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“Lets Not Talk About Architecture”

14/04/2010 by architectural competitions

Urban cities today are a complex ecosystem of multiple cultures, traditions, heritage, living spaces, economic development and social needs. While the role and responsibility of creating sustainable living environments in these cities often fall on the shoulders of local government agencies, it is inevitable that many gaps still remain. The varied needs of different communities living in urban cities demand that many more creative ideas and solutions are birthed to plug these gaps and contribute to a better and more holistic built environment for everyone. These ideas for the built environment need to go beyond programmatic function and aesthetic form to consider culture, heritage, collective memory, social and environmental sustainability, community structure, social justice and human connections. These new ideas for our cities need to push the boundaries of architecture design and explore new solutions that are relevant to communities, are connected to the ground and actively sow towards a more sustainable future.

A three-step process has been created for the competition brief. Each of these steps is not to be conceived in a chronological way but should be read as a manual in approaching the project.

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Step 1: Let’s Hear It

Seeking out your surroundings to identify issues
Firstly, what is an interesting condition of the city that you are from that you think defines your community? This condition has to fit into one of the following themes:

1. Architectural Heritage: How does your community deal with its architectural heritage?
2. Urban Gentrification: How is your community tapping onto the opportunities and challenges of gentrification?
3. Contestation of Spaces: Are different communities (local and foreign) contesting to create their own spaces? How are these spaces used and can they be integrated?
4. Displacement of Community: How can your community be reintegrated after being displaced?
5. Building for the poor or disadvantaged: How can you devise spatial strategies to empower them?
6. Multi-generational common spaces: How do you create common spaces for different generation of people to interact?

Next, chose a site that is approximately 400m x 400m to work with. This could be an existing neighbourhood or the part of the city/ neighbourhood that you intend to work on.

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Step 2: Let’s Cook It

Plan methods of collaboration & engagement with relevant community group

Choose a specific group within your community to work with collaboratively in addressing your selected condition. The main emphasis of the competition will be on exploring methods of collaboration through your spatial intervention. While this is not a typical architectural design competition per se but you will still be required to provide Plans, Elevations and Sections where necessary to explain the rationale of your intervention.

For example, if a public square is too large and underused one possible intervention could be by adding market stalls to provide more programmatic density for the area. Such a form of intervention should be reflected in your Plan drawings.

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Step 3: Let’s Taste It

Revealing areas of design interventions

Finally, prepare action plans and design schemes projected onto a feasible time schedule. Review also how your design intervention is able to empower the community that you’re

working with. While this is a theoretical project, you are strongly encouraged to attempt to implement the project should you have some initial leads. The implementablity of the project will be a critical aspect of the judging process.

1. Eligibility

1.1 The competition is open to participants, from any country or territory.

1.2 Each team should consist of at least one architecturally trained member.

1.3 Each participating team should be made up of at least 4 people with a maximum of 6 in a team.

1.4 Each participating team may submit only one (1) entry per registration for the competition.

1.5 Each participant can be part of a few project teams as long as the team leader for each team is different.

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