I'm a Portuguese landscape architecture student and I just started my graduation thesis, about public competitions (the concept, personal experience, the problems,etc. I'm feeling a bit lost in my investigation. Could someone help in someway, maybe with personal experiences? Thank you.
This is a good topic to pursue. below is a set of ideas that I believe would be helpful to the development of your work.
- A classification of competition types is needed (local-international; limited-open; idea competition-project competition; student-professional; real life-virtual) Note that limited competitions can be public as well.
- An identification of the components of a competition is important (Jury; organizing body, supervising body; participants; exhibition organizers, etc.)
- Identify and define issues you want to examine such as jury objectivity versus subjectivity, criteria for selecting jury members, relationship between competition programs and winning projects, competition process, jury process, winning project implementation. ..etc.)
- Methodology can involve surveys and interviews as well as analysis of guidance documents on conducting competitions.
- You might want to develop an online survey questionnaire and get feedback from the professional community on how they place value on competitions, get their personal experiences if they have participated in competitions before,..etc.
- Archnet is an excellent venue to conduct such a survey. However, the key is that one needs to be a good question asker. In a research Closed ended questions that adress specific issues are more useful. Open ended questions are good but they need that people would be very much interested in the topic to start to introduce their thoughts.
- You might want to select some competitions as cases to be investigated and analytically compared: analyze their announcements and programs, interview representatives of the organizing bodies, interview jury members. Such interviews could also be developed online. It would be good if you could technically analyze the winning projects in those competitions and relate them to criteria stated in the announcement and/or criteria developed by the jury.
- A good start would be to get the UNESCO-UIA Guide to International Competitions. This is by contacting the UIA, International Union of Architects in Paris. Reading this document will help you define issues and processes you may want to investigate.
- Also, the UIA website is an excellent resource. Visit http://www.uia-architectes.org, then click on international competition (in the menu on the left), then click on competition results 1996-2003. You will see a considerable amount of info about international competitions, their programs, juries, process, organizers, with links to competition results.