Architectural competitions are crucial in the field of architecture. Whether as a student or an architect, independent of what stage of your career you are in, competitions are good tools to expand your creativity and experience new concepts. Besides the real world, in architectural competitions, there are no limitations, bad grades, or risk of losing your job. As a result, it provides an opportunity to think outside the box and generate creative ideas. Also, it may bring self-confidence, a new perspective, and even desired recognition to the participants.

Today, annual architectural competitions are held on many different topics. For example, based on today’s global issues (sustainability, artificial intelligence, etc.), At the same time, it is generally possible for people all around the world to participate. The fundamental requirements are good ideas, creativity, and determination.

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eVolo Skyscraper Competition 

Generally begins: February

Every year since 2006, eVolo Magazine has invited architects, students, engineers, designers, and artists to redefine skyscraper design through today’s technologies, materials, and spatial organizations. The participants are expected to take into consideration the studies on globalization, adaptability, and the digital revolution. The competition is a response to architectural understanding to solve economic, cultural, and social problems in today’s cities and today’s technologies. It is also an investigation of new habitats and territories based on the human-nature relationship. There are no limitations in regards to site, program, or size to give participants the freedom to design most creatively. 

For further information, visit the website: https://www.evolo.us/

120 Hours

Generally begins: March

‘’5 days. 120 hours. 7200 minutes. 432,000,000 seconds. That is all the time you have to show us what you’ve got.’’ say the organizers of the competition. Since 2010, the annual architectural competition, 120 Hours, aims to give architecture students a voice in the context of current architectural discourse. It is a brand new format, where participants are given 120 hours of intense work to solve a challenging assignment that has social relevance. The competition’s main purpose is to bring new thoughts and discussions in the field of architecture into cultural and social discourse.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.120hours.no/

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MICROHOME Architecture Competition 

Generally begins: September

Buidner’s “Small Scale Architecture Appreciation Movement” has a part of an architecture competition named “MICROHOME.” This competition’s main purpose is to draw attention to the fact that bigger is not always better. Small-scale architecture has the potential to alter how both this and the following generations view residential property with great design and innovative ideas. There are no requirements for any hypothetical site, regardless of its size, located anywhere in the world, in a city, or the countryside. Participants are encouraged to use their creativity to the fullest extent possible, with the only restriction being that the structure’s total floor area should not exceed 25 m2. 

For further information, visit the website: https://architecturecompetitions.com/microhome5/

The Berkeley Prize

Generally begins: September

The Berkeley Prize is to encourage architecture students to expand their academic understanding by looking into how to make the built environment reflect and fulfill the needs of those we build for in everyday life. Each year, the Berkeley Prize Committee selects a topic and poses a question based on that topic. Architecture students from around the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay responding to the question. Approximately 25–28 essays are selected as promising by the Prize Committee. These semifinalists are asked to submit a 2,500-word essay expanding on their answer to the question for the finals.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.berkeleyprize.org/

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Ryterna Modul Architectural Challenge

Generally begins: November

Every year since 2020, Ryterna Modul has held a competition for architects. The Lithuanian company is a manufacturer of modular buildings, containers, and mobile buildings. Although the topic changes every year, it is possible to understand the general concept with the subjects given so far. It started with the vacation house design, then the tiny house design, and finally the cycling tourism complex design. This competition is about designing a modular house with a given concept, which is a great way to practice your understanding of architecture and expand your creativity.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.rmodul.com/en/

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What Design Can Do 

Generally begins: October

What Design Can Do is an international organization that wants to draw attention to a society that is sustainable, fair, and just by using the power of design. This challenge program’s topic changes each year. However, the main concept is to create real-life solutions with problem-solving design strategies. It is a space where the creative community meets, tests, and scales innovations using design thinking. Their goal with this Challenge program is to enable the global creative community to meaningfully contribute to the solution of today’s pressing issues.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.whatdesigncando.com/

Architecture at Zero

Generally begins: May 

The Architecture at Zero competition is a response to the 2008 report, California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) about zero net energy. This annual architectural competition is now in its 12th year and continues to highlight energy-efficient design strategies. The result of the competition is evaluated by criteria including quality of design, resolution of the program or idea, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique. The Architecture at Zero Challenge is open to students, architects, landscape architects, and designers all around the world. 

For further information, visit the website: https://www.architectureatzero.com/

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FuturArc Prize  

Generally begins: October

Since 2008, FuturArc Prize has been the first international green building design competition in Asia that is open to professionals and students. Their mission is to trigger continuous creativity and innovative ideas in the science and art of building design. They aim to find solutions for a sustainable future. The site has to be located in Asia and can not be larger than 50,000 square meters. However, the expectation is that addressing the needs of an aging or booming population entails new systems of care and empowerment that take into account the architectural life cycle as well as the lifespan of functional relevance from the users’ point of view.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.futurarc.com/

Young Architects Competitions

Generally begins: December

The Young Architects Competition issues a call for submissions to imagine a new generation of data centers that blend in with the environment to produce stunning and iconic designs. They think that data centers are the material traces of the digital world. Data centers have long been seen as infrastructure as opposed to architecture. However, several recent experiments demonstrate that data centers might become iconic structures in cities today.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.youngarchitectscompetitions.com/

©https://www.thehomecompetition.com/

The Home Competition

Generally begins: December

All designers are encouraged to research new concepts for residential architecture as part of the HOME competition. Designers may take into account the impacts of population shifts throughout the world, the proximity of major cities to coastlines, new building materials and methods, the rise of co-housing, tiny homes, smart homes, and marketplaces like Airbnb, as well as other factors. HOME offers a place for speculating on how emerging technical, political, environmental, and cultural shifts may reshape our living environments. The competition is open to all designers, no matter their age, location, or experience.

For further information, visit the website: https://www.thehomecompetition.com/

Reference List:

  1. Anon, (n.d.). eVolo | Architecture Magazine. [online] Available at: https://www.evolo.us/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  2. 120 HOURS. (n.d.). 120 HOURS. [online] Available at: https://www.120hours.no/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  3. Buildner (n.d.). MICROHOME / Edition #5 / Architecture Competition. [online] architecturecompetitions.com. Available at: https://architecturecompetitions.com/microhome5/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  4. www.berkeleyprize.org. (n.d.). Berkeley Prize Essay Competition. [online] Available at: https://www.berkeleyprize.org/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  5. www.rmodul.com. (n.d.). Ryterna modul. [online] Available at: https://www.rmodul.com/en/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  6. What Design Can Do. (2019). What Design Can Do. [online] Available at: https://www.whatdesigncando.com/.
  7. Architecture at Zero 2023. (n.d.). Architecture at Zero 2023. [online] Available at: https://www.architectureatzero.com/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  8. FuturArc. (n.d.). The Leading Green Architecture & Design Magazine. [online] Available at: https://www.futurarc.com/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].
  9. Young architects competitions. (n.d.). Young Architects Competitions. [online] Available at: https://www.youngarchitectscompetitions.com/.
  10.  HOME. (n.d.). HOME. [online] Available at: https://www.thehomecompetition.com/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2023].

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