Barkman Concrete values education and enjoys partnering with students to contribute to their learning through Barkman’s scholarship program. Since 2010, Barkman has partnered with the University of Manitoba to hold an annual architectural design competition. Groups of students are charged with designing an innovative and unique concrete product with parameters that are outlined by Barkman Concrete.
Last year’s competition tasked students with designing an aesthetically pleasing concrete feature designed for biking and skateboarding stunts. Their submissions were assessed on the plausibility of their designs, their innovation, the ease of assembly, aesthetics and affordability of their products.
This year’s challenge was to design a barrier curb for public spaces using concrete as its primary construction component. Barkman was specifically looking for designs that protected pedestrian walking zones while still being portable and aesthetically pleasing. Apart from some weight and dimension specifications, the contestants had full creative liberty to create their own barrier curb design. This year, four prizes were available to win, with the first-place team receiving $1,200 from Barkman Concrete. While all submitted designs had their strengths, these four teams were selected unanimously as the standouts by the Barkman staff, with the help and guidance of Professor Anna Thurmayr.
4th Place Winner – Chain Reaction – $400 prize
Jiaqi Yi, Weiqing Li, Carl Sotomil and Jerome Basilio
This uniquely shaped concrete block is designed to function both on its own and in conjunction with others. By itself, Chain Reaction can function as a bench, or create an aesthetic structure or wall. However, it is at its strongest when linked with others to form a barrier. The Chain Reaction’s unique shape and interlocking properties allow it to absorb impact very efficiently. This effectively creates a functioning barrier from potential vehicular traffic that is also safer for the driver who may impact upon it. Due to its shock absorbing properties, impacts are lessened and therefore everyone is made safer.
3rd Place Winner – Skubed – $600 prize
Alexa Thiessen, Calvin Tan, Daniel Trojillo, Zoe Goldman
Skubed is a barrier design that functions both as a barrier and as a decorative concrete planter. The offset rectangle shape is both aesthetically pleasing and functional as it designed to be placed side by side with other Skubed barriers. The team designed the Skubed with three colors in mind: white, dark grey, and a natural concrete color. Each planter has brass rails which run the length of the barrier, and can be used to connect multiple Skubed units together. To promote variety, the team decided to design two sizes of barrier so that public spaces could benefit from visual variation. Because the brass rails are identical, both sizes can fit together to create barrier modules or longer walls. The highlights of this design are its attention to visual detail and its modular design.
2nd Place Winner- Zig Zag – $800 prize
Andrea Doussis, Abduselam Yussef, Haim Chernyakov and Justin Munonye
As its name suggests, the Zig Zag barrier features an angular, “v” shaped design. The unit’s shape allows it to be customized to fit situation or site-specific arrangements. The Zig Zag’s capacity to easily facilitate pedestrian flow while still being an effective barrier is a major benefit. Another attractive aspect of Zig Zag’s design is its ability to display advertisements. Due to its two-sided shape, each barrier piece can facilitate two advertisements which can be faced towards the flows of traffic of the cars driving by. Alternatively, the Zig Zag also provides a prime canvas for commissioned public art which can enhance the aesthetics of the barrier as well as the public space. Another well considered feature of this design is the practicality of shipping and storing the Zig Zag. With its v-shaped design, barriers can be stacked together to allow many barriers to fit into a relatively small amount of space. Overall, the Zig Zag is well designed for space efficiency, practicality and function.
1st Place Prize – B3 – $1,200 prize
Richard Marginet, Shilin Weng, Dicong Yang, and Niya Yuan
Betty is an arrow shaped concrete product that is truly multifunctional. The product’s indented end and matching protruding end allow the barriers to interlock to create a strong and seamless wall. By connecting multiple units together and laying them on their side, Betty can create a bench on one side and a barrier on the other. Laying them on their flat side, and stacking the arrows onto one another can form a traffic divide, separating lanes of traffic. Take this same stack of arrows, and flip them on end, and you get traffic direction indicators, perfect for construction zones where normal traffic routes may change. Betty can also be used in various other functions, like a skate feature for parks and urban areas. Steel channels along the inside of each barrier unit allow them to be easily transferred, and moving them into position is relatively simple. Finally, their high visible fluorescent stripes, make each unit highly visible for both pedestrians and drivers, in high and low light. Together, these functions create a highly versatile and functional product that is deserving of the first-place reward.
Barkman congratulates all the winning teams on creating unique and functional products. Each design had it strengths, and was well executed. Barkman especially congratulates team B3 (Betty) on taking home first place. Your design is well crafted and is evident of thoughtful consideration and careful planning. On behalf of everyone at Barkman Concrete, well done.