Please submit your questions here, and they will be answered by competition advisor, Bill Liskamm, FAIA, and added to the “library” of Frequently Asked Questions.


  1. Nelson Scott Smith says:

    Hello Bill,

    What a great competition! I’ve read your material with great interest. One comment I must make has to do with the picture shown on the “Challenges” page. I don’t believe the image is of the Sea Ranch Condominium. It’s probably a house on The Sea Ranch. I’m not sure whether it is a Turnbull.


    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Nelson:

      I agree. It doesn’t look like the condominium that Charles, Don, Dick, and Bill Turnbull designed.
      Others added all the photos. I’ll check and get back.

  2. Katherine Rinne says:

    I am a professor at CCA and will teach the Drylands Competition as an advanced level architecture/landscape architecture studio project in the fall. Classes start on 6 September, so I won’t know who my students are until then – hence they can’t register for the Drylands competition until then. What can I do in the meantime? Also, does this mean that no details will be released until 15 September? If so, that makes it nearly impossible for faculty like me to prepare a syllabus and schedule for the semester, which must be approved by 15 August. I won’t even know where the site/sites are located so that I can plan a field trip, etc. What are we to do? I have already received permission to teach this studio.

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Katherine:

      This competition, like others, is NOT site specific. You can use any site that meets the criteria described in the website. We’ll provide a link to a site in Fresno shortly for those who would prefer to use that site. Registration is open until mid November (so that shouldn’t be a problem). Everything that will be provided regarding this competition is already posted on the competition website. The September 15th briefing webinar is only to answer additional questions.

      It seems you could write the syllabus this afternoon! (and visit any site you choose that meets the criteria – or wait a short time for the link to the Fresno site).

      Best regards,

  3. Katherine Rinne says:

    Oh, now I see that there is a Fresno site.

  4. Elizabeth Gibb says:

    Is this competition limited only to schools of architecture in California and professionals in California? I teach in Bostonand my practice is in Boston but I’m a registered architect in California.

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Elizabeth:

      Thanks for spotting this error in our web text.
      We’ve corrected it. As per the web text (as corrected)
      ALL students and professionals may enter. The

      Best regards,

  5. Alice says:

    I am currently a college student but graduating this May, so am I considered a “student” or “professional”?

  6. Bill Liskamm says:

    When will you provide info on the Fresno site?

    We recently posted a link to the Fresno site on the Challenge page of this website.
    (Look under Global Context.)

  7. Ethan Reid says:

    You mentioned the competition is not limited to California…is it limited to America? I’m a student of Landscape Architecture in New Zealand!

  8. Aja Bulla says:


    Could you please provide information about teams? What is the team size limit? Does every team member need to register? Are there any other team guidlines?

    Thank you,

  9. Aviva says:

    I am a student but would like a team member who is a ‘professional’ to join me. Does that put our team in the professional or student category?


  10. Ratmond Almanza says:

    I am student who will be entering the competition, I was wondering if this is the question and answer where we can ask you about the circumstances of the competition? Or is there a Q & A blog on the website? If so i have a few questions.

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Ratmond:

      Sorry for the delay in answering.
      I’ve been away for several weeks.

      This is the blog for competition questions.
      If you feel your question will reveal your design,
      let me know and I’ll send you an email address
      for this purpose.

      Best regards,

  11. Juan Robles says:

    I registered through PAYPAL two weeks ago but have not received a registration number. Will I receive it by email or is there a number on my PAYPAL receipt that I need to use?

  12. Beni says:

    How much does it cost for a student studying Architecture (RIBA) part 1 in the UK? Would it still cost $50? cheers.

  13. Nice design competition. If you need a juror who knows about the economics and policy of water in the West, then contact me.

    1) I just published a book on the topic: http://endofabundance.com/
    2) I’m heavily qualified in this area: http://www.kysq.org/bio.htm

  14. Gini Lee says:

    Hi Bill the above is the right email for our registration – not unisa.edu.au

  15. MHK says:

    Can you please clarify what the specific requirements are for the final submission? Also, can students submit as individuals or do they need to be part of a team? It looks like, from reading other questions, that there is no size limit to a team – is this correct? Thanks!

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi MHK:

      Please click on “Submit” at top banner,
      and then “Submission Requirements”.

      Yes, anyone can submit as an individual,
      or as part of a team. There is no team size limit.

      Best regards,

  16. Karen says:

    I just graduated and am taking a year off before grad school. I was actively enrolled in march 2011. Does this mean that I can register as a student?

  17. Prajakta Kedar says:


    I m interested in this competition. We are forming a team of four. One of the team member is a PHD student and has a license to work as landscape architect. Does that in anyway count as Professional Entry. I think it should not but I just want to be on safer side.

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Prajakta:

      We can register your team as students.


