ICAR Hosts Ideas Competition for Point of View

Posted: March 4, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) invites architects and architectural students to come up with concepts on how to develop the Point of View research and conference center. An $8,000 prize award will be divided among first, second, and third place winners, and awards of merit will be given for particular distinguishing and creative design characteristics.

Point of View in Mason Neck, Va., comprises more than 120 acres of secluded woods and waterfront and was a gift to the university several years ago from the late Edwin Lynch, his wife Helen, and their family.

“This design competition will generate excitement and ideas about how to develop Point of View so as to integrate the beauty of the environment with the architectural features of the buildings,” says Sara Cobb, director of ICAR. “From this perspective, Point of View will be utterly unique and in a class of its own. The challenge for these entrants is to design the site plan to integrate ‘green’ development with conflict resolution.”

Registrations are now being accepted, and the details for the competition can be found at pointofview.gmu.edu. The web site contains pictures and drawings of the property, but a visit to the actual property is not permitted. The competition closes Friday, May 6, and judging will take place in mid-May. An event recognizing winners and publication of competition results will be publicized at a later date.

The design goals of the competition state that ICAR seeks to develop a place for theory, practice, and research to address and resolve protracted identity-based conflicts, and that all activities at Point of View will be expected to contribute to the development of the field of conflict analysis and resolution and provide a context and services that support the resolution of deeply rooted conflicts. Furthermore, the site says, Point of View will be a place for teaching and training expert practitioners. It will also contribute to the development of the pedagogy of conflict resolution training itself, offering new models, which reflect attention to culture and identity.

Buildings will need spaces for workshops and should include classrooms, meeting spaces, food services, and housing for up to 30 guests overnight. The design should also include a master plan for expansion that won’t overwhelm the natural environment of the site. Proposals must be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified as a ‘green design’ by the Green Building Council rating system.

The site is located on the Potomac River near the historic homes of George Washington and George Mason, less than half an hour from Washington, D.C.

Write to at