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30.01.2021, Sat

© Gary Polk & Jungjae Suh

Alternate Realities, an international architecture competition, organized by theCharette, unveiled the winners. The competition’s aim was to design an architectural response to an issue that the world is facing – climate change, pandemics, biological warfare, nuclear proliferation, social inequality, etc.


The winners of the competition are as follows:
Icarus by Gary Polk + Jungjae Suh from USA
The Coffin Maker by Anoovab Deka + Inez Low from United Kingdom
Protective Skins by Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar.


1st Prize winners:
Gary Polk + Jungjae Suh from USA

The world of Icarus posits one simple idea: what if humans had wings? What if we had evolved with wings as just another anatomical appendage, as fundamental and ordinary as an arm or leg? This premise opens up contingencies that affect every part of the para-human history – from the way we survive, to the way we transport, the way we clothe, interact, and so on. More importantly, how do we cultivate our built environment?

The Coffin Maker

2nd Prize winners:
Anoovab Deka + Inez Low from United Kingdom

And yet, who could throw away the casting of a loved one?
Who would not want to study it longingly, as the distant freight train blows its mournful tone?”
A lowly Coffin Maker stands on Bitter Street, looking upon the vastness of the Red Station. Earth no longer exists. What lay in between are meteor debris and rocks that float on cyclically. All plans fell apart when the Space Chorus XXX5735 malfunctioned and exploded on its course to Mars. Highly capable and skilled, the Coffin Maker collected as many remnants as she could and started to build upon the abandoned structure, and eventually, forming a network that connects to nearby planets and space stations. She worked first on entombing all who perished in the explosion, making each a Death Mask – eyes closed, with the faintest and sweetest of smiles. She felt that she is capturing a sublime moment between life and death, a snapshot of the soul, if you must. Highly speculative design objects, the Coffin Maker romanticized them in all their majesty.

Protective Skins

3rd Prize winners:
Jon Andrew Sealey from Qatar.

The proposal focuses on material performance and expression. It hypothesis on the supernatural and the amplification of human abilities.

A series of protective skins which respond to the environment have been developed from organic compounds. By harnessing the attributes found in nature such as breathing underwater and camouflage, which have since been unattainable to humans, the skins allow buildings and humans to amplify and exaggerate their capabilities and respond to the environment. Invisibility and flying are now possibilities and are no longer human limitations.


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