DIALOG’s 2016 Iris Prize Recipient: Kevin Dieterman & Michael Zabinski

DIALOG’s 2016 Iris Prize Recipient: Kevin Dieterman & Michael Zabinski

Every year, staff from across all studios and disciplines have the opportunity to apply for the Iris Prize. Now in its 12th year, the Iris Prize is an internal scholarship that includes two weeks paid time and up to $7,500 to undertake a project or conduct research in an area of personal interest, relevant to the practice of architecture, engineering, interior design, planning, or urban design. The competition is open to all DIALOG employees including architecture, engineering, accounting, admin, HR, IT and marketing.

The Iris Prize is an opportunity for staff to think outside the box and explore their creativity. It fuels that spirit of curiosity and encourages personal development. Often times, projects that aren’t awarded the Iris Prize are still supported through other mechanisms.

This Year’s Entries
We had a wide range of entries from all studios. It was great to see cross-disciplinary and even cross-studio entries this year. Both individuals and teams entered with groups of up to 5 people applying! Topics included everything from artificial intelligence to biomimicry and community wellbeing. Even if the proposals aren’t awarded the prize, we look for ways to support any inspiring ideas.

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Iris Prize 2016 Recipient
This year’s Iris Prize recipients are Kevin Dieterman and Michael Zabinski (Edmonton studio) for their proposed High Level Line. It’s a hypothetical, multi-modal pathway that connects Downtown Edmonton with Old Strathcona across the High Level Bridge. The prize allows them to further develop their urban design concept plan and publicly propose it towards the end of the year (stay tuned!).

The High Level Line was unanimously chosen by the committee because it embodies the spirit of the Iris Prize. It is creative, collaborative, forward-thinking, pushes boundaries before they are asked to be pushed, and has the potential to truly transform a community for the better. It’s the type of work that will get the public engaged in their community and think big about the possibilities that DIALOG can bring to life.

“The concept is so large that it is going to take a bigger team to tackle it. That’s part of the appeal—it has a city scale to it. The ability to chase this idea in whatever direction it ends up going is exciting. Having lots of different perspectives involved will allow us to do that.”
–Kevin Dieterman

Congratulations to Michael, Kevin, and the entire collective that developed this idea. We’re looking forward to learning from them and seeing where the High Level Line takes us.

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