Mexico City Launches a Competition for Official Emoji

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Mexico City is calling upon its designers to picture the city in emoji. The city government just launched an open design competition to create 20 new emoji that symbolize the city and its residents, according to Co.Design.

The competition, organized by Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the city government’s civic innovation lab, will help government officials understand how people relate and respond to the metropolis. Not to mention widening residents’ ability to talk about where they live sans words.

The purpose, according to the project website (translated from Spanish with the help of Google):

Emoji CDMX is a playful, small-scale project, a kind of social thermometer that will generate new ways to narrate the city, to understand a city that constantly creates meanings or new references, to stimulate the imagination of the designers; it is a reflection on our symbols as a city.

Mexico City doesn’t have an Eiffel Tower or a Golden Gate Bridge or an Empire State Building to serve as an automatic, singular shorthand for the area. And as the second-largest city in the Americas, it would be hard to encapsulate it entirely in just one symbol. The 20-image sticker pack (which won’t be official emoji, as approved by the Unicode Consortium, so you’ll have to download it from the App Store or Google Play) will represent a broader experience of the places and things residents love about Mexico City.

The first-place winner, to be announced on July 30, gets approximately $1660, as well as eternal urban/technological glory.

[h/t Co.Design]