Urban Urge Awards New York City Mojdeh Baratloo Grant Sabrina Romano Untapped Cities“No Manhattan Is An Island’ by Mojdeh Baratloo / URGe (Urban Research Group)

Last year, we reported on the passing of influential New York City-based architect, educator and community advocate Mojdeh (Moji) Baratloo. The new Urban Urge Awards, launched in her honor, will enable designers and urbanists “to realize their ideas and effect  concrete change in their local community.” Unlike other design awards, The Urban Urge Awards are unique because almost anything from an art installation in a vacant storefront to an app that points people toward the fresh food in their neighborhood will be considered.

Through the lens of architecture, installation, and urbanism, Moji’s work addressed challenges of climate change, energy, education,  post-industrialization, public space, public policy, technology, waste, and water to the modern urban environment. Moji believed in the  importance of ideas and in the practice of making one’s work real, “for the experience of a human or environment.”  She challenged and urged her students, friends, colleagues, and collaborators to have conversations  across disciplinary or social boundaries making our cities, regions and  world more livable, sustainable, enjoyable, and responsible.

Open to designers from around the world, the six design competition awards and six project seed  grants range from $500 to $4000. Registration is free and is due June 15, 2014, submissions are due July 15, 2015 and award winners will be announced September, 2014.

To encourage young people to take part in the competition, the Emerge Awards are reserved for recent graduates of universities where Moji studied and taught and the Urge School Seed Grants are available to teachers and/or students doing projects in New York City. Both grants are intended to engage a younger audience and involve them in designing their city.

Justin Garett Moore, a professor at Columbia University GSAPP explains, “[Moji] would always make conscious efforts to break down the kinds of barriers and structures you find in [large institutional settings] where it’s very controlled. She would have kids from Red Hook critiquing Columbia graduate students on projects. She would do all of these things that were intentionally mixing things that didn’t mix, but should mix.”

By giving individuals the tools to actualize creative solutions that improve the environments around them, Moji’s legacy continues to have a powerful and lasting impact

Click here to learn more and apply for an Urban Urge Award.