From colorful and surreal to clandestine and science-fictional, the annual Fairy Tales Architecture Competition is back again with more tales to tell. Organized by Blank Space founders Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Giuliani, young architects, designers, artists, writers, and anyone of the creative type were invited to pen their own architectural fairy tale narrative. Starting from over 300 entries from 50 countries in its inaugural run, this year's competition reeled in 1,200 participants based in 65 countries.
The 2015 top-prize winners are:
- 1st prize (US$1,500): “Empty” by Zigeng Wang
- 2nd prize (US$1,000): “Beautifully Banal” by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis
- 3rd prize (tie) (US$500): “CTRL C - CTRL ME” by Pauline Marcombe, Helene Marcombe, and Jay Robinson
- 3rd prize (tie) (US$500): “Screenland, By A Pixel” by Samantha Lee and Zhan Wang
The jury also selected 11 Honorable Mentions:
- “What About Sleeping Beauty” by Hugo Reichmann
- “The Doomers' Ball” by STASUS - James A. Craig & Matt Ozga-Lawn
- “How You Can Rhino the Jingo Out of Everything & Architecture Gets More Than A Skin” by J P Maruszczak, Roger Connah, and Ryan Manning
- “The Invisible Apple” by Zigeng Wang and Tanli Liu
- “The Museum of Lost Volumes” by Neyran Turan, Melis Ugurlu, and Anastasia Yee
- “Verse” by Chanel Dehond
- “The Death Rehearsal” by Carol Nung
- “Allegories of Home” by Zabie Mustafa and Neda Kakhsaz
- “Despina: The City & Desire” by Víctor Díaz, Alberto Costa, Carlos Piñar, Rafael Velázquez, and Monserrat León
- “The City Spoke” by Adam Longenbach
- “Sukkar” by Nenad Krstic, Ivana Radmanovac, and Iva Bekic
The winning entries, along with the honorable mentions and selected notable submissions, will be featured in Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story Volume 2, designed by Bruce Mau Design with a special cover by artist Vicente Garcia-Morillo. Copies are available for pre-order at a discounted price of $14. The book ships in June.
Check out the winning entries below.
1st prize: “Empty” by Zigeng Wang
Summary: "First Place goes to “Empty” by Zigeng Wang, a Masters student at Princeton University. Rich, detailed images of a post-industrial world illustrate an hyperrealistic, sci-fi-esque story about the great ethical and environmental dilemmas associated with globalization."
From the winner: "'This project describes an unsustainable ecology in the backdrop of globalization, mocking the vicious cycle of modernization under totalitarianism. The ultimate purpose of it is to uncover the contradictions and tensions in the geographic landscape of capitalist activity, the questioning of globalization and the predicament of human beings. The “future” seems like a distant notion to us as a society - but the fact is that it is happening right now. In EMPTY, I sought to create a near-future fairy tale that combines geopolitical forces, technology and unchecked ambitions into an architectural vision.'"
2nd prize: “Beautifully Banal” by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis
Summary: "Second Place is awarded to 'Beautifully Banal' by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis. A delightful style exercise, this story leverages CAD drawings to illustrate a mundane scenario in spectacular fashion: a fly is trapped inside an office building."
From the winner: "'Our approach to the project was to produce an alternate reading of the “everyday”, to showcase how through the correct lens of thinking even the most banal of environments can become a fairy tale. This was achieved through the rigorous pairings of strictly conventional architectural drawing techniques with whimsical cartoon-styled collage.'"
3rd prize (tie): “CTRL C - CTRL ME” by Pauline Marcombe, Helene Marcombe, and Jay Robinson
Summary: "'CTRL C - CTRL ME' illustrates by way of metaphor what happens in the passage from inspiration to regulation. Colorful drawings narrate the story of a shrinking architect, becoming smaller and smaller under the pressure of technology and business rules."
From the winner: "'This competition has been a wonderful (and funny) opportunity for the three of us to work together. It was a very playful experience that occurred in many places: at a rectangular table in Aurillac, in a grey park in London, in a cold kitchen in Jerusalem and finally in front of a computer (of course.)'"
3rd prize (tie): “Screenland, By A Pixel” by Samantha Lee and Zhan Wang
Summary: "Third Place: In 'Screenland, By A Pixel', whimsical elaborations of a pixel, the atom of contemporary architecture creation, accompany a riff of Edwin Abbott Abbott’s 'Flatland'.
From the winner: "'We wanted to tell a story about a micro landscape that is so alien, yet one that we stare into for the majority of our waking life. The screen acts as the boundary between our virtual world and greasy fingers, but we hardly pay attention to its actual physicality. Zooming out from the deepest world inside our screens to the recognizable digital interface of a mobile device, our project reveals this extraordinary landscape at different resolutions.'"
You can find the full narratives of the entries here.
The 2015 jury comprised:
- Anish Kapoor (Sculptor)
- Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at the MoMA)
- Karim Rashid (Designer)
- Yves Behar (CEO of Fuseproject)
- John Hoke (VP Global Design at Nike)
- Jaime Derringer (Founder, Design Milk)
- Stanley Tigerman, FAIA (Tigerman McCurry Architects)
- Juergen Mayer (J Mayer H Architects)
- Shohei Shigematsu (Partner, OMA)
- Hunter Tura (CEO, Bruce Mau Design)
- Andy Hunter (Co Founder, Electric Literature)
- Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Giuliani (Co Founders, Blank Space).
Find the Honorable Mentions below.
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