Since the Cold War, one of the most challenging and urgent tasks facing governments around the world has been the disposal of transuranic nuclearwaste. As a by-product from nuclear weaponry production, transuranic waste is not only harmful, but also boasts a formidable decay process lasting thousands of years. To address this issue, millions of barrels of highly radioactive waste have been buried in repositories deep beneath the earth’s surface. One such disposal site is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico, United States. To ensure public safety, it is imperative that the site remains undisturbed for the duration of the waste’s decay process.

arch out loud asks competition entrants to design a marker or marker system to deter inadvertent human intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The marker should exist as a means of passive institutional control of the site for the duration of 10,000 years, following the closure and deactivation of the WIPP. The purpose of the marker is to communicate with future generations that transuranic waste is buried within a repository at the facility, located 2,150 feet beneath its surface, and should remain isolated until the risks posed by its release have been sufficiently diminished.


Prizes total to $8,000

OVERALL WINNER – $5,000 + Certificate
Runnerup 1 – $1,000 + Certificate
Runnerup 2 – $1,000 + Certificate
Runnerup 3 – $1,000 + Certificate
10 Honorable Mentions – Certificate
Directors Choice – Certificate


Patrik Schumacher – Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects | Architectural Association
Ben van Berkel – Founder/Principal, UN Studio | Harvard GSD
Martha Schwartz – Founder/Principal, Martha Schwartz Partners
Marc Tsurumaki – Founder/Principal, LTL Architects | Cornell AAP | Columbia GSAPP
Eva Franch – Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture | OOAA
Vivian Lee – Associate Partner, Richard Meier & Partners
Meejing Yoon – Department Head, MIT Department of Arch. | Cofounder, Höweler + Yoon
Elaine Molinar – Partner/Managing Principal, Snohetta
Michael Madsen – Director, “Into Eternity” film
Jamie von Klemperer – President/Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox
Theodore Hoerr – Founder/Principal, Terrain Works
Russell Patterson – Compliance Manager & Scientist, U.S. Department of Energy | WIPP
Thomas Klein – Senior Scientist, AECOM | WIPP
Daniel Arsham – artist | Partner, Snarkitecture
Hsinming Fung – Founder/Principal | Hodgetts + Fung


Early Registration: July 9 – Aug 12
Regular Registration: Aug 13 – Oct 21
Submission Deadline: Oct 22

To view more materials and register visit