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New Competition Asks Public to Imagine Next Century's Memorials

See what to expect from Memorials for the Future

Rethink everything you know about memorials. That's what the National Park Service and the National Capital Planning Commission is asking the public with their newest competition, Memorials for the Future. The challenge is to imagine what Washington, D.C.'s memorials might look like a century from now.

According to recent press release, the memorials should honor diverse histories, heritage, and culture and should be based in specific places or areas in Washington, D.C. Preference will be given to those memorials located outside of the National Mall.

In collaboration with New York-based design nonprofit Van Alen Institute, this competition is meant to celebrate the fifth anniversary of, a website that collects competitions and offers federal incentive prizes.

Some of the questions the competition asks include how can memorials be adaptive or temporal rather than permanent? And how can memorials advance dialogue around contemporary social, economic, health, or ecological problems that have historical roots?

The competition has no entry fee and is open to the public. Each team must have at least one designer and one team lead who will serve as the primary point of contact.

During the competition, each team is required to visit Washington, D.C. four times, once in June, then once in mid-July, then early August, and finally late August. For reimbursement, there will be a $5,200 stipend for flights, hotel, and ground transport. At least two representatives in each team must attend all four events.

The deadline to submit concepts to the competition is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 4,2016. After May 30, the jury will then select three teams who will receive $15,000 stipends in three installments over the course of the competition.

Click here for more information on the competition, the timeline, and the jurors.