Chupin, Jean-Pierre, “The Canadian Competitions Catalogue. Digital Libraries of Project as Collective Legacy”, in Chupin J.P., Cucuzzella, C., Helal, B., Architecture Competitions and the Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge (An International Inquiry), Montréal, Potential Architecture Books, 2015. Pages: 232-253


After presenting a short history of the Canadian Competitions Catalogue (CCC) (, we propose to reflect on a decade of personal experience in the building and use of digital libraries of competitions projects, here presented as “Electronic Libraries of Projects” (ELP). From a more epistemological perspective, we question the problematic location of the entity “clients” in the ontological structure of any competition database as an invitation to recognize that the logical structure of a specifically designed and long-tested relational database, such as the CCC, already offers itself as a theoretical reconstruction of this complex temporal phenomenon called “design competition.” We conclude with an appeal to develop and connect multiple libraries of competition projects, at an international level, as a form of recognition of the inherent value of the numerous unbuilt architectures produced through competitions. Indeed, this world of possibilities, solutions and ideas should be seen as contributing to an extensive reservoir of “potential architecture” partaking of a collective legacy, if not a world heritage, of environmental design projects.