In the vast field of designing and Architecture, where every year young aspiring architects join the field with aspirations, but there are architects who definitely need a platform to showcase their talent and expertise. This is when Design competitions and events come into the picture.

Design Competitions Role in shaping the discourse in Architecture and design
Image Sources: ©ArchDaily, Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Competition is integral to the architecture industry and has been for years; it forces individuals to push the boundaries of their creativity and has resulted in some incredibly significant projects being created. They offer a platform for enthusiastic architecture startups, students, general enthusiasts, and even experienced professionals to express their creative potential.

An architectural design competition is a type of design competition in which an organization that intends on constructing a new building invites architects to submit design proposals. The winning design is usually chosen by an independent panel of design professionals and stakeholders (such as government and local representatives). This procedure is often used to generate new ideas for building design, to stimulate public debate, generate publicity for the project, and allow emerging designers the opportunity to gain exposure. Architecture competitions are often used to award commissions for public buildings: in some countries, rules for tendering public building contracts stipulate some form of a mandatory open architectural competition. Competitions typically provide a wide range of design solutions that would not be possible by pre-selecting one architect. Competitions have now taken a place in shaping young architects for people to appoint young and bright ideas. These competitions have resulted in high quality of the design as well as creating public interest in the role of architecture in national and community life. Many architects regard competitions as a valuable opportunity for research, perhaps for the study of a new building type, or for exploring the possibilities of new technical ideas and for gaining new experience. A well-planned competition should be straightforward to manage and beneficial to the sponsor, the participants, and the community.

Discussing the benefits of these competitions, let’s get to the objectives which can be defined as to select a design and an architect or to provide awards for design ideas and research. Through these competitions, the following are the people and organizations who benefit.

For sponsors:

Competitions provide options.

For example, a sponsor can choose to select a design and its architect, or the sponsor can obtain research or ideas through a creative process to initiate a project or product. When a number of architects focus on a single problem, the process contributes to design excellence and variety.

For architects:

Many competitions offer opportunities for young architects that are not always available through other selection methods. Several significant architects have launched their careers because their designs were selected as the winning schemes.

For the community:

Competitions can create community interest and/or involvement, and a successful conclusion can contribute to community identity and pride.

For corporations/institutions:

Competitions can bring positive attention to a project and help promote and contribute to corporate/institutional identity.

Here are some of the many reasons why competitions are such a useful and popular exercise within the field, and how entering competitions can be more than just a way to win some extra money (although there is that element too).

Exercise Your Creativity / Freedom

It can be easy to focus solely on projects that pay a commission, especially if architecture is your means of earning a living. However, if we were in it purely for the money, then many of us would have chosen a different profession. If architecture is something you are passionate about, then architecture competitions are a chance to explore that passion in news ways and without the limits and constraints of a client or a supervisor. The freeness of competition should be a welcomed breath of fresh air in the sense that you are truly designing for yourself.

Competition is its own reward

If you don’t manage to win the architecture competition you enter, does that mean that you’ve wasted your time? Or is there still a reward even when there isn’t a financial one? Architecture competitions usually have strict submission deadlines and time limits can be short, forcing you to work quickly and decisively as well as creatively. This is no mean feat and skill that experienced architects will tell you is invaluable throughout your career.

Having said that, architecture competitions do have financial rewards for those that win; so while the competition is its own reward, it doesn’t have to be the only reward.

Practice new skills

Whether you’re a seasoned architecture professional, an architecture student, or simply an architecture enthusiast, there will always be news skills to hone and new technology to implement. An architecture competition is a perfect opportunity to put these new skills into practice without sacrificing a commission or a final grade.

All winning entries are provided with in-depth jury comments, offering what the panel feels to be the strengths and weaknesses of the project and to encourage future growth and development.

Getting your designs noticed

A good architecture competition will have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of participants, and a huge part of taking part in one is getting your designs noticed by the jury to get to the next round. Just as you would in any professional presentation. Experienced architects may have the edge in this department and those still developing their skills are given a chance to strengthen their graphics so as to catch the jury’s attention.

Free from Reality

Many architecture competitions are conceptual, and therefore the winning designs are never actually constructed. But in reality, is overrated and have the rest of your careers to focus real-life projects with all their real-life problems, these competitions are a chance to focus entirely on what you’re keen on about architecture; they’re about the thought, and it’s so crucial to not lose sight of the importance of the architectural idea.

That being said, strong and successful ideas are often developed into something tangible at a later stage. Many widely recognized projects began their life in conceptual competitions and later became real-world projects.

Build Your Portfolio

Novice architects and architecture students are often focused on building their portfolio, and architecture competitions are excellent thanks to getting experience without experience. Competitions also are an opportunity for even seasoned architects to create their portfolio, performing on designs and projects that they’ve either not had the chance or the talents to before, It’s a chance to investigate an area where you haven’t before, something that’s interesting to you and build your portfolio at the same time.

Get International Recognition

Many architects cite particular architecture competition victories as having been instrumental in elevating their respective firms in marketplace visibility or maybe been the turning point for his or her entire career.

Author

Architect, self – taught illustrator with a significant interest in writing and blogging. The writer is a vivid reader of classics and loves to be a search engine along with being closet singer. Born and raised in the plains of Assam, but obsessed with French culture and cuisine, she is a travel enthusiast with wandering plans to Europe at the top of her bucket – list. Apart from all these, she has a keen eye on details and loves to talk and write about what she predominantly observes and seeks to learn.

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