Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Celebrating The History Channel® series “Cities of the Underworld,” award-winning network challenges architects to design the City of the Future

What will Atlanta look like in 100 years?
EDAW named winner.

EDAW has been named winner of the City of the Future: A Design and Engineering Challenge, celebrating the History Channel® series, Cities of the Underworld that asked eight firms to envision what Atlanta would look like in the year 2108.

With sponsors Infiniti and IBM, and in partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), The History Channel asked design teams in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Atlanta. Architects to peer into the future and the Washington, D.C., challenge held at Union Station, is the first of the three competitions.

EDAW are multi-disciplinary firms practicing in all areas of architectural and land based problem solving. EDAW, BNIM, Praxis 3 and Metcalf & Eddy concentrate on addressing the complex issues of the contemporary city and the creation of public space in an information-based society. Their approach to design focuses on integrating the built and natural world to provide innovative and wholly sustainable solutions.

Other firms that offered creative and innovative approaches included Tean Dewmac, plexus/CDM, Perkins+Will, NOX, HOLLWICHKUSHNER (HWKN), HOK and Georgia Tech.

Cities of the Underworld – The Future’s Foundation

This design challenge acts as a companion to Cities of the Underworld, a popular series on The History Channel that kicks off its second season in January. The series profiles the often cavernous underbellies of some of the world’s most interesting metropolises, examining the literal foundations on which our contemporary society is built. Whether exploring the catacombs of ancient Rome or the complex water tunnels that underlie Manhattan, the series documents civilization’s evolution and how the enduring infrastructure left behind by one generation provides insight into the fate of tomorrow’s cities.

“Atlanta is such a unique city. Its remarkable look and feel continues to amaze everyone who’s been there. I’m really looking forward to seeing what today’s brightest architectural minds would do to make the capitol cutting-edge by tomorrow’s standards.” said Chris Moseley, Senior Vice President, Marketing, The History Channel.

Casey Jones, principal of JonesKroloff, the competition’s advisor, noted “Atlanta is one of the nation’s most amazing cities. Completely destroyed in 1864, it has risen like a phoenix in the last 143 years to become the economic powerhouse of the southeast. The city’s earliest settlers could not have foreseen the vast city it would become; you have to wonder what will it look like 100 years from now.

“The rise of new technologies – first through the automobile and today through the internet—have radically transformed our most basic assumptions about urban living. What lies ahead? Will shifting climatic conditions change the world around us in new and unforeseen ways? These are the challenges our competing architectural teams will have to address if they are to successfully envision the future of Washington D.C., San Francisco or Atlanta. Much as understanding our past through Cities of the Underworld, is a crucial link to today’s cities, looking forward will provide us with important lessons for tomorrow’s built environment,” Mr. Jones concluded.”

Judges & sponsors support a compelling glimpse into our urban future

City of the Future: A Design and Engineering Challenge, was initiated last year when designers in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, were asked to envision the future of their respective cities. The competition was intense and enormously creative. As in 2007, the designs will be developed in just seven days and submissions will be assembled in just three hours during a public forum followed by a jury convening in the afternoon. This year’s judges include David Childs of Skidmore, Owings, Merrill, Robert Ivy, Editor-in-chief of the Architectural Record, and Jess Wendover, of the Mayor’s Institute on City Design.

As sponsors, Infiniti and IBM are dedicated to promoting the significance of design and engineering through the Cities of the Future challenge. Infiniti’s support of the program reflects its continued dedication to excellence in design and underscores the distinctive philosophy of the luxury automobile company: “Graceful Strength,” powerful attributes found wherever there is effective architecture. IBM, committed to innovation, champions several programs that encourage young people to explore careers in engineering. In addition, IBM has formed partnerships with school districts throughout the U.S. and in countries throughout the world to develop technology solutions designed to help raise student achievement.

Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles, including the all-new EX personal luxury crossover, G sports coupe and sedan, the M luxury performance sedan, FX premium crossover SUV, and the QX full-size luxury SUV. More information about Infiniti and its total ownership experience can be found at

For more information about IBM, please visit

The History Channel(r) is a leading cable television network featuring compelling original, non-fiction specials and series that bring history to life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network provides an inviting place where people experience history in new and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to the great lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the future. The History Channel has earned four Peabody Awards, three Primetime Emmy(r) Awards, ten News & Documentary Emmy(r) Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(r) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. The History Channel reaches more than 95 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at

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