NonA Weekly | Premium: HOW TO WIN AT ARCHITECTURE BY WINNING COMPETITIONS | 2
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Dear readers and friends,
We meet again!
For those of you who have been distracted, a warning: this is now our regular newsletter.
Yes, this is a new series of newsletters where we share tricks and strategies to help you reach your professional objectives and succeed as a designer.
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Following our last newsletter, here are the missing tips on How to Win at Architecture by Winning Competitions:
4 TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF TWINNING DESIGN COMPETITIONS
We will not lie to you, there is no perfect recipe for winning competitions. But after organizing more than 25 we can definitely share some good insights to bring the odds in your favour.
// NUMBER 3, SURPRISE THE JURORS OR DON’T.
Who is the jury? What do they value and what do they know?
At end of the day, they will be selecting a winner, so why not spend some time getting to know them better?
The more you are able to understand what they value, the higher are your chance to develop something that will impress them.
In particular, focus on their professional interests and expertise, but don’t leave behind their human side. You might find in your research something that will help you craft a project and a presentation narrative that will appeal to them.
It might be a visual trick that makes your project stand out, a reference to their favourite architectural master or a design concept that delves into their field of expertise.
THE MORE YOU ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY VALUE, THE HIGHER ARE YOUR CHANCE TO DEVELOP SOMETHING THAT WILL IMPRESS THEM.
A jury is not one single individual. They are a collectivity, so you will have to address them all. Therefore, look for a shared interest, or on the contrary, something they all don’t know.
Up to you to decide. In other words…Positioning! Point 1, remember?
Some practical examples:
We will help you out, going further into detail with some insights from communication theory and route to persuasion in the coming newsletters.
// 4. TRICK THE PROCESS AND CHALLENGE THE BRIEF
Last but not least: the brief.
Here are a few points you should keep in mind:
First, competition briefs are written by competition organizers, not by the jury. On the contrary, jurors will select the winners – for most competitions – and they will do it weeks or even months after reading the design brief.
Second, competition briefs are written before the competition, not after. Therefore, it is impossible for organizers to foresee all the creative outcomes and smart solutions that might be out there.
When we ask, we do not know what we will get, therefore we have to pose an open question. And most importantly, we often do not know what kind of answer we want.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ORGANIZERS TO FORESEE ALL THE CREATIVE OUTCOMES AND SMART SOLUTIONS THAT MIGHT BE OUT THERE.
In your next competition try this:
A. understand what in the brief is a fixed rule and what instead can be challenged. This will give you a lot of freedom to do something radical and address core issues openly.
B. use the brief to get to the root of the problem. Why is this competition happening? What is the key problem and need this competition is trying to address?
Answering these questions will help you focus on what really matters rather than getting lost in a lot of details.
We will use the “How to Win at Architecture” to share more behind curtain insights from the perspective of competition organizers.
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