Blank Space announces the world’s first architecture storytelling competition: “Fairy Tales.”

Blank Space announces the world’s first architecture storytelling competition: “Fairy Tales.”
+++++++++++ EMBARGOED UNTIL SEPT. 9, 2013 +++++++++++
(NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. Sept. 9, 2013) – Fairy Tales is an open, international, ideas competition that challenges creatives from all professional realms to develop visionary, narrative-based design proposals.
Architecture competitions are the lifeblood of the profession, but they haven’t changed that much in the past 100 years. Architects are still designing single building typologies like skyscrapers, museums, and houses ad infinitum. By retreating into itself, architecture has lost its ability to send universal messages, to represent culture in its time, and to address issues that are at the core of human existence. That is why Blank Space, an online platform for architecture, is launching the world’s first architecture storytelling competition: “Fairy Tales.”
Fairy Tales challenges participants to develop visionary proposals that take fun seriously and are audacious enough to ignite imaginations. The proposals will combine text-based architectural fairy tales with innovative graphic representations, and in doing so, seek to unlock the power of architecture by improving the way that it is shared, digested, and communicated.
To assess the entrants to the competition, Blank Space curated a team of experts who are each redefining their respective professions. The jury includes: Paula Scher, Partner at Pentagram; Will Alsop, Director at All Design; Mitchell Joachim, Co-President of Terreform ONE; Nigel Coates, Founder of Nigel Coates Studio; Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota; and Francesco Lipari, Co-founder of Cityvision.
“Since the beginning of recorded time, and perhaps earlier, fairy tales have been a means to confront and conquer the anxieties and hardships of humankind through metaphor,” says Professor Jack Zipes, a jury member for the competition. “Similarly, good architecture can tell stories and give structure to the chaos that surrounds us. Examining architecture through the lens of fairy tales, as this competition does, will unleash the fantastic potential that architecture possesses.”
The success of contemporary animated movies and the resurgence of the fantasy literary genre testify that fairy tales are very much alive, potentially more so with former children than with actual children. Even in the news, the element of fantasy plays a key role in selecting what stories go viral. It’s a great time to be a storyteller.

Whether or not we realize it, stories form the foundation of architectural proposals, and it is through various narrative
tools that a project’s general constraints are outlined, and an architectural strategy is put in place. If narrative tells a
story in time, architecture builds a story in space.
“Imagination transcends professional boundaries. It was crucial to Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and JK Rowling,
and it’s important to my Terreform ONE group as well,” says Dr. Mitchell Joachim, Co-President of Terreform
ONE. “The Fairy Tales competition encourages designers to explore the creative potential of their imagination,
and it will be exciting to see how the projects push past the boundaries of architecture into uncharted
The early registration deadline is December 6, and the deadline for submissions is January 17, 2014. The jury will
award 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place, and a selection of Honorable Mentions.
For more detailed information, please visit:
Blank Space is a new online platform for architecture founded in New York City. We believe architecture can be
more interesting, more fun and more social. Communication is omnipresent, and good communication helps
great ideas change the world.
Early on we recognized a split between architecture and the rest of the world by observing how architects only
talk to each other, and we set out to change that. Every endeavor that we initiate takes fun very seriously and
strives to be audacious enough to ignite imaginations. Through competitions, publications, and projects, we
uncover the true power of architecture by creating new opportunities for design to engage the public.
Architects, engineers, designers, illustrators, writers, storytellers, students and creatives worldwide are invited
to participate in the competition. We encourage multidisciplinary teams to enter.
Deadline: January 17, 2014
Early Registration: Until December 6 (50 USD)
Deadline for Questions: January 10, 2014
Late Registration: Until January 17, 2014 (75 USD)
Results Announced: February 2014
The scale, location, and program of the project is up to each team. A successful submission will craft a unique
narrative that is communicated through a combination of visuals and text in the most spectacular way. This
includes renderings, typical architectural drawings (plans, sections, elevations), diagrams, and a text-based
narrative, that combine together to form a unique architectural fairy tale.
This is a digital competition and hard copy proposals will not be accepted. All entries are to be submitted via
email to the following email address:
If necessary due to file size, mailing via web services such as wetransfer or hightail is acceptable to the above
email address. The maximum allowable file size is 20MB.
Each submission, packed in a ZIP file, should include:
IMAGES: 5 slides of the project in 11” x 17” (horizontal format at 300 dpi in .jpg format) that represent an architectural fairy tale in the most fantastical way possible. These images can be collages, maps, plans, sections, elevations, pictures, diagrams, 3d representations or any other graphic tool. Each of them must be a unique document, independent and self-explanatory. Each sheet must contain one scheme or image only. There are no special layout requirements. Every image must include the entry ID number supplied by Blank Space at registration in the upper right hand corner.
TEXT NARRATIVE: A text-based, fictional fairy tale in 8.5” x 11” .doc format, between 750-1500 words in length, that coincides with the graphic boards. It is optional to include this text into the 5 graphic boards, but it still needs to be submitted as a separate text document in any case. This text must be in English.
TEAM INFO: Individual or Team participation data in 8.5” x 11” in .doc format. This must include the names of all participants with their profession, home address, phone number and email. If the entry is a group submission, a leader must be selected.
1ST PLACE: 1,250 USD
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The jury will select up to 10 honorable mentions.
The life of the submissions doesn’t stop at the conclusion of the competition. Subsequent to the competition, Blank Space is launching the inaugural issue of Blank Space Magazine. Select entries will be included in the magazine, as well as featured prominently on the Blank Space website, and published by our media partners and other outlets around the world.
Director at All Design
London, UK
Partner at Pentagram
New York, NY
Co-President of Terreform ONE
New York, NY
Professor Emeritus of U. Minnesota
Founder of Nigel Coates Studio
London, UK
Director of CityVision
Rome, IT


Introducing Blank Space: Fairy Tales The World's First Architecture Storytelling Competition

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