Des Baker Awards
Friday 2 Sept 5.30-7.30pm, OLS Atrium (MC Hugh Fraser)
Winning projects from each university will be on display on the Ground Floor of OLS for the duration of the conference. The national Des Baker Competition winner for 2016 will be announced at a ceremony in the OLS Atrium.
More than half of the world’s population, and about two thirds of South Africa’s, live in cities; and in an urbanised society, goals of improving liveability, sustainability, accessibility and mobility and various other conditions are paramount if our society is to ensure access to the city by all of its residents. At the same time, it is undeniable that our cities are often ridden with poorly strategized systems and inadequately designed facilities, and a need to transform the city towards principles of a better urban life, with limited resources, is great.
Consistent with this year’s theme of Scale, this competition asks you to think simultaneously at the scale of a city and its infrastructural systems, and at the scale of a small building or physical intervention.
Various approaches such as placemaking or tactical urbanism, in which relatively low-cost, often grass-roots organised alterations to urban space are made in order to affect positive change in the built environment, have been proliferating in cities across the world. These approaches are, however, often temporary in nature; this competition asks you to consider permanent interventions needed to promote a strategic bettering of the city. It asks you to identify a problem facing your city or metropolitan area that small design interventions may be a component of the solutions.
Your task is to design multiple small interventions (which can be referred to as ‘urban objects’) that are distributed across multiple locations in a decentralised manner, and networked as part of an urban strategy to address the problem you identify. This network may be physical or digital, but must be identifiable conceptually. The multitude of design objects may be identical to each other (a prototype approach) if this is an appropriate solution for each site, or may be unique objects (a tailored approach) which are specific to each site.
The permanence of the objects does not preclude them from being mobile; only that there must be a permanent station at which they may return regularly, and that they must be permanently usable.
A detailed design of at least one of the objects must form the core of the competition. Objects may be directly physically connected at an urban scale; however, the focus must be on the functionality of the connection and not the physical design of it by itself. Although the strategy development at the urban scale is an important factor, this is a competition of ideas that work at both the large and small scales, not one or the other.
- All work must be done either individually or in pairs (not more than 2 people). The competition project should be run over five weeks. Eligible students include only students of architecture at universities in the Southern African Development Community who are in their final year of an undergraduate degree programme in architecture (BAS, B.Tech or similar), or in the third year of a professionally accredited undergraduate programme in architecture (B.Arch or similar).
- Each institution may submit a maximum of two (2) entries, although only one (1) submission per institution may be exhibited.
- There may not be any identifying name or university symbols visible on displayed drawings, or models/artefacts. All work must be accompanied by the registration form (on Page 2 of this pack.)
- The intervention(s) must be located in any one of the cities or metropolitan areas which house a South African school of architecture. Students are not limited to the city/metropolitan area in which their university is located. The city/metropolitan area and the location of the interventions within the city must be clearly indicated on your competition boards following the template that will be distributed.
- Only one element within the network of interventions may be larger than 250m2 in floor area, and no element may be larger than 1000 m2. If an element is not a building with defined floor areas, it must be of a similar scale or footprint to the requirements above.
- Entries must include at least one construction detail.
- All work submitted must be submitted on three A1-sized boards according to the template that will be distributed, and as a model or artefact at any scale, though not to exceed 1000mm x 500mm x 500mm in dimensions. A submission area will be set up at the entrance to the AZA conference on the 31st of August, between 12h00 and 18h00. All entries must be received on or before 18h00 to be eligible.
The University of the Witwatersrand will invite keynote speakers of AZA2016 to be judges of this competition, as well as selected prominent members of the architectural and film communities.
Names will be released as soon as they are confirmed.
First prize: R 25 000
Second prize: R 15 000
Third prize: R 10 000
Prize money is donated by Murray & Roberts. (insert logo)
A submission shall be excluded from the competition:
- If received after the date and time of submission;
- If, in the opinion of the judges, it substantially differs from requirements of the brief;
- If a competitor discloses their identity or attempts to improperly influence the jury decision;
- If any of the mandatory requirements of the competition are not met.
Registration forms for the projects selected by each school have been circulated either to the relevant staff coordinating the project or the Head of School at each institution. It is also available for download here. Please ensure that all entries come with this form completed.
Please note that the registration form clearly indicates a specific submission time for the competition entries. If a student or students are unable to be present at this time, other arrangements must be made in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that a PDF of the display boards should accompany the physical submission (boards and model) at the time of submission. Students will have the the CD/DVD or USB drive used to submit the PDF returned to them.
Display board templates
As stated in the brief, students are to submit their display boards according to A package containing the template has been circulated either to the relevant staff coordinating the project or the Head of School at each institution, and is also available here. The templates allow considerable flexibility to accommodate the students’ designs, but should maintain the format. Projects which do not comply with the format will not be considered.
Responses to questions received
Q: We are sending two entries. Will both entries be displayed at the competition?
A: As stated in the brief, each school is allowed to submit two entries. All entries will be seen by the jury and will be considered for the award. Due to space limitations for the exhibition area at the AZA venue, depending on the number of entries received there is a chance not all of the projects will be on public display at all times.
Q: Can you help me with a link where I can find the ‘templates’ that are mentioned as part of the Des Baker brief?
A: This was circulated either to the relevant staff coordinating the project or the Head of School at each institution, and is available at the link above (see Display board templates).