For Immediate Release
Tim Vacca
MOA Director of Programs
Colorado Museum
Awards Collegiate Students for
Conceptual Art & Architecture Designs!
MOA opened the competition to students across the nation earlier this winter.
Pictured above is a conceptual rendering from the first place team from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The project is titled "Occhiolism" and is designed for the low Sonoran Desert.
DENVER (August 7, 2020) – In December 2019, Colorado based arts organization, MOA (Museum of Outdoor Arts), announced its second annual national collegiate design competition as part of its award winning Design and Build program. In July, over 50 proposals were submitted from individual and student teams from across the US. Four winning teams have been selected, representing the best entries received in the competition.

MOA sought out conceptual proposals for the competition from art, architecture, design, and other creatively focused USA based undergraduate and graduate students. Submissions addressed this year’s challenge of designing an art sanctuary accessible via a public open space trail through a blend of architecture and sculpture/ installation or other creative solutions, while utilizing sustainable materials. Students were able to choose from four different biomes to design their conceptual project. The project falls within the realm of public art.

Winning Teams
First Place- $5,000 Award
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Department of Interior Architecture
Isaac Cantu-Backhaus
Katherine Tardif

Second Place- $2,500
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Natalie Fox, Mitch Mead, Brandon Meinders, and James Sotiroff

Third Place- $1,000
University of Virginia Charlottesville
School of Architecture- Master's of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Program
Somrita Bandyopadhyay, Harshita Batra, Priyanka Parachoor, and Veena Shah

Honorable Mention- $500
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
School of Architecture
Brian Castro, Chloe Kiernicki, and Maya Neal

Full proposals and images may be viewed in our media kit.
Competition Brief may be viewed here.

“We were extremely impressed with this year's entries,” said Cynthia Madden Leitner, MOA president. “The mission of Design and Build is to 'motivate invention through collaborative creativity,' and we certainly accomplished that in this year's competition.” 

Since 1991, MOA’s Design and Build program has provided an opportunity for emerging artists, students, and creative minds to express their creativity in collaborative art, architecture, and design projects. Since the inception of the program thousands of students throughout Colorado have collaborated on site-specific installations. Assisted by professional faculty and artists in residence, Design and Build participants have produced exciting and original site-specific art works for MOA’s gallery and public spaces throughout the Denver metro area.

2020 marks the second year of the national competition arm to the program. The goal of the competition is to cultivate potential from emerging artists, architecture and design students, and other creatives and to allow the students the space to conceptualize inventive ideas within a set of boundaries.

The competition garners an online repository of art, architecture, and design concepts. It is the goal to take the competition to an international level and collaborate with creatives across the globe in the future. It is also the hope to be able to realize and build a design in the future. The competition is currently only open to students attending college in the US, and will begin accepting international entries in 2023.

A call for the next competition challenge will go out this winter. The next competition will be open to individuals, teams, and university faculty who wish to take the competition on as a class project. More information may be found on the Design and Build Competition website.
About MOA
Founded in 1981, MOA (Museum of Outdoor Arts) is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to making the visual and performing arts accessible to everyone by implementing its mission of “Making Art a Part of Everyday Life.” MOA owns and operates Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre in collaboration with its tenant AEG Presents and features more than 150 pieces in its outdoor collection. Additionally, MOA is home to art studios and indoor galleries hosting several exhibitions per year, an artist in residence program and its signature education program, Design and Build, an annual opportunity for young artists, students and creative minds to work with professional artists on collaborative art projects. For more information on MOA, visit or follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
MOA is sponsored in part by: