I have pitched a few design ideas to various “juries” and design “Calls” from all over of the world. I usually end up designing not an object but "systems", "enterprises", or "organizations". As a geographer, I see objects as sets of relationships, often complex and dynamic, riddled with politics, economic tensions, social construction etc.
But I have come to realize how problematic Design competitions can be.
The conundrum is subtle but evident:
An organization issues a “call” for submission from practitioners and professionals.
Then, they say how difficult it has been to choose the “finalists” and so on…
Indeed problematic from the beginning till the end:
“scarcity” in the beginning, thus a “call” for submissions had to be issued, and then
an “over supply” problem in the end.
An organization, after managing to receive many great ideas, and choosing “the one” winner, seems to be ambiguous on what to do with the rest of the great ideas.
But maybe, having a surplus of great viable ideas for the City and city design is NOT the problem.
The problem is that there only one (1) prize.
And so when an group in Toronoto (NXT City) called for ideas (from 35 years and younger people like myself until next year), I thought to pitch in an “idea” to address the design competition conundrum:
AN OPTIMALITY GAME.
The Design competition is the “Genie in a bottle". GREAT.
However, it is resolved to grant only a limited amount of wishes, “n”.
E.g. W1, W2… Wn .
That kinda sucks.
The problem is not the Genie, the problem is “n”, which is a fixed value.
But what if:
n = n+∞
How can a Prize, instead of being an object, and an “end” condition, become an ever expanding space, a positive generator of opportunities for many other brilliant ideas?
Now, who wants to play?
To view the submission: