Professional and prospective architects and engineers will live life in the fast lane as they compete in the second annual Iron Designer Challenge in New York on Thursday, June 9. Patterned after the cooking show Iron Chef, eight teams consisting of three high school students and four professionals will go head to head as they build life-size and freestanding “Portals”—structures that mediate two spaces—in less than three hours.
The team rosters and specifications were released a month ago to enable teams to brainstorm and create a theme for their structures. However, competitors will have access to building materials—cardboard, plastic, or wood—only after the clock starts running. After 90 minutes, each team will receive a “secret material” to incorporate in its final design. Last year’s material was glass tile, which teams integrated into their design of emergency shelters for post-disaster situations.