Professional Practice

Registration Now Open for Watermarks: An International Competition

Date: 5/8/2013 - 6/3/2013

Type: Competitions / Awards

Location(s): International


The Watermarks competition is now accepting registration (through May 20). Entries are due June 3.

This competition is a great opportunity to explore ways to communicate risk to ordinary people who don't understand their risk – perhaps because their real-estate agent informed them their house was ‘not in the floodplain’ (technically correct from the FEMA perspective if ‘protected’ by a levee high enough to contain the 100-year flood). How can we find creative ways to inform people of their true risk of flooding?

  • The competition solicits proposals to raise awareness of vulnerability in places where you wouldn’t expect it. The competition details include:
  • Goals are innovative and pedagogical designs to articulate landscape risk by marking water flows on infrastructure and built landscapes.
  • Proposals must be integrated within an existing fluvial context, not stand-alone installations.
  • Projects should be located in urban landscape environments, i.e., places where there is a density of people who live, work and play. They can be in North America or abroad.
  • Proposals should be interactive and dynamic, providing social and programmatic diversity.
  • The risk of high water can come from inundation of unprotected floodplains by big floods, overtopping or failure of levees, failure of upstream dams, or coastal flooding.

Jurors include Anu Mathur (University of Pennsylvania), John King (San Francisco Chronicle Architecture Critic), Georges Descombes (ADM Architects, Geneva), Herbert Dreiseitl (Atelier Dreiseitl), Walter Hood and Matt Kondolf (UC Berkeley).

Awards: First Place, $3,000; Second Place: $2,000; Third Place, $1,000.

The competition is open to students and professionals. Teams should be led by a landscape architect and/or environmental planner but are encouraged to include members from other disciplines. For details on registration (due May 20) and submitting entries (by June 3), please go to

Part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley,


Julia Lent

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Professional Practice 

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