merle, December 1, 2011

Wow What Amazing Submissions!

The deadline has passed and we are delighted to announce we received over 90 submissions from a very international crowd.

We received submissions from China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Lebanon, India, Iran, Holland, Canada and the US.

The submissions are also of an extremely high standard both conceptually and in terms of the design renderings!

We shall get in touch with those who have made the shortlist by Dec 7th.

We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for devoting your time to this competition – we are truly overwhelmed by your creativity and inventiveness! 

merle, November 12, 2011

Ellen Dunham-Jones & Strip Appeal Activities

I just want to remind you that the deadline for submission is Nov 30th 2011.

The email address to send your entries to is:

If your attachment file size is large please send your entry to this address via yousendit or dropbox.

If you have any issues with this please contact me directly:
I also wanted to give you some UPDATES regarding the competition:

  1. The shortlisted submissions are to be exhibited in the University of Alberta’s Enterprise Square Galleries on Dec 10th 2011 (and you will be informed if you are shortlisted before this date). 
  2. The prize winners will be announced on Monday the 19th of December (which will be decided by our Jury on Friday the 16th of December).
  3. The closing event of this exhibition is to include a lecture and workshop by Ellen Dunham-Jones the author of Retrofitting Suburbia on the 26th of January 2012.
  4. The shortlisted submissions will also be showcased in following bookwork edited by Dr Rob Shields and myself entitled: Reinventing the Strip Mall: A Collection of Anticipatory Architectures (to be published by the University of Alberta Press).
  5. This bookwork and the shortlisted submissions will then form a travelling exhibit that is to tour planning departments and architecture and design schools across North America. This will kick-off with a display at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual international conference in New York in Feb 2012. 

We very much look forward to receiving your submissions!

merle, November 12, 2011

Strip Appeal in the National Post

Strip Appeal was the topic of a full page spread (A8) in Canada’s National Post today:

With Photos:

Without photos:

The article, by Tristin Hopper discusses the history and relevance of the Strip Mall:

“The first time cultural geographer Merle Patchett saw Edmonton’s sprawl from the airplane, she felt the culture shock shared by so many European immigrants to the Prairie city.

The place was built for the automobile: Endlessly sprawling suburbs, winding highways and, above all, strip malls.

This month, Ms. Patchett, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and the University of Alberta’s City Region Studies Centre have launched Strip Appeal. It’s a contest calling on designers, architects – anyone really – to retrofit the much-maligned strip mall for the future.

“It’s just a rectangular box surrounded by a sea of empty space,” Ms. Patchett said. “It’s a really easy building to redesign.” …

… The trick now is to figure out how Canada can destroy its strip malls while saving their cultural “genetics,” wrote Michael von Hausen, a Vancouver-based community planning consultant, in an email to the Post. Canadians must figure out how they can destroy their strip malls without destroying the small businesses and cultural hubs within them.

It is, he believes, “a noble and difficult task.”