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theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

United States Architecture News - Feb 01, 2021 - 11:53   5661 views

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

theCharette has announced the winners of its Alternate Realities 2020 competition. The aim of the competition The aim of the competition was "to explore wild design ideas – what architecture truly means and what it can achieve without any constraints." 

The winners created wild and create spectacular designs that grab the world’s attention. The intention was to spark a conversation regarding issues plaguing the world through design dialogue.

The competition brief was to propose an architectural response to an issue that the world is facing – climate change, pandemics, biological warfare, nuclear proliferation, social inequality, etc.

"Your design doesn’t necessarily have to be a solution. It can also be a visual commentary. Your Architectural Response may fall anywhere on the Utopia – Dystopia spectrum. Remember, reality can be anything you want it to be in this realm," said theCharette.

First prize went to Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh from USA for their "Icarus" proposal, while the second prize went to Anoovab Deka and Inez Low from United Kingdom for their "The Coffin Maker". 

Third prize went to Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar for his "Protective Skins" project. 

The competition selected the 10 Honorable Mentions. 

See the three winning projects with their short descriptions below:


theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

1st prize winner: Icarus: Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh from USA. Image courtesy of Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh

1st prize winner: Icarus: Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh from USA 

"The world of Icarus posits one simple idea: what if humans had wings? What if we had evolved with wings as just another anatomical appendage, as fundamental and ordinary as an arm or leg? This premise opens up contingencies that affect every part of the para-human history – from the way we survive, to the way we transport, the way we clothe, interact, and so on. More importantly, how do we cultivate our built environment?"

Jury Comments

"These designs are complex and innovative. The proposal takes the concept of airships and balloons and adds a delightful mannerism to their forms.“

"If angelology is the study of angels, then this is angel-tecture– a fantastic counterfactual proposal that simply imagines how architecture might be different if humans had wings."

"Change one human characteristic, and you get a true alternate reality. The timeline of the evolution is well thought of."

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

1st prize winner: Icarus: Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh from USA. Image courtesy of Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

1st prize winner: Icarus: Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh from USA. Image courtesy of Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

1st prize winner: Icarus: Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh from USA. Image courtesy of Gary Polk and Jungjae Suh


theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

2nd prize winner: The Coffin Maker: Anoovab Deka and Inez Low from United Kingdom. Image courtesy of Anoovab Deka and Inez Low

2nd prize winner: The Coffin Maker: Anoovab Deka and Inez Low from United Kingdom 

"A lowly Coffin Maker stands on Bitter Street, looking upon the vastness of the Red Station. Earth no longer exists. What lay in between are meteor debris and rocks that float on cyclically. All plans fell apart when the Space Chorus XXX5735 malfunctioned and exploded on its course to Mars. Highly capable and skilled, the Coffin Maker collected as many remnants as she could and started to build upon the abandoned structure, and eventually, forming a network that connects to nearby planets and space stations."

Jury Comments

"Beautifully presented, with a richness to the layering of designs and colors. The proposal and presentation is exquisitely poetic."

"A gorgeous and haunting vision of a future that is entirely original."

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

2nd prize winner: The Coffin Maker: Anoovab Deka and Inez Low from United Kingdom. Image courtesy of Anoovab Deka and Inez Low

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

2nd prize winner: The Coffin Maker: Anoovab Deka and Inez Low from United Kingdom. Image courtesy of Anoovab Deka and Inez Low

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

2nd prize winner: The Coffin Maker: Anoovab Deka and Inez Low from United Kingdom. Image courtesy of Anoovab Deka and Inez Low


theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

3rd prize winner: Protective Skins: Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar. Image courtesy of Jon Andrew Sealey

3rd prize winner: Protective Skins: Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar

"The proposal focuses on material performance and expression. It hypothesis on the supernatural and the amplification of human abilities."

Jury Comments

"Part architecture part fashion– or perhaps there’s less of a difference than we thought? This proposal deftly imagines a future where we need more and more forms of protection from an increasingly dangerous ecology and environment. Creepy, haunting, gorgeous. I would totally wear one of these."

"Research on a very human scale, great way of thinking."

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

3rd prize winner: Protective Skins: Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar. Image courtesy of Jon Andrew Sealey

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

3rd prize winner: Protective Skins: Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar. Image courtesy of Jon Andrew Sealey

theCharette announces winners for Alternate Realities 2020 competition

3rd prize winner: Protective Skins: Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar. Image courtesy of Jon Andrew Sealey

See the full winning projects on theCharette's website

> via theCharette