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Berrin Chatzi Chousein

Editor-in-chief, World Architecture Community

Berrin Chatzi Chousein

What is the importance of architectural competitions in the architectural profession or in the contemporary architectural world? We are maybe asking and answering these questions constantly. However, I should reiterate that architectural competitions are not just a simple test medium of ideas, a medium of architectural exercises, or learning environments to deal with the notion of time.

The basic ingredients of the architectural contests, with their absolute base of

discourses, concepts, and ideas that are created through the contests, in fact, determine the building process of new ideas, the efficient use of time, the management of transparency in the participation process, and determine how it should serve in different layers throughout the whole competition process.

We should not forget that dozens of very important structures in the world of

architecture and the profession are still obtained through architectural competitions, which means, the architectural competitions tell us more about architecture, urbanization and cities, and most of them are implemented in a significant level of participatory process.

Undoubtedly, the area of exercise required by architectural competitions on different ideas and themes is indescribable; both in the architectural profession and in the academia. Meanwhile, I should state that every type of architectural competition (rather than the efforts and attempts to build that idea) is an encouraging, stimulating, provocative for a fast-paced mental exercise and didactic area for the new generation of architects. 24H’s architectural competitions, organized in an online environment, with different themes and concepts for many years, can be shown as a good example of this attitude. The most important emphasis here is the richness of 24H’s competitions and its format, which is completely atypical we are not familiar with. While all competitions are spread to 2 or 3 months, or more, these series can be described as a serious “mental

exercise” that includes the process of thinking, refreshing and the production of ideas in material form in a 24-hour period, by only knowing the theme in advance.

This limited time, undoubtedly, prepares the students of architecture and young

generation of architects, who will begin their practice in architecture, and restructures their efforts in an ever-changing technology world.

The fact that 24H organizes its competitions on different themes contributes to the

constantly changing architectural environment. Reprogramming the subjects that have never been considered or examined before with these competitions also helps to determine the architectural agenda for the next phases. However, the careful selection of series and themes in the 24H contests actually reprograms some perspectives that are perhaps not considered or spoken in any other way. In short, the variety and attentiveness of the chosen themes are both interesting for young architects and designers and they form new agendas to create a new discussion in architecture.

Perhaps, sometimes, it would be useful to make changes on the time format of the

competition to expand the exercise side of the competition. For example, the

competition can divide the contest’s program into 2 days or 3 days and wait for more radical solutions; the new format can be like concentrating on ideas that can be built in later stages. Thanks to this, I consider that the architecture competitions can also evolve themselves in time so that they can make social and radical transformations in the society.

To sum up, we witnessed for really good ideas and proposals during the 24H

competition series. Such proposals and intellectual exercises say that much more can actually happen and depends only on "a push and a triggering force." In short, the architecture competitions must set new goals and differentiate their program and format in regular basis.

I am grateful for this interactive effort of Hugo Merino Ferraz so far, regarding his

initiative for 24H competitions, as well as for providing me a real ground to contribute to the fresh ideas and discussions in the series.

I hope the series will continue with new adventures and initiatives….

Berrin Chatzi Chousein

Editor-in-chief, World Architecture Community


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