Submitted by Pappal Suneja

Essay Writing Contest: 'Reimagining Architecture as a Cognitive Space': Open Call

India Architecture News - May 26, 2021 - 14:24   6435 views

Essay Writing Contest: 'Reimagining Architecture as a Cognitive Space': Open Call

Essay Writing Contest, 1st Cycle is the Sixteenth initiative of the Architectural Journalism & Criticism Organization founded by architect Pappal Suneja to spread awareness about this subject and sow the seeds of inspiration to explore and write about Architecture and allied fields from a thinker’s perspective.

Theme for the Series in this cycle is 'Reimagining Architecture as a Cognitive Space’ – from Product to Process.

Brief- We are shaped by what we experience. This is an often-heard refrain. But what does it really mean? How does the experience of modern architecture shape us in the way we think? Or does it? How does brain architecture get shaped by architecture in general? What do children imbibe when they encounter modern spaces and artifacts? Do children get to encounter any process? What is the message architecture gives children? More important, what does it hide from children? How does the so-called child-friendliness impact children? Is there any process-oriented architecture? Life is a process, so is the child, but in order to awaken the inherent sense of process, the child needs to engage with the processes around. But the child, in the context of modernity, only encounters products and processes trapped within products - the same way intuition is trapped within reason, spontaneity is trapped within planning and how unknown is trapped within the known. 

How do senses work within the confines of the mind? Modernity in general has taken out what it takes to be nature-centric human beings. Anthropocentrism is the default being-ness of modern humans, as it has taken away some crucial aspects that we need to experience when our brains get formed. The child, in their first twelve years, gets rooted in its context and imbibes the characteristics and shapes its cognitive foundation. The window to see the world, the frame of reference to make sense of the world around. Its ethical foundation is set here and if it happens according to the demands of life is about sustaining life. This means sustainability is part of our biological wiring. Let us not forget the homogenization of human cultures, one of the reasoning being modern architecture. Could we reimagine architecture as a cognitive condition/space/source that makes us nature-centric by default? What lessons can one learn from indigenous architecture where it means to achieve bio-centrism as default?

We welcome entries in two categories – Collegians and Open (25-100 years of age).

Submission Guidelines:

- Submissions are open to all writers in English. International submissions are welcome.

- Maximum two entries per registrant are allowed.

- The Essay may be accompanied by an Illustration/Photograph (optional).

- Each essay should not exceed 800-1000 words.

- Participants can freely choose 'one' or 'more' questions from the above mentioned theme.

- The entry along with the registration screenshot should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line Essay Writing Contest, 1st Cycle - Category (collegians, and Open) in a word document with 12 pt., Arial font, single-line spacing.

- All entrants must mention any of their social media handles with the submission (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook)

- The submission should be an original work of the entrant and will go through a plagiarism test.

- We will announce the winners on 24th July 2021.

Jury Panel for the Competition comprises

- Jinan KB, Design Educator & Researcher, India

- Masood Khan, Architect & Heritage Consultant, United States of America

- Pappal Suneja, PhD Scholar, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany

- Miguel Castaño, Product Designer & Researcher, Colombia & Germany


Submission and registration window for the Series opens on 26th May 2021 – 6th July 2021 (11:59 pm IST/8:29 pm CEST)

- Early Bird Registration till 12th June 2021, (600 INR for participants from India and 11 Euros for International Participants)

Indian Participants can follow the link to register, and International Participants can enter here.

- Standard Registration till 4th July 2021, (750 INR for participants from India and 15 Euros for International Participants)

For Queries, Contact: [email protected]

Winning Prizes for the Competition are

Citation Award

An AJC curated set of books worth 11000 INR/150 USD.

Special Mention 1

An AJC curated set of books worth 7500 INR/100 USD.

Special Mention 2

An AJC curated set of books worth 7500 INR/100 USD.

Besides this, we shall send attested E-Certificates of Participation to all the entrants and the winning entries shall be featured on several web architectural portals. Also, the best entries shall be complied as an Anthology with ISBN No. after the successful run of all the cycles under this Series.

Note: AJC is a non-profitable initiative and supports underprivileged children of the society, we are also in the process to expand our reach; thus interested organizations may contact us in this regard. For further updates, Visit the Instagram and Facebook handle of the Organisation.

Head Image Design © Saurav Eknath Bavalekar.

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