Architecture Competition Fosters Public Engagement

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Architecture Competition Fosters Public Engagement

Two years ago, Sachs Media Group had the privilege of working on a phenomenally successful promotion for the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida). At that time, more than 2.3 million people all across Florida voted online for their favorite buildings. Inspired by the success of that event, AIA Florida again asked us to help boost interest, this time in a four-week People’s Choice competition highlighting how Florida’s architects shape our communities through public-use buildings.

This second People’s Choice competition generated a substantial amount of media coverage and public support. It earned recognition from well-respected state and national news outlets, including the Associated Press and Bloomberg Businessweek. Nominated buildings garnered more than 800,000 online votes, reflecting continuing public interest in competitions that provide an opportunity to vote on favorite structures.

The great success of the competition showed the extent to which people value the architecture of their communities. In addition to increasing the functionality and aesthetics of a space, the design of a structure often reflects and contributes to a community’s unique identity. This combination of form and function can help define a community and serve as a source of pride for those who live there.

In the end, the Smokey Hollow Commemoration at Tallahassee’s Cascades Park received the most online support, earning its place as the overall winner of the statewide People’s Choice Award. The structure commemorates Tallahassee’s Smokey Hollow community, which was lost in the name of 1960s Deep South urban renewal.

The Smokey Hollow site, along with the 57 other structures participating in the People’s Choice competition, help tell the stories of Florida’s cities and citizens in a way that blends art with everyday life. We are proud to have been part of this competition, which generated a tremendous amount of public engagement in celebration of the structures that help make Florida’s communities the special places they are.

This blog post was contributed by Holly Brooks, public relations intern at Sachs Media Group.

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