Help Design Brooklyn's New Public Market Dekalb Market, Not Just a Container Contest Wants Your Creative Ideas for New Brooklyn Market

Dekalb Market will be a sustainable, community hub for art, food, farming, and small business. Submit your pitches for stalls now and win free rent.

Artists and artisans, farmers and fun lovers, get out your sketch pads and put on your designing caps. Urban Space is building a new market and community hub in downtown Brooklyn and they want your proposals for making it a unique gathering space for commerce, art, eating, and even growing food right there in the shadow of skyscrapers. Contest details below, but first, a hat tip to the vision for what will become Dekalb Market.

Markets, especially farmers' markets are widely touted as having multiple community benefits, from nutrition to real estate value, but Dekalb Market has goals that go beyond the conventional stall set up. The whole market will be built out of recycled shipping containers and other repurposed sustainable materials. Artists, chefs, and entrepreneurs will convert the containers into "temporary" venues for art, eating, or anything else. The idea is to make a modular market that can bring more than just consumerism to revitalize the currently vacant space.

Urban Space says the plan is to keep the market in downtown Brooklyn for five to ten years and then move it to another vacant lot in another neighborhood that needs a boost. But the group has experience building institutions. Urban Space was behind the Camden Lock market in London, which started as a "temporary" stall market in 1978 and has since evolved into the citiy's third biggest tourist draw. Urban Space also builds New York's pop-up holiday markets in Union Square and other plazas.

This one will be year-round with a substantial food component designed to bring fresh produce to a neighborhood currently lacking a serious supermarket. By actually installing a showcase farm on premise, visitors will also have a chance to get to know their food system a little better while ambling past the farm-fresh arugula.

The Contest: Pimp My Shipping Container

And here's where you come in. What would you do with 160 square feet free of charge at the market?

In anticipation of the opening this summer, Urban Space is offering up free rent for six months in one of the containers. Not Just a Container is a competition to find the "most creative and innovative" use of a salvaged shipping container. Full disclosure: GOOD is a media partner for the competition and I'll be one of the judges.

As it says on the contest website: "The goal of the competition is to support the growth of Brooklyn’s creative community by helping a local entrepreneur realize his or her dream of opening a bricks and mortar location ..." The Body Shop grew out of a stall at the Camden Lock market, we're excited to imagine what might grow out of Brooklyn's newest "temporary" market.

Any idea you can think of is fair game for the competition: a farm structure, store, art installation, even a work-sell space if you want to get crafty on location. Musicians, consider making an intimate venue in a box. Or, think up some activities for the local kids, athletic or academic.

Entries will be judged on design quality, sustainability, community impact, and entrepreneurship.

In addition to free rent, the winner will get up to $3,000 to build out their dream space along with a package of other goodies listed here.

The contest deadline is April 9, one month from today, so get designing and spread the word.


Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
via Anadirc / Flickr

We spend roughly one-third of our life asleep, another third at work and the final third trying our best to have a little fun.

But is that the correct balance? Should we spend as much time at the office as we do with our friends and family? One of the greatest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they spent too much of their time instead of enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have made a significant pledge to reevaluate the work-life balance in their country.

Keep Reading Show less