From endearing and colorful to clandestine and foreboding, Blank Space's annual Fairy Tales Architecture Competition is back a second time with more architectural anecdotes to tell. Blank Space co-founders Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Giuliani started the open competition as one way to showcase how architecture shapes society and vice versa in a multitude of perspectives. Young architects, designers, artists, illustrators, writers and the creatively inclined worldwide put their storytelling skills to the test by creating their own architectural fairy tale narrative. In its inaugural run, the competition attracted over 300 entries from 50 countries. One year later, 1,200 participants based in 65 countries submitted entries.
The jury awarded the $1,500 first prize to Empty by Zigeng Wang, a Masters student at Princeton University. Wang's rich, sci fi-inspired illustrations narrate the ethical and environmental dilemmas of a post-industrial and globalized world. The story attempts to "uncover the contradictions and tensions in the geographic landscape of capitalist activity, the questioning of globalization and the predicament of human beings," Wang describes.
Second place ($1,000) went to Beautifully Banal by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis. Described as "a delightful style exercise" that takes an alternative approach to "the everyday", the story uses CAD drawings to illustrate the rather familiar scenario of a fly trapped inside an office building.
Third place resulted in a tie ($500 each): CTRL C - CTRL ME by Pauline Marcombe, Helene Marcombe, and Jay Robinson is about a shrinking architect that continues to grow smaller and weary as she gives in to the dominating rules of technology and business -- acting as a relatable metaphor of "what happens in the passage from inspiration to regulation."
The other third place award went to Samantha Lee and Zhan Wang with “Screenland, By A Pixel", which features bright, almost disorienting drawings that imagine the alien micro landscape of the familiar, almighty pixel.
Eleven Honorable Mentions were also announced (in thumbnails below):
The 2015 jury: Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at the MoMA); Karim Rashid (Designer); Yves Behar (CEO of Fuseproject); John Hoke (VP Global Design at Nike); Jaime Derringer (Founder, Design Milk); Stanley Tigerman, FAIA (Tigerman McCurry Architects); Juergen Mayer (J Mayer H Architects); Shohei Shigematsu (Partner, OMA); Hunter Tura (CEO, Bruce Mau Design); Andy Hunter (Co Founder, Electric Literature); and Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Giuliani (Co Founders, Blank Space).
Winning entries, honorable mentions, and selected notable entries will be published in Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells a Story Volume 2, designed by Bruce Mau Design with a special cover by artist Vicente Garcia-Morillo. Copies are available for pre-order at a discounted price of $14. The book will ship in June.
Find the full narratives of the winning + honorable mention entries here.