Young Architects in Competitions (When Competitions and a New Generation of Ideas Elevate Architectural Quality)


Chupin, Jean-Pierre, Collyer, G. Stanley, (2020), Potential Architecture Books, Montréal, 9781988962047 (PDF), This book presents a set of data and case studies arguing the decisive role of young architecture, urban planning and landscape design firms in competitions. The data gleaned from the international level demonstrate that young architects are proving to be able to match or exceed the capabilities of their most experienced competitors in designing high-quality built environments. The dossier is constructed to counter and criticize a post-2000 trend that has contributed to the exclusion of many young architectural firms from competitions on the alleged basis of their inexperience. The book briefly presents a vast, non-exhaustive repertoire of architectural achievements, emphasizing the astonishing precociousness of the associated firms. It includes examples of international competitions, grouped by region. Over time, it becomes clear that the work of young architects has contributed greatly to several major projects of contemporary historical memory. After analyzing a period spanning nearly five decades, the book concludes that an emphasis on Requests for Qualifications (RfQ) is not the sole reason many architectural firms face rejection. It hypothesizes that our society’s fondness for a priori control procedures should also be called into question, at least if we desire our places of culture and civic representation to sustain the generations that live and benefit from them. Can architecture preserve its legitimacy when it questions its renewal even by excluding young architects from the synergistic activity and democratic participation so emblematic of project competitions?, 158

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