"The Present" Architecture''s Challenge

Son Başvuru Tarihi: 31 Mart 2008
E-posta: [email protected]
Web Sitesi: www.iaim.ro/en/

It seems that "present" has become the most unattractive period. People look rather to past or future. The nostalgic think that past is much better, while the others wage everything on the future. It might be as well a sign of dissatisfaction with present or an attempt to escape in an ideal time. However, the problems posed by present keep on piling up, and people look backwards or forwards, mesmerized by the future; they are less motivated to take action today. Nonetheless, architecture cannot be performed in the past or future, since it speaks of present culture. The role of architecture is to provide answers to current challenges.

Sometimes we experience brief moments of “anticipation architecture” that try to forecast future, though it has no knowledge about the questions of the future. You can only understand it as an escape from present and a refuge into an unblemished future. “Anticipation architecture” as much as films or literature of this sort is but a simple promise taken out from the shortcomings of present. “Anticipation architecture” focuses spectacular images and has no intention to give answers to questions it does not know anything about; it solely tries to dumbfound and invent fantasies. However, present is the inevitable gate to future, and that depends on how well we know to handle the current problems.

Traditional cities were architectural answers to people’s needs. Once they represented the communities and displayed their values, history, and aspirations. They went hand in hand with community life and promptly answered their changes. This is why we can easily read the history of the place in its architecture. Neither settlements, nor houses can feign history, because sometimes they narrate less desirable aspects of a given world.

Modern city seems to have lost this kind of flexibility. Although it intended to anticipate society developments, it did not react to several changes; thus, architecture could not come up with a proper answer and the whole thing went into a state of crisis. Several dysfunctional cases arose, and architecture could not keep up with novelties.

It seems that modern city cannot adjust to present[and forgets its role in the service of citizens. Moreover, the 21st century has challenged the cities. Some can be seen anywhere in the world, while others are just local. Naturally, architecture should offer solutions to every challenge.

Technology, for one, is a challenge that architecture does not metabolize successfully. Instead, it crowded the world with dubious objects, sometimes useless. The economic developments upset large territories more than often. Economy has learned to live on the ephemeral and imposed a provisional state in architecture.

However, there are also accidental challenges due to natural or social calamities. A phenomenon of individual migration takes place, and architecture cannot put itself together to settle people “at home”, thus, becoming a short-lived concept.

There are other challenges that take place in smaller zones, of which you hardly hear.

Although individualism is an easily and clearly identifiable phenomenon, one tries to turn public spaces in city landmarks and places for people gatherings; however, no one understands that a public space is not a self-contained entity but has to be connected to a diversity of spaces. Architecture should come up with an immediate answer to the above-mentioned facts. However, we have noticed that only provisional solutions have been given. Architecture would like to learn from such challenges and offer final answers.

Competitors are expected to discuss a wide range of particular challenges from the places they live in. The drawings will explicitly and clearly define both the author’s proposal and his / her solution.

The international competition is organized for architecture students studying in the schools affiliated to AEEA. Equally, those students attending other schools, without AEEA affiliation, are eligible. The projects can be either individual or designed by a student team coordinated by a faculty member.

1. Prize: 6.000 Euros
2. Prize: 4.000 Euros
3.Prize: 3.000 Euros
10 Mentions: 1.000 Euros each

There will be two judgment phases:
- Within each school participating in the competition: During this phase, the participating school will choose those projects that will represent the school in final judgment. Each school will decide on the number of projects for final judgment. Each school is responsible for the election of the jury members.

- Final judgment: Final judgment will take place at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania. Prizes and mentions will be awarded following the final judgment for the best projects. The procedures will be established by the jury members.

President: Mario Botta, Switzerland

Leen van Duin (EAAE Representative, Netherlands)
Emil Barbu Popescu (UAUIM and Lafarge Representative, Romania) 
Cristopher Allsopp, United Kingdom
Petr Franta, Czech Republic
Pere Riera i Panellas,  Spain
Juhani Katainen,  Finland

- A CD with pictures of 2 A1 drawings (594x841) in .jgp format. The drawings will be set vertically (the longer side vertically, and the shorter side horizontally).
Each paper format A1 will display in the right down corner a code made of 6 digits (numbers and letters chosen not consecutive) written with a 1 cm height Arial Font body text. This code will be marked also on the CD cover, disk and folders and will be provided by to organizers through the filled in registration form. The same code will be written on the A5 sealed envelope. Inside the envelope, an A4 paper will be placed containing the following data:
- Forename and name of the author (authors). The students teams will also add the name of the team leader
- Forename and name of the tutor
- Name of the School of Architecture the author attends
- Address of the School of Architecture the students attends
- Author’s/authors’ statement about the originality of the project (a list of authors will be provided for projects designed by a

The statement will be signed by the team leader or the author, in case of individual participation. Both the CD and closed envelope will be packed together with the drawings and posted to organizers.

The competition results will be relayed to all participating schools. They will be also published on the site of “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism - Bucharest.

01 September 2007:
Launching of theme and registration start
31 March 2008: Registration deadline
17 April 2008: End of question receiving
30 April 2008: Mailing of answers
15 October 2008: End of local judgment in the Schools of Architecture
25 October 2008: Arrival of projects for final judgment
16 - 17 November 2008: Final judgment and winners’ selection
December 2008: Announcement of results and project exhibitionYarışma Şartnamesi
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