Sukkah City STL announces jury

Nationally known figures to judge innovative design competition

Environmental designer Mitchell Joachim — one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 People Who Are Changing America” — will join Chicago architect Carol Ross Barney and Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, as jurors for Sukkah City STL.


The design competition and exhibition — on view at WUSTL Oct. 18-22 — aims to reimagine the traditional Jewish Sukkah through the lens of contemporary art and architecture.

Rounding out the jury will be Hyim Shafner, rabbi at St. Louis’ Bais Abraham Congregation and former Chief Rabbi of India; and Nancy Berg, PhD, professor of Modern Hebrew Language and Literature in Washington University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Bruce Lindsey, the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration and dean of architecture in the university’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, will serve as jury chair.

“Our goal has always been to cast a wide net with this project, both conceptually and geographically,” says Rabbi Andrew Kastner of St. Louis Hillel, who is organizing the competition with Brian Newman, adjunct lecturer in the Sam Fox School.

“That, of course, applies to the designers, but we think it’s important that the jury also represents a wide range of perspectives,” Kastner says. “We feel that a diverse group of jury members broadens the conversation and brings a multitude of rich progressive and traditional biases into this dialogue.

“The challenge to our participants is to use ancient law as a springboard for contemporary vision,” Kastner says. “It’s more than old meets new. Our belief is that by upholding the highest standards of contemporary design through the use of ancient law, we redefine how what is ‘old’ can inform the new and vice versa.”

Open to artists, architects and designers of all faiths and backgrounds, Sukkah City STL is co-sponsored by the Sam Fox School, St. Louis Hillel at Washington University and The Museum of ImaJewnation.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Sept. 14. Jurors will then select 10 designs for construction, with each project receiving a small honorarium to help defray building costs. Completed structures will be installed on the university’s Danforth Campus and will remain on view for one week.

For more information about Sukkah City STL or to request detailed submission guidelines, visit or email

For jury bios, visit