A Sukkah is a temporary structure constructed for annual use during the week long Jewish festival of Sukkot. The original source for this tradition is Leviticus 23:42-43, where it is described as a reminder of the booths that the children of Israel dwelt in during their journey through the desert from slavery in Egypt to freedom. In modern times the sukkah is a symbol of frailty and transience of life and shelter.


While building a Sukkah is an annual Jewish ritual, it embodies many universal themes related to the nature of dwelling: new/old, open/closed, temporary/permanent. The challenge of this two-stage competition is to explore what a contemporary Sukkah can be—reflecting ancient teachings while exhibiting a concept of space and place which is both modern and rooted.

The Competition

Sukkah: Dwell in Design is a design competition to which local and national architects, artists and builders will be invited to submit their most creative and exciting sukkah designs.Ten to twelve Finalists will be  will be selected to receive a $1,800 construction stipend and will be tasked with building a life size, modern, artistic sukkah to be displayed at the Dallas Museum of Biblical Art during the weeklong festival. From among these finalists, a panel of expert judges will select the winner of a cash prize, to be announced during the feature event to be held on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018.

The selected sukkahs will be erected outside, on the grassy area on the north of the museum’s property. Entries should be designed and partially pre-assembled to allow final installation and later removal within limited available times.

The Texas Jewish Arts Association (TJAA) envisions Sukkah: Dwell in Design as both an innovative design competition and an outreach opportunity for the Jewish community to connect with the greater Dallas/Fort Worth population. The overarching goal is the promotion of the importance of a safe refuge against the elements and a reminder to us of those in our cities who are homeless or under-housed; dislocated and estranged, and the need of those individuals to establish homes of their own. For this reason, TJAA has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Jewish Family Services as beneficiaries of funds raised during the event.

Selection Process

After the finalists have finished building their designs, the jury will select a winner based on aesthetics and an evaluation of each entrant’s development of a creative application of the ancient requirements for the sukkah.


Entries should challenge the conventional notion of a sukkah while effectively embodying the traditional aspects of the building type. Finalists will be selected on the basis of:

  • Creativity and clarity of the design concept

  • Efficiency and effectiveness of the project’s execution

  • Response to design parameters established by the ancient texts




  • The site of installation requires that the sukkah fit entirely within a 12’x 12’ footprint.

  • The sukkah must be tall enough to enter standing.


  • There should be a sense of enclosure to the sukkah. Historically, a Sukkah must have at least two and a half sides.

  • Walls must be sturdy enough to withstand the impact of ordinary winds

  • The roof must be partially covered with a material that grows from the soil and has been completely detached from the ground.

  • The roof design and its covering should be sparse enough so that one can see the sky, yet dense enough so that it provides some protection from the elements. While innovative roof and wall shapes and geometries are encouraged, the Sukkah must provide a sense of shelter and offer respite from the elements.

  • The Sukkah may not be anchored to the site, but must be stabilized or weighted down without penetrating or damaging the property of the Dallas Museum of Biblical Art or exceeding the maximum permitted footprint.

Critical themes to consider:

  1. The meaning of dwelling, especially in a temporary and modern sense

  2. The characteristics of enclosure

  3. The inclusion of new technology into the conception, execution, and realization of the Sukkah

  4. The Sukkah as both architectural space and architectural object

  5. Transformation from the traditional context of a Sukkah as a booth in the desert to the present context (exhibit space)

  6. The intertwining of art and architecture

  7. The Sukkah as an educational tool




• Register your intent to submit an entry to the competition by 23:59pm Central Time on July 1, 2018. 

• Payment of the entry fee will be required, and an Entry Identification Number (TSP-xxxxx) will be issued on your receipt.


To submit your design, please follow the instructions below:

• Digitally submit your competition entry by 23:59pm Central Time on July 13, 2018.

• Submit your design as a single PDF page, 22” x 34”, in landscape format.

• Your PDF may include any combination of images and text.

• Resolution shall be 300 dpi.

• Your Entry Identification Number (TSP-xxxxx) must be located on the bottom right hand corner of the PDF.

• PDF must not indicate any information related to individual’s/team’s identity.

• On a separate PDF, submit one 8 ½ x 11 page with a 250-word maximum artist statement. The statement page may also include a single image, and must include your Entry Identification Number (TSP-xxxxx).


TJAA invites architects, designers, artists, builders and students to submit design proposals. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams.


Entry fee: $55 per entry


April 13, 2018 - Pre-announcement         

May 11 2018 - Formal Call for Entries       

July 1, 2018 - Registration Deadline        

July 13, 2018 - Submission Deadline        

August 17, 2018 - Finalists Announced          

August 17 – September 19, 2018 - Off-Site Construction 

September 20, 2018 - Build Date                         

September 23, 2018 - Opening Event                   

September 21 – September 27, 2018 - Public Display                    

September 28, 2018 - Takedown                          

Finalists will be responsible for the construction, installation and removal of their sukkot. Construction expense in excess of the stipend amount will be the responsibility of the entrant.



A maximum of twelve entries will be selected as finalists, and will receive a construction stipend of $1,800. One half of the stipend will be awarded on August 17th upon announcement of finalists. The remaining balance will be awarded on September 28th upon take down and removal of the Sukkah. 

Awards and Prizes

Best in Show: $1,800

People’s Choice Award: $500

Merit Awards may be designated at the discretion of the jury.

Sukkah: Dwell in Design

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