CALL FOR MATERIALS - Non Architecture Competitions




Non Architecture competitions is an initiative pointed at finding and bringing forward unconventional and unexplored design solutions in the field of architecture. It practically consists of a series of nine competitions, organized in a time frame of three years, this competition presents itself as a special competition. All competitions have their focus on finding innovative approaches to a specific architecture topic, always related to a functional issue.

The aim of the “DYING” competition is to develop design proposals for the cemeteries, intended as a space – either material or immaterial – where we bury, honor or remember the dead.

We want to publish a book for each competition where we will insert the best projects but also a series of material that talk about each topic, a collective research to create an ongoing conversation. The tenth competition closed on 31 August and 50 projects are being selected. This call for materials has the purpose to collect the rest of the elements regarding this topic and necessary for the book on non-conventional Cemeteries.



NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS wants to investigate the effective actions of what the Cemetery typology is today and what is becoming. This throughout a series of elements and instruments such as articles, infographics, schemes and ideas based upon studies and personal outlook on the matter. These elements need to investigate the role, not only within the city but in our society…devices, furniture, versatile or temporary spaces, all the broad range that this element is and represents.

They need to answer the question and arise critics from the history of the Cemeteries, to what they have become today and what they will be, in order to have a spectrum of ideas that will initiate debates and develop new concepts for this subject. We are looking for a series of elements that narrate the revolution that is happening throughout reporting it, describing it, photographing it, and collecting its data, in order to meet the responsible protagonist of this change.


Topics overview

cemetery noun [C] A place or an area of ground in which dead people are buried.

History has showed us different approaches related to the dying experience.

Burial grounds, graveyards, cemeteries, memorial parks and deathscapes; while all of these words describe the same type of space within a community, each word conjures a different vision.

Historically cemeteries were at the periphery of the city, but over time they were integrated into the urban fabric. Cemeteries can often be found near churches, or in big parks in cities, usually gated off because the ground has been consecrated, or blessed.

In times of accelerating urbanization and densification, cemeteries face the challenge of keeping up their relevance as a public urban space. This condition is not only an issue of space, but also of cultural identity that can be projected within its environment. The way the deceased are buried is reflective of the social, cultural, political, and religious views of the living.

Many cemeteries have areas based on different styles, reflecting the diversity of cultural practices around death and how it changes over time. We can say that contemporary cemeteries adapt and mutate, taking on and developing a variety of new educational, environmental and historical functions. They contain multiple meanings and they are both utterly mundane and extraordinary.

As we search for new ways to deal with the increasing amounts of the dead, new technology, and restraints on space, there are new possibilities for burial grounds that are being introduced.

The question is how the dying experience can be reformed in the future, and respectively, how the concept of the cemetery as a space with material and immaterial characteristics can be reinvented?

As follows, very essential aspects of conventional cemeteries can be questioned: o recognize the cemetery as a place, we need to understand the built, natural and conceptual components of urban landscapes collectively. How does the convergence of the physical and sociological concerns reflects on the connection between the ways we think about and represent cemeteries and the ways in which we use such spaces?

– Being an area increasingly considered a component of lived urban environments in the past, how can the cemetery begin to engage with its urban context? Should it begin to change over time to activate the qualities of porosity and hybridity? Or should it be detached from the urban landscape?

– Social media constitute new social spaces where the topics of death, loss, and mourning are increasingly encountered. Will social media reconfigure the process by which we mourn and remember those who passed away? Does it serve as a way to subtly engage with the emotional content of death? Or does it translate in a lack of empathy?

– How can the cemetery design change to address the modern issues of sustainability and community open space while respecting and aiding the healing process?

They need to be key ingredients in a vast study of this ever-changing and socially important element, which also represents a place where some may consider it as the “final destination”.


Materials guidelines

The call for materials defines the field of interest of unconventional universities and produces a context in which to situate contributions.

Contributions can be uploaded in the form of:

– Essay: a brief compositions that describe, clarifies, argues, or analyzes a subject.

– Infographic: a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram.

– Photo essay: an account of something told predominantly through photographs, with some accompanying text.

– Illustration(s): a visualization or a depiction of a subject, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, or another kind of image, using a graphical representation.


Materials details

>For the ESSAY: Your paper must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format using the below format: must be between 500-1000 words in A4 papers with a Calibri font of 10 pt. A good reference comes from the Academic Conferences and Publishing International:

>For the INFOGRAPHIC: All the data must have provided sources and proof checked. This must also be submitted in A4 papers and in a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format. A good reference comes from the Office for National Statistics:

>For the PHOTO ESSAY: A series of photos with title and subtitle of the project. An introduction to the work of maximum 300 words in a Calibri font of 10 pt. For each shot, a caption is needed. This must also be submitted in A4 papers and in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). All photos must be taken by the author. A good reference comes from the Time magazine:,29307,1814377_1723606,00.html

>For the ILLUSTRATION(S): A drawing or a series of drawings with title and subtitle of the project. An introduction to the work of maximum 300 words in a Calibri font of 10 pt. For each drawing, a caption is needed. This must also be submitted in A4 papers and in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). All work must be done by the author.


Submission details

>A draft of the submission should be electronically sent to the editor of NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS between the 1st of October and the 1st of November at Accepted proposals will then be published in our book by the editorial board.

>Submissions must be written in English.

>Please ensure your materials are carefully proofread and checked before uploading.

>By submitting a document you declare the paternity of the material submitted and you give rights of publication to NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS. All the articles selected will be published indicating the author’s name. Small changes might be operated by the Non Architecture Team to make the submission a better fit for the publication.

>For questions and inquiries you can contact us on our Facebook Page or you can reach the Non Architecture Editor at