The University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape (SAPL) international design competition, CBDX: BORDERLANDS, unveils its three prize winners. The competition's theme focused on "complex and unexpected spaces like the nuclear borderlands of Fukushima, gerrymandering within U.S. district borders, and protected natural spaces encroached upon by mining or logging" to name a few.
Having received entries from a total of 69 different cities across 22 different countries. It successfully sparked global interest inquiring how the role of designers can "play in borders – whether geopolitical, environmental, or urban – and the spaces around them."
Jury chairman and University of Calgary professor, Alberto de Salvatierra shared, "the selected entries demonstrate a bold range of sites and approaches to the question of borderlands. It is interdisciplinary designs like these – those that center the dispossessed and voiceless – that will illuminate a more grounded and compassionate take on the discipline.” He continued, “architecture and design are, and have always been, political. We, therefore, have a responsibility to not shy away from these complex issues.”
Thanks to an international jury panel, below are this year's prize-winning entries, project descriptions, and a list of honorable mentions.
BORDERHOOD by Sonny Meng Qi Xu
Project Description: "Sonny Meng Qi Xu created ‘Borderhood’, a design intervention for the US-Canada border that includes retiring the 8000+ border monuments and replacing them with First-Aid Beacons designed to accommodate migrants and asylum seekers. The Beacons would provide navigation and necessities such as gloves, food, jackets, and blankets. Xu’s proposal also takes advantage of existing railway tracks adjacent to the border to create movable units for temporary housing, medical care, daycare, and other amenities."
MIND THE GAP by Joel Schülin and Charlotte Flügger
Project Description: "Joel Schülin and Charlotte Flügger from Bauhaus University Weimar deployed their design talents to address the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. Their specially designed rescue buoys offer safety and act as a memorial for the catastrophe. Located in large numbers on the main sea routes, one buoy can hold eight people and is equipped with an SOS-System and care packages."
ECOTONE by Mahla Ebrahimpour and Agnieszka Lula
Project Description: "Mahla Ebrahimpour and Agnieszka Lula designed an ‘Ecotone’ for Poland’s Murckowskil Forest, a formerly pristine ecosystem that has been significantly altered by mining. With mining operations coming to a close, the team proposed setting new boundaries and interacting with the environment in a respectful way, using woven wattle walls that readjust the border between wetland and woodland and an elevated walking platform to give humans a place to enter without harming the habitat."
- Wanyu Liang (CA), Politecnico di Milano Shuai Pa (CN), Politecnico di Milano
- Amiradel Shamshirgaran (IR), University of Tehran Nazanin Hariri (IR), Melal Hotel Group Zahra Shoja Shafiei (IR), University of Tehran Avideh Kamrani (IR), Iran University of Science and Technology
- Fionn Byrne (CA), University of British Columbia Roxane Grégoire (CA), University of British Columbia Noora Hijra (CA), University of British Columbia Kendra Scanlon (CA), University of British Columbia Jordan Yule (CA), University of British Columbia
- Alaa Misto (LB), Lebanese American University
- Yoon Chai (CA) University of Toronto Lhanzi Gyaltsan (CA), University of Toronto Young Liu (CN), University of Toronto Kathy Zhu (CA), University of Toronto
- Jake Heffington (US) Ezgi Balkanay (TR), NC State University Emily Fiedler (US)
- Kaitlyn Pelletier (CA), BCSLA Registered Landscape Architect
In September 2020, the School launched the CBDX Series — three design ideas competitions within a two-year period — in response to the pandemic and public outcry for social justice to address historic racial inequities. BORDERLANDS is the second competition in the series.
The 25 selected entries are on display in a virtual exhibition for the month of September.
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