Is a scam?

I have done a few competitions, among which there is this website that is expensive ($110 or so) to join each competition. Besides its relatively high fee, I have a few doubts about it and would like to hear your opinions.

1. No feedback at all after submission. You have to go to the website to find out that they actually announced the result...That seems very lack of care.

2. It constantly holds concept/idea competitions. You can find quite a few ongoing ones any time you go there. However, it does not seem any will get built because they are calling for concept submissions. That makes me wonder what's the point for us designers to pay the organizer in order to share our designs with them.

3. Publicity. I am not sure even if one wins, how valuable is their publication. Anyone knows.

I am also looking into a few other competition websites. I just can't help but wonder if anyone shares the feeling about this website as I do.

Dec 7, 22 10:50 am

Wow, this seems totally shady...

Dec 7, 22 12:36 pm  · 

It's a remarkably lucrative gig. Get your friends to moonlight as jury, come up with some social media friendly brief with the right lingo and watch the fees roll in.

In general, I've noticed that "real" competitions organized by municipalities and other bodies actually looking for good ideas with a shot at construction do NOT charge fees. They are not short on money and are genuinely on the prowl for designs. They do not require fees to run themselves.

As for imaginary competitions that require fees, judge them by their publicity. If it does not offer a credible publication platform, then to hell with them.

Instead do your own projects, develop your own philosophy, and publish them on your own social media. Coming up with your own brief is a project in itself and forces one to come to grips with your view of the world and its design challenges.

Think of it this way: Should you design to please the jury, or use the project as an exercise to explore and express your specific design viewpoint?

Some of the most powerful self-initiated projects I've seen came from the fruit of the designers' struggles with their position as creators. What do I care about? What issues, approaches, workflows am I genuinely interested in? Sometimes these inner struggles could yield more rewarding projects than responding to yet another brief calling for dream hotels and stackable housing.

Dec 7, 22 12:49 pm  · 
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Dec 7, 22 1:19 pm  · 
1  · 

Dec 8, 22 12:33 am  · 


Dec 8, 22 12:33 am  · 

LMAO - An competition about why you're doing competitions.  Soon they'll be having competitions to come up with competition briefs, these lazy bums ...

Dec 8, 22 1:53 pm  · 

ha, I never thought there could be a competition about doing competitions...Something feels off about it.

Dec 8, 22 6:33 pm  · 

Not a scam. It’s fantasy porn, and you are mentally masterbating to it.

Dec 9, 22 5:20 pm  · 

Paid competitions are really lame. They pool the entrance fee. Pay the jurors some money. Pay the first prize some money. Bank the rest of the money. The person winning can put this " blah blah competition first prize" on their resume. Runs like a business.

Free competition real project but needs prequalification. These are nice but it will always be shortlisted to the big name starchitects with proven track records.

Free competition with no qualification requirements. Very rare. But worthy of doing.

Dec 9, 22 5:36 pm  · 
1  · 

Yeah, that San Diego competition to design a new memorial was a rare breed. Free, with the political will and financial muscle to build the winning project, and all the attendant mainstream publicity that follows a real project.

Dec 23, 22 2:06 pm  · 

Anyone has recommendations on good competition websites?

Dec 22, 22 11:33 am  · 

Bustler is still the biggest aggregator around and it occasionally posts legit competitions by cities and NGOs but you might want to look up RFP/RFQ websites on municipal portals. Most of these aren't accessible without an account though.

Dec 23, 22 2:05 pm  · 
1  · 

The design competitions I see today are a joke and will not participate in them.
Over the years they have changed.  I don't know exactly when they changed but definitely after 911.
Open international competitions used to be about significant government projects. An Embassy maybe. The Plan of Washington  DC was a competition. Now we get bee houses and a BnB somewhere.
The submissions for 911 ended it.......

Dec 22, 22 11:03 pm  · 

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