Unbuilt Visions promotes critical debate about architecture and design by acknowledging excellence in unbuilt projects. The competition provides an opportunity to engage with architecture, urbanism, interiors, and designed objects at the conceptual stage by recognizing work that offers a critical contribution to worldwide architectural discourse. Throughout time, unbuilt projects have exerted significant influence on the trajectory of global architecture and design.
Étienne-Louis Boullée’s monolithic Cenotaph for Newton expressed a sublime grandeur that continues to beguile contemporary architects. Le Corbusier’s utopian Ville Radieuse (1924) proposed a blueprint for social reform that radically transformed the design of 20th century cities worldwide. Mies van der Rohe’s austere concept for the Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Competition (1921) fostered a seachange in our perceptions and expectations of the modern commercial workplace.
Continual shifts in architectural theory and production drive new desires to create and address untapped opportunities. Reflecting forces of globalization and crisis, contemporary architects and designers are negotiating new territories, defining alternative approaches, and engaging untested methodologies. The increasingly multidisciplinary nature of our work has become more experimental, while correspondingly less classifiable.
In an era of significant technological innovation, speculative projects offer vast potential for advancing theoretical discourse, as well as alternative ways to intervene within the built environment. Yet there are inherent risks and challenges attached to exploring uncharted frontiers. In the 21st century, which unbuilt ideas will reflect the most salient and avant-garde notions of our time?
Unbuilt Visions recognizes excellence in projects that to date remain unbuilt. Theoretical, academic, and other unbuilt projects will be juried and awarded by a distinguished international panel of architects, designers, theorists, and historians. All projects submitted to the competition will be considered for publication in ‘Unbuilt Visions I’, the first volume in a series that will collect, curate, and document transitions in unbuilt architecture and design.
Sponsored by New York-based d3, this annual program is open to all architects, landscape architects, designers, students, and other makers of the built environment. Unbuilt architecture and design projects of any type are eligible. There are no restrictions on site, program, or geographic location.