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Public debate on the role and relevance of design competitions

Jul 11, 2014
  • Article by Online Editor

Organised as a follow-on event to the Australian premier of the documentary The Competition, the Melbourne School of Design brings together a selection of architects, critics and academics, to discuss the status of design competitions in Melbourne and within the context of Australia in this public debate.

The recent public competition for Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station, the private re-development of 447 Collins Street, and the new Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, have each been determined by various design competition formats, and have garnered public and professional attention.

Despite the high-profile status of these projects, less and less projects are determined by means of design competitions, and those that are seem to be consistently awarded to the larger, more established practices. Have we lost the opportunity for design competitions to foster and support new talent?

Given the immense resources expended on competitions, given the move away from truly ‘open’ competitions, and given the lack of government policy to undertake design competitions for the majority of project commissions, do architectural design competitions remain relevant to architecture, architects and to society as a whole? Have opportunities for design competitions to create major public projects – such as the Sydney Opera House or Federation Square – been curtailed and eliminated?  Who are the losers when there are no more architectural design competitions to win?

When: 30 July, 6:30pm
Where: 
Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne, Carlton VIC

Register here

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