Earlier this year, Archinect brought you the Michael Jackson Memorial Competition . Now let's turn our focus towards current events and delve into the strange intersection of religious rights, freedom of expression, and architecture. This is an open call for ideas to help Switzerland navigate its recent difficulties with minarets. We look forward to your proposals.
After December 18th, a representative selection of the proposals will be featured here.
On Sunday, November 29th, 2009, the citizens of Switzerland overwhelmingly passed a referendum banning the construction of new minarets in their country. With this move, the ban will be added to the Swiss Federal Constitution – a new and dubious level of status for an architectural element to reach.
Optimistically, let’s put aside questions of religious persecution and think about this as a design problem: what are the tensions within the built environment that made this ban possible? When the law is a flaw, what does design offer?
This is a tale of equality in confrontation with equanimity. On the one hand, the right to religious freedom should include reasonable material expression: every church with its cross, every mosque with its minaret . On the other hand, the atmosphere and image of Switzerland’s picturesque Cantons are so finely crafted and manicured that formal deviation disturbs the calm.
To address this impasse between the rightful expression of the Muslim religion and the value of Switzerland’s overwhelmingly scenic environment, we challenge you to design a solution that allows the best of both worlds. Can you design a minaret as event rather than object?
Your task is to design a deployable minaret that can attain full presence, visible from a distance, during each of the five daily calls to prayer.
You may use any technology you like, choose any site in Switzerland, and your minaret may reach any height so long as it’s at least twice as high as the building it sprouts from.
After the lengthy discussion below we're scratching this part out in an effort to broaden the variety of proposals.
Entries must be submitted as a single image that depicts both the deployed and hidden states.
Entries must be added to the Switzerland, We Have A Problem group pool on Flickr.
1. Get yourself a Flickr account.
2. Upload your image to your own Flickr account
3. Navigate to this page to add your image to the pool .
All entries must be submitted no later than December 18 at 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time.
 OK, so not every mosque has a minaret (actually there are only four in Switzerland), but every mosque should have the option to have one.