Call for submissions: 2023 CAAJ student competition

The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice (CAAJ) invites architecture students to participate in its 2023 competition, “A New Frontier – The Contemporary Border Crossing.”

The competition explores the crossing of a barrier between two nations. The nature and meaning of this barrier are very specific to its location and the different characters of the nations involved. Borders can mark dramatic transitions between different cultures, political systems, economies, and levels of freedom. They range from open and undefended to closed and heavily militarized.

In many places around the world, borders are under stress and evolving to respond to war, migration pressures, the ebb and flow of political alliances, the creation and removal of trade barriers, the threat of terrorism, the movement of illegal drug and weapons, and the spread of disease.

Border crossing architecture is the physical manifestation of the balance between evolving security concerns and the desire to welcome visitors and newcomers while symbolically marking the entry into a new country.

Individual students or teams worldwide are welcome to enter the competition. Participants must be currently enrolled in a school of architecture – winners will be expected to provide proof either consisting of a recent transcript or letter from the school explaining their status. Students who are taking time off from their studies to seek work experience, but remain in the process of becoming an architect, are also eligible to apply. Students in their final year who might have completed their studies after January 2021, but before the submission date, are still eligible.

The design will be evaluated by a jury of experts, architects and industry professionals. Participants are highly encouraged to explore a wide spectrum of architectural responses from functional and practical at one end to philosophical and social at the other. This includes ways in which this building or complex could be integrated into the surrounding context and community, act as a catalyst for building a positive relationship between two nations, and address what a border entry means in today’s context.

The first prize winner will receive $3,000, and the second and third prize winners will receive $1,000. Submissions must be compeleted by June 30, 2023.