The winning entries to the 2021 Architecture Drawing Prize have been announced, with student submissions winning first place across all three categories: hand-drawn, hybrid, and digital. The awards series, now in its fifth year, is co-curated by Make Architects, Sir John Soane’s Museum, and the World Architecture Festival.
The 2021 winner in the hand-drawn category was Antonio Paoletti for the entry is ‘Reconfiguring Addis Ababa's Narratives.’ Set in the dilapidated historical districts of Ethiopia’s sprawling capital, the graphic novel explores a proposal for redevelopment that helps the precarious livelihoods of local communities amid the city’s rapid urbanization.
“This impressive drawing uses an unusual format to place narrative and the impact of buildings on peoples’ lives at the heart of architectural drawing,” said Louise Stewart, Sir John Soane’s Museum’s Exhibitions Curator and Architecture Drawing Prize judge. “This approach highlights the vibrancy of architectural drawing today, and the way it facilitates creativity and experimentation.”
Aside from the winner, the other two finalists for the hand-drawn category were as follows:
The hybrid category saw two winners, shared between Filippa Dafni’s ‘Fluid Strata’ and Boji Hu’s ‘(Un)homeliness.’ Dafni’s work, set in London, responds to the climate emergency by proposing a responsive flood defense landscape. Commenting on ‘Fluid Strata,’ judge and Make Architects founder Ken Shuttleworth said the work “blurs the lines between physical objects and drawing with great skill and imagination, making it a truly exceptional example of a hybrid rendering.”
Meanwhile, Hu’s work includes a hand-drawn short film together with a set of images, both exploring the boundaries between private and public spheres. ‘(Un)homeliness’ explores the potential for vacant urban space to shield homeless people, refugees, and asylum seekers, in what Lily Jencks, judge and co-founder of Lily Jencks Studio/Jencks Squared, described as “a powerful story told with a moody suggestive pencil gesture.”
Jencks also praised the “stills animated with sound to convey a strong atmospheric urban scene, accompanied by beautiful renders to give a sense of a full potential of hybrid architectural drawings.”
Aside from the two winners, the other finalist for the hybrid category was as follows:
The digital category saw Zachary Higson’s ‘Site(s) of Flux’ chosen as winner; a project which questions how a traditional architectural project should be carried out in terms of the relationships between studio (bedroom) and site. “Our digital prize winner ‘Sites(s) of Flux’ creates a Soane-like montage of models, photos, and paintings within a two- dimensional picture plane,” said judge and Foster + Partners senior partner Narinder Sagoo. “A drawing within a drawing, and more. One could explore this piece time and time again, discovering another level of genius each time.”
‘Site(s) of Flux’ was also selected for The Lockdown Prize, established during the pandemic, and is awarded to one of the finalists in the hand-drawn, hybrid, and digital categories.
Aside from the winner, the other four finalists for the digital category were as follows:
For further drawing inspiration, you can see the winners of the 2020 edition of the Architecture Drawing Prize here.
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