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FD23: Build a Better Market Stall

A Design Competition by Better Block
Project funded by AARP and Toyota

Designers from all over the world worked with market vendors and AARP Texas members to design an easy-to-assemble, digitally fabricated market stall that can be assembled in minutes and help define a space. But what good is a beautiful design if no one is there to experience it? FD23 designers stepped up to the challenge and designed six market stalls tailored for vendors over the age of 50! 

FD23 Final Contestants and Winners:

  • 1st Place | Team TLALLO: Vensa Aguilar and Dannette Aguirre

  • 2nd Place | Team 4 Beaver: Cheng Xie, Wuqi Lyu, Leah Li, and Kun Wei

  • 3rd Place | Team 8: David Cayll, Xelaya Mendoza, Santiago Romero, and Olivia Holt

  • People's Choice | Team Miscellaneous: Elena Naccari, Ramon Irizarry, Yumi Catabijan, and Abraham Moreno

  • Team RISD: Oliver Jacob, Aliah Werth, and Ashur Clark

  • Team Handley Heros: James Lawrence and Kara Chaney

About FD23

In 2017, Better Block's founding director Jason Roberts and good friend Gray Garmon went to lunch and started scheming and dreaming. They wondered what it would look like if Better Block hosted a design competition, and thus was born FD (Fabrication Day). 


After a couple fun years of competition, COVID19 put a stop to the concept. But, this year, we're bringing it back. 

The Problem

For small business vendors one of the most difficult elements of attending markets is the actual setup. Sure, one can bring a tent and a fold-out table, but it’s still cumbersome and takes a bit of creativity to make a business standout among a sea of tents and fold-out tables.


Now, add to that equation older adults, and the difficulty of mobility and accessibility with setting up a kiosk.

The Challenge

For FD23, the challenge is simple: create a market stall for a vendor who’s older than 50. 

Of course, it’s not really that easy. The designs need to be easy to assemble for all ages using very little hardware and fit into a vehicle (or even better, a DART bus). They have to stay on budget. And elements have to be digitally fabricated. Add shade. Add seating, perhaps? It’s up to you. But people need to be able to vend from it.


You will be given consulting time with our digital fabricator about our lessons learned over the years with our Wikiblock library (and hosting hundreds of markets), once your designs are complete, our we will cut them on our CNC router, and then you will have time with your pieces. Ultimately, however, you will have only 8 hours to assemble your kiosk on October 28. Your pieces will then be put to the test as we will host a market where your designs will be judged (we'll have a celebrity judging panel as well as people's choice). Winners will get a cash prize as well as have their designs loaded to our Wikiblock library. Plus bragging rights. And a custom trophy.

The Budget

Better Block will provide a $500 budget plus four hours on the CNC router ($400 value). Teams can fundraise up to $1,100 for a total of $2,000.


If you are not local to Dallas, and you want to be part of the competition, travel and lodging will not be covered. You must be onsite to build your design on October 28.


The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements in communities that jump-start long-term change. It is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. To learn more, visit or watch the announcement video.

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