The Anatomy of Winning Architecture Competitions

The Anatomy of Winning Architecture Competitions

How exciting does it sound to win an architecture competition you have worked so hard for? As a young architect, you’ve probably thought about participating in a particular competition, or you may have already participated in many architecture competitions before without any luck. We understand your struggle.

The good news is, you can maximize your chances of winning by following the next few guidelines. These are tried pieces of advice to give you an insight into where you are possibly going wrong and how you can fill the gaps.

1- Set your goal.

Set your goal.

Sometimes, you may get too overwhelmed with excitement about a design competition that you forget to set reasonable expectations about winning or losing. To avoid disappointment, it’s good to consider additional benefits for participation other than the prize.

Taking part in an architecture competition, among other benefits, can help you build your portfolio and enhance your skills greatly. It also gives you the opportunity to express some of your wildest concepts with less responsibility. Can you have all of that and call yourself a loser? 😉

2- Choose competitions wisely.

Choose competitions wisely.

When it comes to architecture competitions, you will normally be presented with two options: ideas competitions and project competitions. Ideas competitions are generally less pragmatic and more accepting of bold design ideas, so if you are a college student who is still learning, you might have a better chance in these.

Nevertheless, if you think you are qualified enough to work on a design that could result in an actual commission, this can rather be a great learning experience! But don’t go through this alone. To increase your chances of success, collaborate with a team of skillful designers so that each one of you can contribute to the project in an equally-valued way.

3- Go beyond the project’s requirements.

Go beyond the project’s requirements.

Each competition will have a set of requirements and guidelines to which you must stick completely. These requirements are there to help you put forward a design proposal that fulfills the project’s minimum function, not to hamper your creativity.

Once you’ve ensured all the requirements are met in your design, feel free to enhance your concept and work on the aesthetics. One thing you should always remember, though: be original at all costs!

4- Make sure your presentation is compelling.

Make sure your presentation is compelling.

The second most important factor in winning an architecture competition after putting forward a great design is how ideally you present your concept through your entry. Some competitions have hundreds of participants, which means that your entry needs to be special in order to stand out.

One method to manage this is to work backward in your head before you start working on your design. Think about your end product. Put yourself in the shoes of the judging jury or the client. What does an impressive entry look like to you?

As a general rule of thumb, the renders you choose for presentation should be both attractive and contextual at the same time. See some of the best entries by contest winners on our platform!

5- Get a second opinion.

Get a second opinion

Your design is finally finished and ready to go. Great! But before you rush to place your entry, why not consult a friend or colleague? People who are seeing your design for the first time are more likely to point out possible flaws you’ve overlooked.

Also, never underestimate feedback from people with experience in this kind of competitions. Their feedback is extremely useful and will possibly change the game for you.

Are you planning to take part in architecture competitions in the near future? Keep these guidelines in mind and wait for the great results!

Don’t know where to start? DezynCle will provide you with a whole bunch of different design contests on a regular basis, so never miss out!

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