    • AJ says:

      For students entering with or without other students, to compete against a licensed professional sounds like a PROFESSIONAL entry to me. That would be an unfair advantage to call yourselves otherwise. Bill – I recall an earlier post that said the moment a professional enters your team that is professional. Lets keep it fair.

  18. Prajakta Kedar says:

    I saw the site in city of Fresno. Do we need to consider the whole 8400 acres in our design. We would send entry in community design proposal.

  19. hilary says:


    Are entries required to be from Teams, or are Individuals permitted to enter projects? I’m a student currently working individually on my project.



    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Gianfilippo:

      We are less concerned about the measurements as we are about
      how your design addresses the arid lands challenges described in
      the website.

      Please use the “click here” link to the Fresno site included in the website text.


  21. Katherine Rinne says:

    Hi — My question relates to the Web Seminar on 21 September. Can you give me a sense of how long it is and what we will learn? I ask because I need to build the studio schedule around it for a design review. I guess the question is, do I need to re-schedule the review because the seminar will last several hours?

  22. Hi Bill!
    I see you are still at it, congratulations!!!
    I stopped playing ARCHITECT long ago an now just paint, so won´t submit a brilliant solution, the last was for San Francisco Bay Tides!
    similar to the SOM submittal but less complicated, just a big damn S.F. bridge DAM!!1
    If anyone out there still remembers me, I doubt it, send me an EMAIL to me in Madrid, Spain whereI have been since 1969.

  23. Hi Bill!
    I see you are still at it, congratulations!!!
    I stopped playing ARCHITECT long ago an now just paint, so won´t submit a brilliant solution, the last was for San Francisco Bay Tides!
    similar to the SOM submittal but less complicated, just a big damn S.F. bridge DAM!!1
    If anyone out there still remembers me, I doubt it, send me an EMAIL to me in Madrid, Spain jsheerin@terra.es, whereI have been since 1969.

  24. amonle says:

    1 – what form will the web briefing take? – if a webinar what time and how to register?
    2- do we have to be registered in the competition to see the briefing?

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Amonle:

      Competition committee members will describe
      the arid lands issues and the competition objectives.
      I’ll talk about sites, and the competition process.

      The Briefing starts at 10 AM (Calif. time). You don’t
      have to register to attend the Briefing.


    • Bill Liskamm says:

      We’ve added information on how to participate in the Briefing
      onto the home page of the competition website (under
      Bill Turnbull’s photo) It provides the web and audio links
      and passcodes.

      You do not have to be registered to attend the Briefing.


  25. Shiva says:

    I just graduated with my B.S in Architecture. Not a student anymore and not a professional yet. Am I still eligible to register?
    Also if a student is teaming up with a professional, should they register as a student or a professional?


  26. Jonathan says:

    I have a project which was completed during my graduate studies which would be an apt entry for your competition. This was my last project and so I am no longer a student (I was enrolled as of March 2011). Further complicating things, the project was done at a school on the East Coast while I currently live in CA (my undergrad was in CA as well).

    What am I to do?

  27. Bill Liskamm says:

    We’ve added information on how to participate in the Briefing
    onto the home page of the competition website (under
    Bill Turnbull’s photo)

    You do not have to be registered to attend the Briefing.


  28. Tate says:

    My team is looking at a possible real-world site that is constantly dealing with water shortages. We’d like to use these collections of properties for our submission, the problem is that they are located between 99d40m and 99d50m, just east of the 100th meridian. Could we still submit a project at this location without penalty?

  29. Bill says:

    I was wondering if and/or when the slideshow information will be posted from yesterday’s briefing. I was interested in getting some of the titles from recommended readings. Thanks!

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      It’s my understanding that this info
      will be posted within the next few days.


      • Thank you for your patiences as we are working on moving these items onto the Web site. We will be posting the slideshow and transcript later today. In the mean time, the resources that were mentioned during the Online Briefing have already been added to the ‘Additional Resources’ section of the site. Also, Q+A from the same presentation have been added. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions! Good luck all!

  30. Gretchen Till says:

    I don’t see any additional resources under the additional resources tab.

  31. Anthony says:

    how do i confirm after paying the initial fee that I’m participating in this competition? is there a list to see if i’m a registered participant. Thank you

  32. Dear Competition:

    There was a phone question on the webinar (hard to hear question and answer) regarding submitting previous work. Is it possible to submit (recycle) the water related part of a project that has been completed and or partially completed?

    Thnak you.

  33. Ned says:

    1. We registered but not yet received a ‘registration number’ – or it this the same as the ‘Receipt ID?’

    2. Will a separate more detailed packet of information be coming?

    3. For winning entrants will formal, hard copy boards be requested from entrant or will those be produced (printed / mounted by your organization?). Are slightly oversized submissions acceptable, such as 36.5″ x 24.5″ (to allow for full bleed to 36″x24″). Thanks

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Ned:

      We’ll straighten out the reg. no. issue.
      No additional information will be forthcoming.
      As your submissions will be digital, the Finalists
      will be able to address the printing issues. So,
      stick with the 24″x36″ size.

