How to win an architecture competition? | Part 2

Last week, we mentioned the first 5 recommendations of winning an architecture competition in one of our articles.

Here are the 5 remaining hashtags / tips that you need to keep in mind:

#concept: Start with a strong concept!


Perhaps the hardest and most decisive step is to roll up your sleeves to come up with a strong concept. Still, it is one of the most important decisions because if you start creating with a strong concept, the chances of winning will increase considerably. 


No matter what the topic of the competition is, new and different ideas are always more valuable. However, just a new and different concept is not enough. At the same time, it should be a good solution created by what was asked of you in the brief. By all manner of means, it is important to be able to get answers to the “why” questions in competitions.


It is equally important to carry the created strong concept simply and understandably until the end of the competition. The concept should show itself in the presentation and should not be lost in crowded ideas.



Starting with a strong concept, increases the possibility of winning considerably.


#originality: Show what YOU do best!


The next thing to think about after a strong concept is how to represent it. At this stage, it is wiser to use the mediums you are best at than to try and risk new techniques and programs. Instead of worrying about which program to use, you need to decide how best to explain the concept. 


To speed up the process and not get stuck afterward, you can choose the medium which you feel most comfortable with while applying it. It is also possible to use several tools together to come up with original representations.


Do not forget that it is very important that your design is completely original to stand out in front of the jury. Competitions are platforms where you can show your skills and style in the best way. For this reason, choosing the area where you can express yourself best will not only give you confidence but also allow you to explain your project better. 


#presentation: Represent your idea effectively and clearly!


You brought your design to the desired level with a strong concept, during days of hard work, using the best tools for you. After this stage, there is only one thing left to do, and that is to explain your work and ideas to the other person in the best way possible.


Presentation boards are the only way to explain your design to the jury and convey your thoughts completely. Considering that the jury examines a lot of submissions in a short period of time, your boards need to be both clear on a glance and strikingly special. To achieve this, non-chaotic, explanatory, direct to the point and attractive drawings/visuals should be used. 


You may have developed your concept in many ways and touched on many points in your design, but you can fit a limited amount of information on the boards. Determining which details will be included in the drawings and visuals and making the production of the images in the light of this decision will save the representation from a busy crowd. 


The most logical way to achieve this is to advance the layout design of the boards with the development of the project. Start planning the layout of your presentation boards at the beginning, by thinking about what and how you will convey all the ideas, using placeholder images and texts. In this way, you will not only know what you need to produce, so you will get rid of too much workload, but also you will be able to create an interesting layout design that is free from unnecessary information. 



Presentation boards are the only way to explain your design to the jury and convey your thoughts completely.


#critics: Show your project and ask for opinions!


You are aware of all the details about your project, the ideas behind it, the side thoughts and developments from the very beginning. When you look at your boards from where you are, you may think that your project is very clear and easy to understand. But, is it so? 


The best way to test this is to show your design to your friends, colleagues, or family and get their opinions. In this way, you will realize the points you missed and that the jury may not understand at first glance. Receiving comments about your design from others can give you new perspectives, reveal your mistakes and allow you to come up with new ideas. 


You should keep in mind that it is equally important to keep this exchange of ideas in proportion and to preserve the originality of the design. 


#confidence: Do your best and be proud of yourself!


As it was mentioned before, winning is good and everybody wants to win. But do not forget that competitions are also for improving yourself, adding another good project to your portfolio, and showing your best sides and talents. If you win, that’s a big plus on top of that much return. 


Don’t fail to enter a competition because you think you can’t win. Besides your own experience, you can learn a lot even by examining projects developed by others on the same topic. Even if you don’t win this time, there will be another time.


Don’t forget the goals you set at the beginning and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Unless you trust your project, can you expect someone else to support it? And unless you enter a contest, how do you know if you can win it? 



If you have achieved the goals you set when you started the competition, you have already won.


Now that you have got all the tips, you are ready to give it a shot! You can check our current architectural competitions and show yourself in one that you are interested in.


Or, make your coffee ready for the newly released NonA Award and credit one of your previous unbuildable designs. 


Good luck!

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