If skylines around the world are looking too much the same, is this because the new and important buildings are done by the big names (designers) from far away and not by the locals or the opposite is true? Not only skyscrapers but, museums, civic center, concert halls, bridges, libraries, opera houses all give cities part of their identity.
This makes us ponder, how do we reclaim our cities to stand out from each other in the next century. What are the urban programs that can be useful to the inhabitants and can architecture be an icon instead of an object. Architecture must become a node or intersection for people and make them feel inclusive in spite of their diversity. What does the architectural design need to have or provide to disengage and distinguish itself from the evolving technology?
Every city needs to be a place in which the basic idea of the urban fabric of streets and public places and decent architecture forms the foundation. The “Generic city” is not only the place with identical glass towers and freeways and malls but also a place that does not acknowledge things that are different and no longer builds buildings that break the rules and makes us feel that we are in a place that is unique. And that, special distinction, is one of the greatest gifts that any city can give us.
Can an architectural building in one of the “Generic cities” make the urban space/architecture special?
This challenge is a part of X-Plor tri-competition series titled ‘Di-Generic Cities’. X-plor is an exploratory ideas arm of Uni, where participants are exposed to challenges with an entirely new premise in terms of design thinking. X-Plor competitions allow participants to learn – analyze – solve, beyond traditional problems and invite fresh design ingenuity to solve them. The challenge is located in three megacities, Tokyo, Shanghai and Los Angeles in the timeline of 2200AD.
Challenge 1: Tokyo
Background: Japan rapidly climbed to the world’s second-largest economy but however by the 1990s, Japan’s demographics began stagnating and the workforce was no longer expanding as it did in previous decades. As a countermeasure, the government’s 2018 Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform, Japan will allow a greater number of foreign workers into the country, marking a major shift in its immigration stance. As Japan still predominantly hosts Japanese population, this will significantly reshape the demographics of the country in the coming century. How will this affect the already ‘globalizing’ architectural trends of such a culturally rich country?
Celebration of Faith – This is an architectural programme where people from all faiths can worship, meditate and reach out to the divine in the future. This can be interpreted with peace or respect or unity, but the primary function is to worship.
Challenge 2: Shanghai
DESIGN PROBLEM 3: The river Yangtze has been an important factor in shaping Chinese culture and society. Language simultaneously plays an essential role in communicating these ideas and philosophies like a river. No matter how globalized Shanghai may get tomorrow, the contribution of the river and language have been pivotal in crowning it as one of the megacities of the world. The Linguatheque finds its place right at the intersection of these ideas. The Linguatheque is the biggest bastion of similar identities of the world which are under constant threat of globalization – while giving its people a chance to discover their roots.
The Linguatheque – This is an architectural programme where languages, scriptures and vocal dictionaries are stored in the accessible repository where people even without connected generations can trace/learn about their origins. The repository can be human or digital origin.
Challenge 3: Los Angeles
Background: the United States is one of the leading players in entertainment industries currently in the world and that is not changing anytime soon. The export of content and media created in the US is predicted to be communicating with the entire world as our cities become more and more generic. The site for GEN presently houses an oil field under CRC California. Assuming it’s probable decommission because of shifting energy priorities, this island is chosen to build the World’s first ‘Global Entertainment Nucleus’ world’s most epic entertainment arena for live action entertainment. Separated from the realities of today, and connected to the entire world watching from homes and watching it live at once.
GEN (Global Entertainment Nucleus) – This is a place is stated to be the first ever stadium of the future of live sports/entertainment/performances/esports/ robowars venue for the connected media savvy audience of the world.
Launch on April 23, 2019
Seed registration date: May 13, 2019
Last Date of Registration: September 18, 2019.
Submission Deadline: September 28, 2019.
Public Voting begins: September 29, 2019.
Public Voting ends: October 29, 2019.
Result Announcement: November 07, 2019.
Prize pool of worth 30,000$
Di-Generic Cities Champion: 10,000$
Di-generic Tokyo Winner: 3000$
Di-generic Shanghai Winner: 3000$
Di-generic Los Angeles Winner: 3000$
Di-generic Tokyo People’s Choice x 2: 900$
Di-generic Shanghai People’s Choice x 2: 900$
Di-generic LA People’s Choice x 2: 900$
Honorable mention projects x 14: 400$
Discover the complete prize distribution on, competition registration page.
Learn more on http://competitions.uni.xyz/
Download the information related to this competition here.