Most Unconventional Architecture Competitions of the Year

Today, the mass’s augmented unwillingness to succumb to the stipulations of ordinary exposure has given birth to unrealistic, unconventional ventures. The element of madness in ingenuity, in unconventionality is nothing less than inspiring, it is captivating and gets under people’s skin, pushing their buttons, compelling them to think and unveiling the depth of their perception, or their lack thereof. The truth of the matter is that genuineness and unconventionality is often what helps make a mark on the world. Other than one’s own complacency, there is no great risk involved; it’s all very status quo. To inaugurate within the norms of acceptance is unmemorable.

One of the most incontestably cogent methods for prompting creativity is to challenge the basic miracle of its existence. Unconventional challenges have, henceforth, hauled the future closer to our present.

  • NASA-Backed Mars Habitat Competition
Courtesy of Foster+Partners

Courtesy of Foster+Partners

NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, known as America Makes, held a new $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3-D printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency’s journey to Mars. The multi-phase 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge, part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, is designed to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond.

30 practices have been shortlisted.

  • Modernism Memorial: A Funerary Monument for the Death of Modernism
Courtesy of

Courtesy of and DeCorbuziers, in partnership with the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens, have announced their international student competition to design a conceptual funerary monument for the death of Modernism.

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Le Corbusier’s death, the team of organizations is seeking “contemporary interpretations concerning multidisciplinary approaches over Modernism and specifically over Le Corbusier’s work, while [exploring] possible themes and directions of the memorial representation” in present day. Designs should emphasize commentary, rather than a tribute to Le Corbusier.

With the End of the Modern Movement—the demolition of AIA Award-winning housing project at Pruitt Igoe on March 16, 1972—in mind, the competition asks if Modernism is really dead and buried what would a memorial for Modernism look like, and how Modernism has a role in current times.



Courtesy of AGMINIS

Courtesy of AGMINIS

As in many parts of the world, the social problems that exist today are the result of a lack of creating a community, which develops values ​​and communication between individuals. Within the project it is required to create a neighborhood center where people can develop and create their own space that can be used for visiting and contemplation. A place that centers around business, coexistence and communication.

The aim of the project is to develop and foster innovation, along with caring for the environment, and without losing sight of the building’s efficiency and low maintenance. The project should always put a focus on the people.

Organized by AGMINIS, the MALL-BUSINESS-HOUSING DESIGN competition invites architecture students and recent grads from all over the world to develop a conceptual proposal for a new mixed-use complex in the city of Aguascalientes, Mexico. The complex should incorporate housing and office and commercial space, with the aim of a creating a new neighborhood center in the city.


  • Website:
  • Organizers: AGMINIS
  • Registration Deadline: 21/10/ 2015.
  • Submission Deadline: 21/10/ 2015.


  • Creative Competition for Shenzhen’s Low Carbon Future Center

Courtesy of Shenzhen Design Center

Courtesy of Shenzhen Design Center

As a part of the flagship project for the EU-China Urbanization partnership, the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co., Ltd. (IBR) has announced its “Demand▪ Technology▪ Space Creative Competition” for the Future Low Carbon Building and Community Innovation New Experimental Center, also known as the Future Center.

Located in the underdeveloped Pingdi Subdistrict of Shenzhen, the project site is a part of the Shenzhen International Low Carbon City, a roughly 53 square kilometer area less than two hours away from Hong Kong with the goal of utilizing low-carbon and carbon-zero technologies in order to significantly boost sustainable development.

IBR is calling for submissions from individuals, teams, and even research institutes, design institutions, and any others, to participate in one, two, or all three of the competition’s categories.





  • Mountain Architecture Prototype (MAP), an SPM Design Competition

Courtesy of Summit Powder Mountain

Courtesy of Summit Powder Mountain

Utah-based community project Summit has announced Mountain Architecture Prototype (MAP), an SPM Design Competition, “to select the design of a cabin prototype in an effort to push forward the conversation around what it means to build responsibly at 8,400 feet in the Wasatch [Mountain] Range.”

The competition seeks submissions for a structure of up to 2,500 square feet, which will be located on a 12 degree sloped site at Summit Powder Mountain. Sustainable designs are highly encouraged, particularly with the use of natural materials.

The winning concept will serve as a basis for the future of development at Powder Mountain, influencing the design of over 500 single family homes.

Three winners will additionally be invited to attend exclusive Summit events, with the first prize winner attending Summit at Sea, a Caribbean voyage, to present their design.

Registration is open until October 9, and submissions must be received by October 16. Winning designs, judged by Todd Saunders of Saunders Architecture, and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative, among others, will be announced October 20.


By: Aleeshba Saigol


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