T-H-E–A-R-C-H-I-T-E-C-T-U-R-E–L-O-B-B-Y

Kerning for a Cause: An Architecture Lobby Hosted Competition


The Chicago Chapter of The Architecture Lobby announces its first ever design competition, Kerning for a Cause, beginning August 1, 2016.


Kerning for a Cause will be open to all architects and designers who self-identify as laborers, to redesign the Federal Labor Laws poster that is legally mandated to hang in any business with employees. The redesigned posters should incorporate openness and transparency into their designs, to better convey the importance of upholding federal labor laws in a formal workplace setting.

The Architecture Lobby invites architects to submit alternative designs of the federal law posters that legally must hang in all workplaces. At present, the coma inducing textual glut resulting from the legal design guidelines is a barrier to workers everywhere knowing the laws. Show us the value good design can bring to communicating worker’s rights!

As a grassroots organization against unpaid competitions but of limited means, all rule-abiding submitters will be compensated five dollars and a physical copy of Asymmetric Labors: The Economy of Architecture in Theory and Practice. The competition winner will receive $100 and a selection of books written by the Architecture Lobby members. Competition limited to 50 submissions.

Entries selected as finalists by jury members of The Architecture Lobby will be printed and displayed at a gallery exhibition in Chicago. One entry will be selected as the overall winner, and its creator will receive a small prize package.

Submissions will be accepted from the start of the competition on August 1, 2016 through Labor Day, September 5, 2016. For complete rules, instructions, and supporting documentation please visit this link.


UPDATE 9/4/2016: Due to remaining openings and repeat requests by those who informed us of their intention to submit entries to Kerning for a Cause, the deadline for submissions has been extended to end of day, September 17 2016. For all those who still wish to submit, please send a brief message in advance informing us of your name and intention.


UPDATE 12/01/2016

Chicago, IL / December 1, 2016 – The Chicago Chapter of the Architecture Lobby is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Kerning for a Cause design competition.

Announced on August 1, 2016, Kerning for a Cause is the first Architecture Lobby sponsored design competition. Open to all architects and designers who self-identify as laborers, the Lobby challenged participants to redesign the Federal Labor Laws poster that is legally mandated to hang in any business with employees. The submissions were judged by a team from the Architecture Lobby lead by the members of the Chicago Chapter.

The winner of the 2016 Kerning for a Cause competition is Mr. Sangdo Yun. The jury felt his approach was pleasing, effective and they were inclined to agree with his assessment below:

“A quick elaboration of the design concept: I’ve noticed that the existing posters are designed to read like advertisements. Dense, crowded, and meant to catch your attention, but fail to keep it. It goes without saying that although the obnoxious information in bold is easily noticed, the truly important and helpful substance in the text is missed because of the meaninglessly chaotic way it is organized. Whether intentionally or otherwise, it is reminiscent of an advert– which most of us have been accustomed to ignore.

“To get people to read the text, I’ve drawn inspiration from how a magazine publication would design it. Pursuing a simple, clean, and organized layout, with minimal usage of color. Short columns of text, rather than full lines, and generous usage of white space. Sections are clearly distinguished, for ease of readability and recognition. Important excerpts are in bold.”

The Architecture Lobby would like to thank all those that participated. On principle, the Architecture Lobby does not support unpaid competitions. As a gesture of the Lobby’s beliefs, all participants will receive a small allotment of $5 as well as a physical copy of Asymmetric Labors: The Economy of Architecture in Theory and Practice. In addition, Mr. Yun will receive a small prize package.

Download the winning entry poster below.

More