This is a call for Works of art and design that are also devices for manifesting, registering, materializing, manipulating, or visualizing the quality, movement, properties, or “spirit” of air in, around, and through buildings.

Air: the mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide that serves all forms of terrestrial life; that carries a million other compounds and particles; that we feel on our skins and breathe and smell; that vibrates with sound; that carries birds and planes; that foams water, feeds fires, and fills tires; that moves curtains and removes roofs; that presses in on everything without our noticing. Air invisible, essential, shapeless, shaped: how might we see you? Air, brother of Space, how might we design with you in mind?

The works selected will be exhibited as part of a symposium (called A I R, set for October 4, 2018), that will bring designers, writers, scientists, engineers, and artists together to explore the theme of air beyond conventional terms (e.g, climate, HVAC, pollution…).


1. The Work should be a physical object that brings the beholder’s attention to the nature and quality of the air in the immediate environment, defined for the purposes of the Competition as: inside or near West Mall Building and Battle, Sutton, and Goldsmith Halls of the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Works that also quantify in some way will be preferred. Works that are shippable and technically and economically feasible will also be preferred. Those that are not, and are still of high interest, may be chosen for display and publication as representations.

2. The Competition will have four stages

  • Stage 1: written and drawn proposals submitted digitally to [email protected] and $50, non-refundable entry fee paid (at by midnight April 5, 2018. Notification of selection/non-selection by judges by May 15, 2018.
  • Stage 2: Selected Proposals, constructed, shipped to Austin for assembly/installation by the artists and/or organizers by September 15, 2018. (Shipping address below). Exhibition dates October 1–18, 2018.
  • Stage 3: judging and awards: First, Second, and Third prizes for installed Works: $1000, $500, $250 respectively, announced October 17, 2018.
  • Stage 4: documentation by organizers for publication in CENTER 23: A I R (2019). Return shipping of works, as required, by CAAD to artists.

3. Entrants to the Competition may be artists, students or practitioners, in the sciences, arts, or professions, over 18 years old, individually or in partnership. Non-exclusive permission to publish all proposals and installations—online and in print—must be granted to CAAD. Full credit of authorship is guaranteed.

Contacts and addresses:
Professor Michael Benedikt, Director: [email protected]
Assistant Professor Clay Odom, A I R Project Co-director: [email protected]
Leora Visotzky, CAAD Program Coordinator: [email protected]; for questions, logistics, and general correspondence.
Competition Proposal submissions: [email protected]
Shipping Address: CAAD, School of Architecture
The University of Texas at Austin
310 Inner Campus Dr., B7500
Austin, TX 78712