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resources: contest

This contest ended in February 1999. Congratulations to the award winners! Contest guidelines remain posted below, in the event that teachers or school districts wish to design similar contests themselves.

“Within less than a century the life of this city and of all the United States will be utterly transformed...I believe that a great deal of happiness is in store for the American of the twenty-first century.” —Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright believed that architecture could change people’s lives. In particular, he thought the way we design our cities could affect people’s lives at work, at school, and at home.

He also believed that cities as we know them would change dramatically as a result of technology. He hoped that technology would allow people to work less and to enjoy their environment. Wright passionately believed that the buildings we construct should harmonize with their surroundings.

How do you think the buildings we inhabit affect our lives? What do you think the ideal city would look like? Here’s your chance to show it!

Your class can design a city and its buildings on the computer, using SimCity software. E-mail your entry to PBS by February 15, 1999 and if you’re a winner, you’ll receive notice on this site and one of these great prizes! There will be separate categories for grades K-6 and for grades 7-12, with prizes awarded in each category:


Grand Prize
Grades 3 - 7 and 8-12
FLW Hollyhock Stained Glass hanging (valued at over $200)
A beautiful light green and red design from Wright’s Hollyhock House— 8 1/2” by 21”

Three Second Place Winners
Grades 3 - 7
Set of FLW and architecture books for kids (valued at $100):

  • Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids
  • The Architecture Book
  • The House I Live In: At Home in America
  • Fun with Architecture

Grades 8 - 12
DesignWorkshop Classic (valued at $100)
A fast, friendly 3D software for creating 3D models, walkthroughs, and renderings, from initial sketches to 3D worlds. Used by Middle Schools and High Schools. Provided courtesy of Artifice, Inc.

Five Third Place Winners
Grades 3 - 7
Young Architects Set (valued at over $75)
Help a young person discover the world of architecture with this innovative design and building set, which can be used again and again. The child first creates a floor plan using room templates. He or she then furnishes the floor plan using furniture guides and colored pencils. Finally, the child turns the floor plan into a three-dimensional model, using acrylic walls and peel-and-stick doors and windows. Selected by Toy Tips as one of 1993’s “top ten toys.”

Grades 8 - 12
Master Builders Set (valued at over $75)
An elaborate building system comprised of miniature bricks and architectural details such as columns, finials, pediments, window lintels, chimneys, dentil moulding, arches with keystones, and a roofing system. 170 pieces.

For more information on contest rules, regulations, and deadlines please see the Contest Guidelines sheet.

Teachers: To learn how this activity can be integrated into your classroom activities, please see Information for Teachers.