Three prize winners and two special category awardees have been named in the new Marker Design Challenge sponsored by Buildner (formerly Bee Breeders) and the Association for Women in Architecture and Design.
Tasked with coming up with a marker to celebrate women in architecture that would be placed next to a woman-designed building of their choice anywhere in the world, the contestants responded with several different kinds of interventions that each enhanced the original architecture of the space in a creative way and with a thought given as to how best enable the location's maximum benefit.
Per the competition’s brief: “The purpose of the marker is to express an element of design identity that is not visible, that adds context to the structure, and is a testimony to the impact and influence of the chosen female designer. It should be linked to the history of women in architecture and have the potential to inspire others and enrich the community in which it’s placed. The marker would need to be highly versatile and function in any climate and any season.”
Each of the prize winners took home a cash reward valuing €3,000, €1,500, and €500 respectively. The jury was comprised of leading women from all over the industry, including Perkins&Will’s Global Diversity Director Gabrielle Bullock, critic and curator Mimi Zeiger, and UCLA Assistant Professor Kian Goh. Six honorable mention winners were also announced, with each taking home a €500 cash reward and book gift certificate.
Scroll down to learn more about this year’s Marker Designer Challenge Prize winners.
1st Place: Shed Light by HAA&D (Hagar Abiri, Justyna Piasta, Zuzanna Światowy, and Klara Krešo), Germany
Jury comments: Shed Light reveals the name of the little-known female co-designer of the Barcelona Pavilion with Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Lilly Reich. The minimal steel letters horizontally mounted reveal her name when sunlight casts its shadow against the exterior travertine wall. The marker is both subtle and powerful in commemorating the female designer’s role, writing a new conscious memory of Lilly Reich’s contribution to the making of this modernist classic. Shed Light serves as a permanent “intervention” to a building originally meant to be the temporary German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition. This Markerfunctions well in any climate, in any season as it literally writes a new kind of narrative, strengthening women’s positions in the architectural pantheon with compelling evidence. According to the jury, it is “elegant with a universal application” and “can be implemented anywhere. We love that it is both sacrilegious and good word play.”
Read their interview here.
2nd Prize: Portal by Tayla Clarke, New Zealand
Jury comments: Portal honors architect Lina Bo Bardi with a free-floating exterior frame (or pavilion), in the form of a large interactive screen which serves to educate visitors on Bo Bardi’s design of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP). In addition, Portal functions as a new piece of small architecture that “expresses the power of design identity in concert with the existing landmark”. This Marker proposes an on-going digital, global mapping of places and spaces designed by women - according to the jury - “not only a testimony to Bo Bardi, but also an experiential journey building a collective visual memory by providing the larger public with awareness of women’s material contributions to the built environment.” This Marker commemorates the female architect and keeps the memory of her and her peers alive and in the minds of the community and beyond.
Read her interview here.
3rd Prize: Highlight by Weronika Zaborek, Poland
Jury comments: Highlight provides a neon-lit arch-frame through which one can view the housing complex at Grunwaldzki Square - one of the most innovative examples of modernist residential architecture in Wroclaw, Poland designed by Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak, the first woman in Poland to receive the title of architect. This Marker both figuratively and literally draws attention and focus to the buildings, while providing a peaceful pause to learn about Grabowska-Hawrylak’s career. The floor-mounted digital infographics below the neon frame provide interactive information on the culture and identity of the Plac Grunwaldzki housing estate to be respected and preserved. Highlight visually links the legacy of Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak, and according to the jury, “has the potential to inspire, enrich the community and revise the cultural record of women working in the built environment professions.” In its elegance and simplicity, Highlight “is designed to spark serendipitous interactions, and encourage reflection”. It is at once an expression of the contemporary while erecting testimony to its past.
ARCHHIVE BOOKS Student Award: In Praise of Shadows by Cristina Bao Ye and Ignacio Urbistondo Alonso, Spain
Read their interview here.
AAPPAREL Sustainability Award: Opening the Corner by Grusa Bauman, Ireland
Read her interview here.
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