Competition ///

International Ideas Competition 2004
Shrinking Cities - Reinventing Urbanism

In January 2004 the Shrinking Cities Project, a project initiated by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation), together with the magazine archplus organized the international ideas competition Shrinking Cities - Reinventing Urbanism. The competition's goal is to find new modes of action; new ideas of the city based on the specific peculiarities of shrinkage, and those which firmly follow an interdisciplinary approach. Teams from around the world were encouraged to develop projects with the theme of shrinkage for one of the four locations under investigation (Halle/Leipzig, Manchester/Liverpool, Detroit and Ivanovo).

During the first jury session in the beginning of June 2004, 36 teams were selected from the 312 entries from 23 countries (e.g. Germany, Great Britain, USA, Austria and other European countries, as well as Russia, Canada, Venezuela, New Zealand and many more - see statistics). The jury selected in the second jury session (4 - 5 October 2004) nine projects, which were determined in three rounds. Each selected team will get 10.000 Euro to realize their project during the third phase of the competition. The results shall be displayed as part of the second phase of the Shrinking Cities Project in an exhibition in the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Leipzig in autumn 2005. There will be a special issue of the magazine archplus in spring 2005 dealing with the Shrinking Cities topic. In this context a selection of the 36 entries from the second round of the competition will be published and discussed.

In difference to the competition brief the jury decided not to award all 12 prizes but to select only nine entries for the third phase of the competition. They also decided to reserve the rest of the prize money of 30.000 Euro for a workshop to be organized by archplus and the Shrinking Cities Project in order to supervise and set up an international network between the selected teams as well as having a fund for realizing the projects. During the workshop (presumably at the beginning of December, place and time will be announced well in advance) the organizer will display the 36 entries of the second phase in an exhibition open to the public.

List of awarded projects ///

(For further information on the projects please click the title!)

Bau an! (Halle/Leipzig)
Subject: Reuse of an empty prefabricated housing slab for growing mushrooms
Authors: Johannes Touché, Journalist and Architect, together with the Design Group (Axel Watzke, Christian Lagé, Steffen Schuhmann) (all Berlin)

Claiming Land (Manchester/Liverpool)
Subject: New concepts for propriety of land and accessibility in the empty spaces between Manchester and Liverpool, and establishment of a new super-regional model of City-Landscape
Authors: Stefanie Bremer, Urban planner (Dortmund), Dirk E. Haas, Geographer/Urban planner (Essen), Päivi Kataikko, Architect (Essen), Henrik Sander, Urban planner (Dortmund), Andreas Schulze Baeing, Spatial planner (Liverpool), Boris Sieverts, Artist (Köln)

Cow The Udder Way (Manchester/Liverpool)
Subject: Performance with a herd of cows in the inner city of Liverpool to discuss the scope of urban agriculture
Authors: Paul Cotter, Film maker; Gareth Morris, Architect; Heidi Rustgaard, Performance; Eike Sindlinger, Architect; Ulrike Steven, Architect; Susanne Thomas, Choreographer (all London)

DE-tro-IT (Detroit)
Subject: Research on the global media attention of Detroit
Authors: Ursula Faix, Architect (Innsbruck), Kathrine Nyhus, Architect (Oslo), Anders Melsom, Architect (Oslo), Ethan Zuckerman, Philosopher (Cambridge) and the international group bad-architects network

Exterritories (Halle/Leipzig)
Subject: Special economic zones as exterritories exemplified on the fictive Chinese Exterritory Halle
Authors: Johannes Fiedler, Architect (Graz), Jördis Tornquist, Architect (Graz), Yueshin Lin, Graphic designer (Graz), James Jolly, Economist (Graz), Lea Titz, Photographer (Graz)

However Unspectacular: The New Suburbanism (Detroit)
Subject: Set of tools to develop the concept of suburban living further and to address the specific problems of social and economic segregation in Detroit
Authors: Interboro Urban Planning & Design: Tobias Armborst, Architect; Daniel D'Oca,Urban planner; Georgeen Theodore, Architect; Christine Williams, Urban planner
Center for Urban Pedagogy: Damon Rich, Designer; Rosten Woo, Political scientist (all New York)

ich bin drin (Halle/Leipzig)
Subject: Subversive strategies to deal with the restrictive migration legislation
Authors: Michael Engel, Architect (Dresden), Peter Ille, Architect (Dresden), Uta Oettel, Photographer and Communication designer (Potsdam), Ulrich Trappe, Architect (Dresden), Brigitta Ziegenbein, Architect (Dresden)

Migrations (Manchester/Liverpool)
Subject: Metaphorical analogy of migration flux of birds and human beings; installations and web-cams are used to communicate the new image emerging from the wilderness scenario
Authors: Annalie Riches, Architect (London), Cathy Hawley, Architect (London), Patricia Hawley, Micro-biologist (Norfolk)

Resize (Halle/Leipzig)
Subject: A critical-ironical comment on the use of statistics; museums of the collected phenomena shall be built instead of their statistical representation
Authors: Eva Grubbauer, Architect (Graz), Pia Grubbauer, Biologist (Vienna), Joost Meuwissen, Urban planner (Amsterdam/Vienna), Wouter Vanstiphout, Architectural historian (Rotterdam/Berlin)
Contribution: Martin Luce, Architect (Hamburg), Johannes Weisser, Architect (Rotterdam)

Statement by the jury concerning their decision /// "The current international process concerning the shrinkage of cities radically challenges the subject matter of the traditional disciplines of spatial design, architecture and urban planning.

Dynamics and growth were the formative dimensions characterizing the urban modernisation and a relatively balanced spatial development in the 20th century. The current spatial polarisation between islands of growth and places of decline, which leads to the dereliction of whole cities and regions, does not discharge the space-oriented disciplines from their responsibility to design. Symbolic strategies of revaluation via iconic architecture as well as the artificial urban hype via consumerism and entertainment are exhausted.
The competition Shrinking Cities - Reinventing Urbanism does not only ask for the scope of designing shrinkage but also challenges the traditional tools of the space-oriented disciplines. Given the radical structural changes of urbanity spaces can no longer be functionally, socially, let alone aesthetically pre-programmed.

The chosen competition entries argue against this backdrop: Design begins at the ordinary activity of creating space and the production of spatial knowledge. And they refer to the complex spatial dynamics, in which places like Halle/Leipzig, Detroit or Manchester/Liverpool are embedded. New relations have emerged between space and society, between physical environment and social behaviour that are to the greatest possible extent undetermined. The chosen entries address these new spatial relations. The concepts they suggest formulate strategies how to deal with this new spatial indeterminacy.

For the jury
Regina Bittner"

Jury /// Azra Aksamija, architect/artist, Boston
Ruedi Baur, graphic designer, Paris/Zurich
Regina Bittner, cultural theoretician, Bauhaus Foundation Dessau
Anne Lacaton, architect, Paris
Georg Schöllhammer, editor-in-chief, Springerin, Vienna

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