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. All competitions have their focus on finding innovative approaches to a specific architecture topic, always related to a functional issue.
The aim of the “Learning” competition is to develop design proposals for the university, intended as a space of higher education, training and teaching on all levels and disciplines. It is asked to the participants to create innovative and unconventional projects on this theme, questioning the very basis of the notion of the University.
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 seventh competition closed on 30 December 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 Universities.

NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS wants to investigate the effective actions of what the University 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 in one perspective but on many levels such as places to learn, collaborate, share, meet people and to get inspired…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 University, 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
university noun [C] A high-level educational institution in which students study for degrees and academic research is done.

Recently a series of new initiatives have emerged in relation to learning experience. The digitalization of education empowered processes of serious gaming as a learning tool, through app and interface, while video tutorials introduced a brand new dimension of bottom-up knowledge sharing movements.
Organizations like Coursera, TED and Edx managed to grasp the qualities of remote learning and translated them into professional educational tools, providing online courses and lectures for anyone around the world. Along the same line, many universities started providing entire programs online, reducing costs and giving large flexibility to their students.
On the other hand, many institutions still rely and invest in direct human interaction as main vehicle for education.
Innovation operates by empowering not only the teacher-student relationship, but also the potential for collaboration and mutual motivation between learners, trans-disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity in the outside world.
Today the classic view of the university as a space to learn is being targeted. Other areas, places, venues and so forth have developed and are undermining the typology of this as we all know it.
The question is what is this typology developing to, what is it going to become in the future, will it return to the classical view, will the new systems develop even more or will the scenery change again and create a new perspective and new places for learning?
As follows, very essential aspects of conventional universities can be questioned: Does the institution have to be represented by a building with lecture theatres? Couldn’t it be a device, capable of incorporating the entire infrastructure needed to educate learners? Alternatively, couldn’t it be a network in the city, an interconnected system of facilities that can accommodate flexible learning environment? Or can it be just a flexible room, adaptable to the diverse needs and conditions? Couldn’t it have a different or critical role in the making of a city?
Does education have to occur within the traditional defined roles of teacher and student? Should only highlevel education be provided, or can it be explored as a communal activity and knowledge sharing dynamic, built on a community of learners rather than a class? What kind of spatial aspects can enhance those processes?
Within the learning space, does a university imply interaction or separation from fellow students? How is social-interaction relevant when it comes to learning activities and how can design empower that? Or is isolation a value to pursue? What kind of design could favour it?
Are degrees and standard educational programs still part of the future of university, or will instead transdisciplinarity and life-long-learning offer new models? What kind of space can respond to those conditions?
In a society heading towards digitalization and bigdata, how will education and research change, and what kind of space will be the most suitable to support them? Will technology be the dominant feature, or will instead separation from technology become a benefit?
Will traditional disciplines still be the backbone of professional education, or will students experience a much more diverse and personal journey towards their education? How will universities change accordingly?
They need to be key ingredients in a vast study of this ever-changing and socially important element, which also represents a place where new ideas are generated.

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:

Style Guidelines for Conference Papers

>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 17th of January and the 10th of February 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