Utopia is derived from fictional and fantasy novels and cinema. The concept brought into fruition an artistic, innovative lifestyle. Utopian architecture is seldom realized due to the fantastical and imaginative scenario of the utopian designs. It puts forth the idea of a self-sustained, diplomatic state where society is pushed forth by science and technology rather than its economic state. 

This contemporary style of designing is propelled with the help of creative and imaginative design competitions across the world. The conceptual nature of the design briefs and proposals fosters creative thinking and scientific innovation. Though unbuilt the projects put forth by the designers are unique and fulfill their fantasies.

Below is the list of 10 architectural competitions for utopian designers:

1. 24 hour 33rd edition – CO2

Status: Completed (March 2020)
Theme: Green Tower
Organizers: ideas forward

Under COP25, the carbon emission has to undergo drastic reduction to increase sustenance and longevity. The brief aimed to discover designs with zero or a bare minimum carbon footprint by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and the use of irreplaceable natural resources. The structure will be a green/sustainable building, efficiently designed to minimize wastage of resources and energy.

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Architectural Competitions ©www.if-ideasforward.com

2. Liberland

Status: Ongoing (November 2020)
Theme: Micronation

The motto is “To Live and Let Live” with the help of innovators, minimal governance, and individuality. The proposal is for a 700-hectare land parcel on the disputed territory between Serbia and Croatia. Along with adjoining Napredak, the goal is to create a micronation akin to Hong Kong and Lichtenstein. The competition is on the lookout for mature, practical, and well-conceived designs rather than outlandish, artistic endeavors.

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Architectural Competitions ©designliberland2020.splashthat.com

3. Floating City project

Status: Completed (2019)
Theme: Urban design
Organizers: Seasteading Institute

The designs were based on a floating city, inspired by the lost city of Atlantis. With the unending population growth and limited land resources, architects have been looking for ways to expand civilization onto the oceans. The entries were innovative and were created with lightweight and buoyant materials. New technologies were considered in order to produce innovative ideas.

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Architectural Competitions ©www.fastcompany.com

4. Skyscraper Competition

Status: Ongoing (January 2021)
Theme: High rise building
Organizers: eVolo

Held annually, the eVolo Skyscraper Competition was established in 2006. Every year the most innovative, conceptual proposals win the title. The entries consist of built as well as unbuilt projects where the sky is literally the limit

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Architectural Competitions ©www.evolo.us

5. Rethink Everyday Utopia

Status: Completed (2017)
Theme: Architectural Drawing of the Year
Organizers: Aarhus School of Architecture

The competition tests the drawing and graphical expression skills by forcing students to contemplate the banalities of life. It encouraged the re-imagination of our bleak routine life. Rather than being stuck in a rut, the drawings enable us to enter a fantasy world, removed from reality.

6. Alternate Realities

Status: Ongoing (November 2020)
Theme: Utopia
Organizers: the Charette

The program is to create a world without problems. Architecture is a problem-solving tool at every stage. The goal of this competition is to provide an architectural response to a global issue. The problem may be social, economic, political, or even scientific.

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Architectural Competitions ©thecharette.org

7. A.D.A.P.T Alternative Design after Pandemic Times

Status: Ongoing (October 2020)\
Theme: Healthcare
Organizers: mOOO architecture design competitions

The utopian designs must integrate social infrastructure with a medical facility. It aims to create awareness among people by providing a multifunctional public healthcare center. A holistic approach is important for the post COVID19 times when the masses will roam about freely without fear or anticipation.

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Architectural Competitions ©moooarch.com

8. Moontopia

Status: Completed (2017)
Theme: Architecture on the Moon
Organizers: Eleven Magazine

One of the forerunners of architecture for other planets, the competition saw much innovation in concepts, materials, and construction technologies. The utopian designs saw the establishment of a space colony lending another dimension to the term ‘otherworldly’. With more organic forms conforming to the difference in gravitational force, soil and atmosphere, the designs were unique and ethereal. Innovators also incorporated various means for agriculture and cultivation.

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Architectural Competitions ©archinect.com

9. The Dream of Century

Status: Completed (June 2020)
Theme: Dream Story
Organizers: Archue

The competition inspired designers to revisit ideas of lifestyle and day-to-day routines. With the current scenario of COVID19 at the forefront of designer’s minds, it was an opportunity to conceptualize an imaginary world where a certain global issue was solved. The graphical expression of the architect’s dream acts as a narrative to the solution to various problems.

Architectural Competitions ©www.archue.com

10. The Dwelling: 2100 

Status: Completed (March 2020)
Theme: Housing
Organizers: Archue

The competition of utopian designs was meant to inspire designers to imagine the future of homes and housing. The home is meant to be a representation of one’s cultural, social, and religious beliefs. The varying climatic phenomenon makes us question the future of humankind. To visualize our species surviving nature’s wrath, one must be able to imagine life four decades from now. The designs reinvent sustainable, vernacular architecture to conform over time.

Architectural Competitions ©www.archue.com

A 4th-year student of architecture, Krittika is foraying into the professional world of design. Buildings- their past, present and the endless possibilities of the future excite and inspire her. Her means of expression is through writing and art. She unwinds by listening to music and is an avid reader.

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