We have just reached the end of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a harvest festival in which Jewish people eat meals and spend time in a temporary shelter as a reminder of the history of their people and religious traditions. However, some people are also re-examining the tradition and exploring what it may mean, not only for Jews, but for all of us living in modern times.
One result of that last year was an exhibit in New York City of 12 revolutionary sukkahs--temporary dwellings that followed the traditional rules, but that use modern materials and modern ideas to reinterpret the entire activity (for more, see my post from last fall). I thought it was a really fascinating project, so I'm glad to report that another city hosted a similar competition this year.
So Sukkah City (as the original exhibit was called) relocated this year to the city of St. Louis, where it is being called Sukkah City STL. This year's competition was sponsored by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art, St. Louis Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis, and The Museum of ImaJewnation. The particular theme this year was "Defining and Defying Boundaries." To better understand the thinking behind this theme, as well as the rules explaining required characteristics of a sukkah, you can watch this video by some of the Sukkah City STL organizers:
Once again, dozens of entries were sent in from around the world, and 10 designs were selected to be constructed on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis (although only 9 ended up being built).
To see the winning design, visit the Winners page on the Sam Fox School website. You can also see a few photographs of the actual sukkahs on the website of the St. Louis Beacon. Just like last year, the winners are beautiful and thought provoking structures, whether or not you follow Judaism.