Two teams of five students from the Gibbs College of Architecture competed in the ULI Hines Student Urban Design and Development Competition this past January. Two of the students from GCA to participate included Sara Overturff, who is working on her Master’s in Construction Management, and Kimberly Huff, a 5th-year Architecture student.

The competition brings together groups of upper-level students from at least three different disciplines to challenge themselves in an exercise in responsible land use. Each team has two weeks to come up with a development plan for a real, large-scale North American city. With their final product, teams are required to supply graphic boards and narratives of their proposed plans, including designs and market-feasible financial information.  

Image credit: design proposal narrative from Sara Overturff’s group

“Competing in the ULI Student Competition illustrated for me the intersection of urban design, architecture, and construction,” said Overturff. “Being a part of an interdisciplinary team within the College of Architecture was an amazing experience to not only interact with students from different degree programs but also combine our areas of expertise to create a space that enhances the overall Miami community.  Overall, I am grateful for the opportunity to have a better understanding of my peers and how they work.”   

Image credit: diagram from Kimberly Huff’s group’s project

Although the competition is completely idea-based, the winning team receives $50,000 and the finalist teams each receive $10,000. For the competition, Overturff created the pro forma financial statement, and the design and financial narratives for her team. Huff helped create her team’s graphic logo, and diagram and renderings of their project, which was called “Wynwood Portrait District.” 

Image credit: logo from Kimberly Huff’s group’s project

“The ULI Hines competition was a steep learning curve,” said Huff. “The time constraint required extreme efficiency of design practice. Each of us constantly had to question our ideas, representation, and then streamline our solution to be as clear as possible. It was a way of design completely different from anything we had done before, and I think we all thrived in the process.” 

The ULI Hines Student Competition is part of the Urban Land Institute’s effort to raise interest among younger generations in creating better communities. To find out more about the competition you can visit their website here.

Feature image credit: Kimberly Huff, rendering of “Wynwood Portrait District” project