Challenge Details

The DMC will be accepting registrations for teams interested in participating in the Design Challenge through January 14, 2013. Each team can consist of up to six people. When applying, each team should indicate their top 3 preferred sites and should ideally include at least one architect and at least one member of the South Main community on the team. The selected teams will be notified by January 16, 2013. Each team will be assigned to a specific site and asked to develop both a short-term concept and long-term vision for their site.

 The short-term concept plan will imagine how to strategically transform the site into a community asset on a limited budget (less than $5,000 ). Potential site reuse ideas could include concepts such as a dog park, public art or sculpture park, passive or active recreation, and places for community gathering. Emphasis should be on high-impact, low cost improvements that will have an expected useful life of 2-5 years. The goal is to generate feasible options for turning vacant lots and underutilized buildings into memorable places that strengthen South Main as one of the great neighborhoods in Memphis.

 The long-term vision plan should provide a concept for what high-quality future development could look like on the site. Design concepts should be respectful of the historic character of the area while striving to be vibrant, memorable places that are a product of their own time. The design and use of the site is limited only to the imagination of the team, but ideally should be feasible and have potential market demand. Each team should determine what the highest and best use for their site might be.

Each design team will develop simple sketches, illustrations, or a study model in order to communicate the idea for the short term concept and long term vision for their site. The teams will unveil their design plans at an open house in conjunction with the monthly South Main Trolley Tour. Two teams will be featured in both February and March, and three teams will be featured in April. A group of South Main community members and development experts will serve as the review committee and select the Design Challenge winner. At the end of the process, all of the submitted ideas will serve as a knowledge base for future discussions about how to strengthen the South Main District through innovative development and design.