10 Must-Do Tips to Win in Architectural Competitions

I want to share with you a must-do tips in architectural design competitions as Competitions will always remain the main source of inspiration and motivation for all young and experienced architects in our evolving field.
I have participated in more than 16 international competition in the past 7 years that were in Italy, USA, Germany, Serbia, Greece, U.A.E, Afghanistan, Korea, and Egypt, this variety made me more certain that architectural competitions can deepen the architectural versatility for architects and allow for more exposure to different cultures.
Architectural competitions are the right platform to test your limits of creativity and to design with a free-mind to deliver works from your own point-of-view without the restrictions of a regulation or a code that limits your creativity and lowers your enthusiastic passion. In 10 simple points, this article will help you step up your game and get the most out of Architectural competitions.
......................................................................................

10) Selecting the Right Competition

No wonder most of the architects don't go further in competing in architectural competitions after failing in getting any award in a previous one! 
The selection of the right competition is nearly 50% of this reason! if you didn't choose your competition wisely, you will fail, if you don't know the requirements before registering, you will probably fail too!
select a competition based on it's; Schedule and your ability to fit it into your time-table, Submittal RequirementsFees and your financial ability to match it (some competitions requires 3D physical model and some others requires printing and shipping) and finally The Field of Expertise.
A good website for international competition is: Http://Bustler.net
......................................................................................

9) Choosing Team Members

Your team is everything, Invest time and make effort into the process as you will rely on the team afterwards.
You have to decide what kind of cooperation you seek,  it might be one team leader (owner of the competition) and team of junior staff to work under you, or it can be a group team leaders consisting of 3 or 4 without any junior staff, or it might be both together! 
The most important thing when assembling a team is the value each participant will add, they should provide different kind of expertise to the final project, it might be conceptual design, visualization, landscaping, conservation, 3D design, etc...
......................................................................................

8) Communications

After choosing the team, you should be able to communicate together with proper tools, your team might consist of members from different countries that will communicate online, all of the team members should be able to attend meetings (online or in-person), share data through online platforms (Google drive, Drop box, etc..) and coordinate through social network groups (Facebook, google, etc..).
The ability of a team to connect with no malfunctioning or disruption will save a lot of time and will raise the chances of submitting the competition as planned.

......................................................................................

7) Proper Scheduling

Once the competition started, a well-studied and detailed schedule to be created to Make sure you have enough time for competition phases, Avoid overwhelming yourself for more than what you can handle and Understand what you can realistically achieve in each phase.
Also the team members should investigate their upcoming own schedules to make sure they have enough time to work in the competition, each participant should be able to provide a clear situation of his free-time, ability to work as per the competition time-frame to other team members, to distribute tasks as per  their available time.
......................................................................................

6) Study Competition Documents

Competition brief is the main and official document that the competition organizers provide, but it's not the one and only document!
Many people ignore the supported files, website updates, Q&A and email responses. In fact, other documents might be more important than the competition brief as in the main brief there could be misleading information or non-compliant conditions that will be clarified either with Q&A or with any other form of update like the competition website or email, understanding and reviewing all the documents periodically is a must.
......................................................................................

5) Spend More Time in Researches

Researches always increase the stock of knowledge the person have, while Creative work always comes after a well-oriented and organized systematic research, you can't rely on talent and inspiration only, researches will provide you with the proper tools beside your creative skills to be able to deliver a high quality product.
It should start with Discovery of the topics, distributing tasks, collecting the required data, documentation and finally understanding and acquiring knowledge.
......................................................................................

4) Brain-storming sessions

Brain storming session will most likely bring out the great ideas out to see the light, attendance by all members and contribution in the session will have a great effect throughout the whole competition, members also will get more chances of developing their own ideas by only hearing other people's ideas and thoughts.
so here how it goes, gather the whole team together in a room or in a virtual conversation, share your ideas on a white board or a shared-online screen, explain briefly what ever you think interesting, other will hear and develop their ideas based on what they heard from others, reach a conclusion together, plan ahead on the next step and leave the gathering with a well-understood tasks for all team members, here is the most important thing, don't you ever leave the brainstorming session without an agreed conclusion! 
......................................................................................

3) Fulfilling Requirements

Many people dive deeper into the ideas they developed in the competition and flow with their fantastic concepts, they even might forget the main inter-related requirements of zoning, programmatic requirements and functional attributes needed to operate the building efficiently and with ease, this might also go worse with people forgetting the graphical requirements indicated by the competition organizers.
You have to understand that if you didn't comply with the functional requirements, you will probably fail, if you didn't stick to the graphical and dimensional rules, you will definitely fail, they will also exclude your project before even seeing your design! You should Develop your project in a way that won't breach the rules stated in the brief.

 

......................................................................................

2) Layout Presentation

Make a great first impression to attract the eyes of the jurors, if you want your project to proceed to the next phase, it should have something obviously beautiful, imagine in the jury event, around 500 projects submitted to the competition and the jurors should in one day select 30 project to proceed to the final stage, how much time the jurors will spend in your project ? i bet it will only be a couple of seconds or they will finish in a one-full week!
The process of evaluation is really extensive and to select 30 idea out of 500, It is mentally exhaustive, present your project in a way that will grab the eyes of the observers, spend more time in your visualization and presentation to properly show-off your design.
......................................................................................

1) Design Concept

The core of the project, the idea behind your design and considerations, it should be unique, properly interpreted and elegantly introduced.
The good design concept should take its time in developing through the different phases of a project, at the end it should reach a level of illustration that is easy to understand, aesthetically beautiful, shows distinct entity, relevance and innovation.
.............................................................................................................................
Always put in your mind that design competitions are a good practice, a way to show off your talent and you will always benefit from it, give it a try and you will never regret putting your time in it.
.............................................................................................................................

Karim Elnabawy, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M

Design Architect - LEED/Sustainability Coordinator

Founder of Mekano Studio

Email: Karimelnabawy@gmail.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ازاى تنجح فى امتحان الليد - 10 نصائح

contact