Search AZ Awards ...
Awards By Category
Geographies of Urban Filth, A+ Award, AZ Awards 2019

Cities expend huge amounts of money – and energy – to disguise and bury the systems that carry away the collective waste of their residents. This thesis project seeks to upend that practice, which is bound to issues of class and race, by reimagining urban space and infrastructure that would put people right back into the muck of things.

The thesis uses the North Toronto Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is central to three physically and socially disconnected neighbourhoods of different income levels and ethnic groups, as its model and starting point. Buried and disguised below ground in the Don Valley ravine, the facility collects and filters wastewater from surrounding communities before releasing it back into the Don River.

“This project reminds me that, these days, design at its most meaningful level is urban.”
Thom Mayne
Geographies of Urban Filth, A+ Award, AZ Awards 2019

By boldly proposing that a public space and bath be inserted within the facility, the design breaks down boundaries between perceived “clean” and “dirty” spatial and social constructs. Among its many daring ideas, it would repurpose a massive trio of cylindrical concrete digesters as giant boilers and spaces for art installations. It would open a natural bathing pond cleansed by a variety of plant species. And it would introduce a subterranean pool accessed by a deep cut in the terrain.

These environmentally sensitive spaces would emerge as marginal territories both apart from and newly woven into the urban fabric, instilling a collective consciousness about how the city operates – and how we think of ourselves and the feared “other” – underneath it all.

AZ Award category A+ Award Project Geographies of Urban Filth School University of Waterloo, Canada Team Liyang Zhang with thesis supervisor Rick Andrighetti 

Winner: A+ Award for Student Work
AZ Awards 2019 Winner: Geographies of Urban Filth

The A+ Student Award winner is by the University of Waterloo’s Liyang Zhang, who provides a fresh take on water management.

Explore more Award Winners

2014
WinnerA+ Award for Student Work
Location
Clifton Forge, Virginia
Team
Professors Keith Zawistowski and Marie Zawistowski with Bethel Abate, Aiysha Alsane, Tyler Atkins, Justin Dennis, Lauren Duda, Huy Duong, Derek Ellison, Megumi Ezure, Katherine Harpst, Ryan Hawkins, Catherine Ives, Anna Knowles-Bagwell, Michael Kretz, Kyle Lee, Jennifer Leeds, Stephanie Mahoney, Leo Naegele, Margaret Nelson, Stephen Perry, Fernanda Rosales, Leah Schaffer, Katherine Schaffernoth, Amanda Schlichting, Ian Shelton, Brent Sikora, Claudia Siles, Emarie Skelton, Samantha Stephenson, Taylor Terrill, Daniel Vantresca, Bryana Warner, Samuel “Aaron” Williams and Samantha Yeh.
2016
WinnerA+ Award for Student Work
Student
Jurgis Gecys, Austria
School
Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria
2017
Award of MeritA+ Award for Student Work
School
Savannah College of Art and Design, U.S.
Team
Mark Hemphill with Christopher Dowell and Sanaz Karbasi