Submission Deadline

Design February 11, 2019

Please note that this competition has expired and is for reference only. See our active listings for competitions.

The BDA Prize, an annual design and ideas competition, is established to generate forward-looking ideas to better our community through design and dialogue. The 2019 theme, INVISIBLE C’VILLE, calls for imaginative and provocative works on paper that distill an invisible quality, system, or story that defines Charlottesville.

In the novel Invisible Cities, we think Marco Polo is describing fifty-five amazing cities he encountered in his travels – until we realize he is describing a single city, his hometown, Venice, in fifty-five different ways.

As Calvino’s Marco Polo does for Venice, the BDA Prize asks you to dissect, identify, amplify, distill, and describe a generally overlooked but essential quality, system, spatial practice, experience or story that characterizes Charlottesville.

What is your take on the ethos of our town?
What would your personal x-ray of our town reveal?
What stories are untold?
What narratives are unresolved?
What is holding us back?
What is great and will propel us into the future?
Is this a city proud of its “History” or one that would rather not talk about its multiple, contested histories?
Whose voices are broadcast, discussed, and allowed to make a difference?

Your competition entry will be a single original image on paper 20” x 30” (76.2 x 50.8 cm) coupled with a short companion text of 1000 characters or less.

The goal of INVISIBLE C’VILLE is to create a kaleidoscopic view of our community. “Real” Charlottesville emerges from individual truths overlaid, overlapped, uncovered, and expressed. We are looking for imaginative, compelling, beautiful, and provocative work executed with clarity and conviction.

Out of many, one.

To get you started thinking:

  • – The Novel Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino, Harvest/HBJ, 1972. 
  • – Behance – search term “Invisible Cities
  • – Art Inspired by Calvino’s book

Visit the Competition website for more information.