The cradle-to-cradle, or C2C, paradigm recognizes that material resources are finite and must be used and re-used without degradation in either technical or biological cycles. This means moving beyond standard strategies of efficiency in order to create systems in which complete separation and reuse of all construction materials is adopted. The goal of the contest is to decrease the quantity of consumer goods used in a cradle-to-grave manner, or bringing them in one end and discarding them at the other. The cradle-to-cradle concept attempts to eliminate "the modern invention of waste, which is unknown in nature". (See also: Biomimicry .)
The competition is open to professional architects and designers ($150 entry fee), students ($35 entry fee) and university teams (free entry). Three winners in each category will receive cash awards, for $5,000, $3,000, and $1,000. Students and university teams will win much-coveted internships as well.
Jurors for the contest include renowned experts Alexander Garvin, Daniel Libeskind, William McDonough, Randall Stout and Sarah Susanka. And, unlike most competitions, the winning design will actually see construction in Roanoke, Virginia, beginning in Summer 2005.
Not a designer yourself? No worries. Selected submissions will be posted on the C2C Web site, and an Exhibition of Winners will also be held at the Art Museum of Western Virginia in January 2005.