Honolulu has become a highly urbanized area that holds many similar challenges as other urban areas throughout the world however, given its rich history and traditions it possess many unique opportunities to implement innovative and creative design in an area which provides the City of Honolulu with a space for people to interact and enjoy the unique culture and performing arts community.



HONOLULU CONNECTS: Culture and Performing Arts Corridor is the second iteration of the Building Voices Design Competition. Honolulu Connects is a single-stage student design competition seeking innovative design solutions that address Hawai‘i’s unique geographic location, cultural richness, global visibility, and ecological diversity. The challenge is to conceptualize and propose designs for three distinct locations in Thomas Square, Hawai‘i’s oldest public urban park


This competition aims to:

  • Highlight prototypical solutions for the built environment that generate a positive impact for the natural world

  • Celebrate designs that foster a deeper understanding of the unique context(s) of the Hawaiian archipelago

  • Spotlight hybrid projects that impact and benefit multiple populations

  • Foster communication between designers, political institutions and the larger community through catalytic projects

  • Recognize design that says “What is good for Hawai‘i, is good for the world”


Competition Brief

Click below to read more details on the competition



Student Pre - Registration Fee: Free before 10/22/2018
Late Registration Fee: $20 after 10/22/2018



To register, send an email to 2018honoluluconnects@gmail.com with the contact information for the entrant or team leader. 

Confirmation of the registration along with a random 5-digit registration number will be e-mailed to the registrant (individual) for identification of the final submission. One registration is required per project submitted.

Registration will remain open until the submission due date. Registrations fees are non-refundable. Fees will not be returned under any circumstances.

By registering for the competition, competitors agree to all competition terms and conditions



Competition submissions are due at 12 midnight Hawai‘i Standard Time (HST) on October 30, 2018.

Submissions are electronic and submitted via email only. The following materials should be submitted:

  1. A 30 inch x 42 inch board oriented in portrait format. Each board must include the 5-digit assigned registration number in the lower right hand corner. The file should be named with the 5-digit registration number i.e. “12345.pdf.”

  2. A written statement of no more than 250 words explaining your ideas. The file should be named in the format of “Statement_12345.doc.” This file must be a .txt, .doc, or .rtf file, NOT a .pdf or .jpg.

  3. A single page document with individual’s identification and contact information. Include: Project title, name, telephone number, and e-mail address. The file should be named in the format of “ID_12345.doc.” This file must be a .txt, .doc, or .rtf file, NOT a .pdf or .jpg. The source of any third party materials incorporated in the entry must also be included; this source information may exceed one page if necessary.

All three files must be then saved in a single ZIP file named with the 5-digit registration format “12345.zip.” This zipped file should not exceed 10MB. The single ZIP file should be sent via e-mail to: 2018honoluluconnects@gmail.com. The e-mail subject line should read “Registration Number_12345.” Upon announcement of the winners, higher resolution images may be requested from winning submissions and selected entries.


Awards & Jury

1st Place: $1,000 and project to be displayed at AIA Honolulu Design Symposium
2nd Place: $750 and project to be displayed at AIA Honolulu Design Symposium
3rd Place: $250 and project to be displayed at AIA Honolulu Design Symposium

Awards will be distributed at the discretion of the jury.

Award winning and other selected projects will be featured in the AIA Design Symposium - Building Voices Exhibit, at the Convention Center in Honolulu on November 14, 2018 and will be included alongside other selected entries on the Building Voices website.

A jury of notable professionals, academics, and public officials will decide competition winners. The jury will be announced via the Competition Website. The decisions of the jury will be final and unalterable, and the jury thereby reserves the right to leave any prize vacant, or partially award prizes.


Evaluation Criteria

Jurors will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of design and vision

  • Integration of cultural and performance art features and amenities

  • Construction feasibility and cost

  • Reflection of stakeholder interests

  • How effectively the topic areas of Design in Coastal & Climatic Conditions, Community Mobility and Healthy Citizens & Communities, inspired by the design symposium 2018 Building Voices: Livable Cities and Communities, can be adapted to the urban corridor

  • Portability of design - Adaptability of design to different neighborhood contexts

  • Ability of design to encourage and enhance intermodal connectivity (i.e. walking, biking, bike/car sharing, scapes, urban furniture, shade, pavilions, crossings, bridges, etc)

  • Ability of design to help establish a unique identity for Honolulu’s culture and performance arts corridors