The Self-Sufficient City: Envisioning the Habitat of the Future

This is the Third Advanced Architecture Competition, whose aim is to promote online discussion and research through which to generate insights and visions, ideas and proposals that help us envisage what the city and the habitat of the 21st century will be like. Organized by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and HP, the competition is aimed at architects, planners, designers and artists.  


The jury – composed of architects, directors of some of the world’s best architecture schools, and mayors of cities like Barcelona – is looking for outstanding proposals for any city in the world, at any scale, and within any time scale. The projects should include photographs, drawings and text to make them clearly understandable.


“We live in a time of historic changes in which we need to define new paradigms of habitability for the 21st century,” says Lucas Cappelli, IAAC Research Director and competition coordinator, “and this global platform will stimulate reflection from multiple points of view at the scale of the building or the neighbourhood for any city in the world.”


The competition prizes consist of two scholarships for the IAAC Masters in Advanced Architecture for the  2010/2011 academic year, cash prizes, and latest-generation large-format HP printers. The selected projects will go on show in a major exhibition, which will open in Barcelona in May 2010 and then travel to London, Chicago, Mumbai and Addis Ababa. The best projects will be included in a book to be published by Actar.


Proposals may be submitted online at until September 28, 2009. The names of the finalists and the overall winner will be announced in January 2010.


The Self-Sufficient City is the third Advanced Architecture Contest organized by the IAAC since 2005. The first competition, based on the theme of Self-Sufficient Housing, attracted entries from more than 2,500 architects and students from 108 countries, clearly demonstrating the potential of the Internet as a medium for researching new architecture. The special book of the shortlisted projects was a finalist in the prestigious RIBA International Book Awards for Architecture 2007. The second competition tackled the theme of self-sufficient housing. The winners of the previous competitions – from France, China and Spain – have completed the IAAC Masters course and are currently working on a range of research projects.


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