Constructing for the future: part one
Design procurement through competition is rare in Australia, but it can deliver innovative outcomes
Design procurement through competition is rare in Australia, but it can play a key role in the delivery of innovative and thought provoking outcomes, create excitement about a project and generate community engagement. Architectural design competitions help to open up the field of participants, allowing smaller niche design houses to participate. This encourages the exploration of new and innovative ideas. Innovation not just in the designing outcome but in the use and purpose of the built form itself.
Design competitions can take two keys forms:
- Project competition which leads directly to the construction of a specific project on the specific site. The objective is to select the design that best responds to the brief.
- Ideas competition which may not lead directly to the engagement of the winner but the objective is to explore design issues or design opportunities. In an ideas competition as there is no expectation for the client to commission the competition winner, these competitions are generally considered more risk free and encourage wide ranging solutions and innovative design strategy.
So when could you use a design competition?
- when the project is of significance to the university
- when the process will benefit from the community interest that a competition can generate
- when the university is seeking new innovative ideas and when design excellence is a high priority
- when the university is able to provide a clear and unambiguous brief
- when the budget is derived from appropriate benchmarking and can meet the design ambitions of the competition process.
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