City Planning. Jason and teammates Bianca Klucik, Ron Smalls, Courtnei Maxwell and Kimberly Turner worked together to develop a solution for Santa Fe Villas, a poorly-maintained 147-unit housing project and an adjacent abandoned motel site. The competition is looking for a design solution that provides affordable housing and a mix of other uses that can potentially be used in other low-density commercial corridors throughout the city.

Jason’s team maximized the site’s potential for businesses and residents. Space along the main road is provided for entrepreneurial endeavors, with market rate residential units located along the eastern periphery of the site, away from the busy street, to allow for privacy and quiet. A community center lies at the heart of the site; and residents can walk to a local grocery store. An extensive network of sidewalks and trails connect to create a cohesive system, allowing pedestrians to access busy Metropolitan Parkway or take a leisurely stroll throughout the site.

On January 17th, an independent jury will announce the winners of Phase I. Five winning entries will be ranked, and will proceed to a second stage where they can expand upon their proposal by including a licensed architect, engineer and developer. Utlimately, the first place winner will receive $50,000, the four runners-up will get $20,000 each, and one of the five will get an additional $20,000 as an “Architectural Innovation Award.”

Their entry boards are illustrated below.

Good luck, Jason and team!!

For more information about the competition, visit their website at

For more information about the Fitzgerald Collaborative Group, visit their website at

  • Wix Facebook page
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • LinkedIn App Icon
  • Houzz App Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Pinterest App Icon
bottom of page