Writing as an Architectural Medium
In 2022 the Architecture Foundation with the Jencks Foundation announced a new architectural writing prize, with one of its three categories dedicated to writing as an architectural medium.
In a review of Robert Venturi’s ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ Charles Jencks observed that it takes a practicing architect to reflect on the history and shape the future of architecture. For Jencks – a critic and architect himself – his Cosmic House became the testing ground for his theoretical experiments on Post-Modern architecture, while as a critic (who architected) Jencks used the written word to clarify and interrogate his own designs.
What is the role of Writing in Architecture and what can it do for Architectural Culture? Can Writing become the medium for Architecture? The Jencks Foundation invites you to explore these questions through a previously unpublished piece (any length between 22 - 888 words), either in dialogue with a transformational text on/of architecture, or through experimentation with the medium in response to a built example of architecture.
First prize is £750, second prize £500 and there are two runner-up prizes of £250 each. We will also select up to ten ‘highly commended’ winners to whom we will offer an honorarium of £50. An Architecture Foundation publication will present the winning submissions from all three categories in 2023.
Judges: Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times architecture critic; Shumi Bose, senior lecturer, Central St Martins; Jeremy Millar, artist and head of writing MA programme at the Royal College of Art.
Besides ‘Writing as an Architectural Medium’, Architecture Foundation invited entrants to submit texts to two more themed categories: ‘Architecture and Representation’ and ‘Design and the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies.’ These two categories have respectively been sponsored by Drawing Matter and the Marchus Trust. All prize-winning entries will feature in an Architecture Foundation publication to be released in 2023. To read more about the prize and the categories supported Drawing Matter and the Marchus Trust click here.
First Prize: Chloe Shang, ‘Poems from the Patient Patient’
Second Prize: Stephanie Guest and Kate Riggs, ‘The Real World Room’
Runner Ups: Andrew Carr, ‘Brackets’ and Lotte van Gelder, ‘Soft Monuments/Nachtegalenlaantje’
Highly Commended: Toby Blackman, ‘Berggasse 19: Spatialising the Subjects of Exile and Absence’; Gavin Herbertson, ‘“A New But Old Direction”: Reading Global Modernism in Architecture’; Kivanc Kilinc, ‘Why Would Flying Buttresses Not Fly? Viollet-le-Duc Talks with the Reims Cathedral’; Jordan Whitewood-Neal, ‘Two Doors’