      Best regards,

  34. Cesia Lopez says:

    Hello Bill,

    I would like to know if international students currently attending university in the States (California to be more specific) are eligible to submit for the competition under the student category? If so, what is the fee that would be applied to them?

    Thank you,

    Cesia Lopez

  35. Tannya says:

    Good day, I am a Bolivian Architect. I recently found out about this competition, I would like to participate, however I would like to know if it is an international competition; open to professionals from other countries (such as Bolivia). Please let me know. I greatly appreciate your response.

  36. Good day Bill:

    All questions pertain to the 250 word narrative:
    A) Is this intended to be included on the presentation boards, a separate text document or both?
    B) Assuming a competitor has diagrams, details or character dialogue…would these count toward the total word count?
    C) If a competitor has more than 250 words combined on both boards, and those words not being superfluous, will they be disqualified? (Referring to any leniency in the rule)

    Thanks so much for your response.


    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Stirling:

      Our thought was to have you limit your design concept narrative to 250 words
      (to be included on the boards). Words related to diagrams and details will not
      count in this total (as long as they strictly address the drawings to which they relate).
      Therefore, if all the words on the two boards total more than 250 words it’s OK
      (consistent with the above).

      As I’m not sure what you mean by “character dialogue”, I’m not comfortable providing
      an answer to that question.

      Best regards,

  37. Jaesung Kim says:

    Dear Competition :

    Hi, I’m working on this competition. and I need a cad file(.dwg). so Can I get a cad file of Fresno?

    Thank you

    Jaesung Kim

  38. Marcel says:

    I am wondering how the judges will be reviewing submissions. the two layouts are 2:3 horizontal. will they be projected one at a time? or side by side? or will the judges review the layouts on a computer screen? This information will help me determine how to best present my project. Thank you.

    • Bill Liskamm says:

      Hi Marcel:

      The Jurors will initially be viewing your boards one at a time
      on computer screens and/or projection screens.
      In comparing entries, we will have multiple screens.

      Best regards,

  39. Jason Allred says:

    My graduate project, which will be designed in the Spring 2012 semester, specificly deals with this topic. Will there be a similar competition like this one next year?

  40. Eric says:

    I have a question: I am a professor, teaching a course in which my students have been designing sustainable housing prototypes for the Mojave Desert; your competition sounds like an ideal way to challenge my students to ‘up their game’, so to speak. My question is this: should my students enter under the student category, or under the student/professional category, given that I have been working with them on the designs, as their studio design critic?



    My name is Francis, I was wondering how the dryland submittal boards were going to be presented during the competition.
    I know the format is (2) 24X36, but will it be presented via projection board or will they be printed out?
    The reason I’m curious is because I’m trying to format illustrations and text. I want to test out methods to see
    which font size is most legible and which hues print more accurately, which all depends on how its presented.

    Thank you for your time,

  42. amonle says:

    The videos for the 1/2 day briefing are ‘private’ on vimeo (such as http://vimeo.com/31789754 )
    Please help

  43. Bill Liskamm says:

    By Bill Liskamm (for a competitor):

    I am being part of the Drylands competition and have a question. Referring to the information given on the objectives section, it is said that the weather occurring at the site may even cause flooding, although through the research I have done it does not appear to be a place where much raining occur. Therefore I would like to know if in the site there is a possibility for flooding to occur?

  44. Bill Liskamm says:

    Climate models for the west indicate longer drought periods are highly likely outcomes of climate change. Changes in precipitation levels are less well understood, and vary geographically. So we stand corrected, its not accurate to say, uniformly, that there is a likely increase in frequency or intensity of flooding.

    Rather, a more accurate statement would be simply this: in the context of regional scarcity and increased hydrologic variability, all rainwater —however much may fall on your site—grows increasingly valuable as a resource. To capture, store, bank, and treat native water as a resource, rather than dispose of it as a threat, is paramount.

    Thank you for drawing an important distinction.

  45. Tyson says:

    Hi Bill,

    I registered the 14th of Nov. and have yet to receive any conformation. I was charged the $50 dollars on my account though. I f you could send me an email of someone who could help clarify for me that would be great.

  46. Alexander Robinson says:

    Can I register for my class and pay the fee or do I need each student to register separately?

  47. Alexander Robinson says:

    Hi Bill,

    Can my students use the same material to explain the location of the site and the general context of the problem they are addressing? They obviously have their own design proposals but would like to share their background information.



  48. Ned says:

    Bill, I submitted last Friday, 9 Dec. Will I get a receipt confirmation?

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