Design takes on myriad forms in the natural world, inside our heads, and in graphics software — and since we’re all cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic, it seems like the perfect time to unleash our creativity. At least one database is providing several options to do so.
Bustler, a site dedicated to keeping design aficionados entertained and challenged at all times, keeps an ongoing database of design and architecture competitions. Got any building ideas you always wanted to see implemented in the real world? The pandemic is just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, so use the site’s deadline motivation to sharpen your pencils and reset the password on your digital design software. While the specific competitions on here come and go, there are generally always challenges in categories related to architectural design, housing solutions, and animal habitats.
These are the competitions currently going on, but remember that they’re just a sample of what may be available later, so be sure to check back soon!
If you’ve got a passion for the city of Abu Dhabi, you might find it interesting to try designing outdoor cooling solutions for it. Seriously, how should its inhabitants deal with living in that kind of heat? Help the community enjoy outdoor activities more comfortably and work in some energy savings while you’re at it. Above all else, the prompt asks entrants to manage the challenges of the area by submitting a plan that addresses the “Heat Island Effect” through design. This one ends May 12th and will net the winner $100,000.
Another challenge in Abu Dhabi centers around sustainable design and the protection of local wildlife. The Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD) has committed to building a community of around 25 lodges that would allow for viewing of the once-thought-to-be-extinct Arabian Oryx. The competition brief explains: “Established in 2018, the ‘Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network’ consists of 13 terrestrial protected areas and covers over 15 percent of Abu Dhabi’s territory. The Qasar Al Sarab Protected Area covers 1,304 square kilometers in which the Arabian Oryx roams freely; and the Arabian Oryx Protected Area, which covers 5,975 square kilometers, is home to the largest population of Arabian Oryx in the world.”
Entrants to this contest must propose a way to incorporate the goals of the organization while protecting sensitive lands and keeping the best interest of the animals at the forefront of the design. The deadline is July 10th, and cash prizes range from anywhere between $500 and $3,000.
If your idea of design is working with your hands and power tools, the Legendary Bird Home 2020 competition might be just the escape you need. Sponsored in coordination with Birdly, the goal is to inspire citizens of the world to be more proactive in protecting wildlife. And who knows? Yours could very well be the birdhouse design that wins, as long as it’s made with easy-to-source materials, environmentally sustainable (no plastic), and something that laymen woodworkers can put together at home. Get your registration in before May 14th, and you could win up to $3,000 and get your birdhouse design put into production.
From functional to fantastical, the HOME: Design Your Dream competition gives you an opportunity to design the home you’ve always wanted. Surrealism and imaginative expression are highly encouraged.
You can also use Bustler to help design a wine-tasting room, meditation cabins, or a home for a family in Africa, alleviate the London housing crisis, create a new airport terminal, or design a Food Academy logo, among tons of other options.
The site is frequently updated with new briefs, so clear your quarantine calendar and pick a project to start today.