One Drawing Challenge 2021: The 100 Finalists (Part 3)

The Finalists of this year’s One Drawing Challenge tell complex, often poetic stories about architecture and life in 2021.

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Explore a further 25 extraordinary architectural drawings, each one a Finalist in the 2021 One Drawing Challenge. Let us know which are your favorites on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #OneDrawingChallenge!

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“Dwelling in the lost cities” by Azouz Manachou, University of Manitoba

“In his own words, Marco polo says “The traveler’s past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, but the more remote past.”

This drawing is a visual journey depicting a passage of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, through an exploration of different archetypes as described in the narrative of his journey. Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what man no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for the man in foreign, unpossessed places. the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings that could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping.”

“Inhabitants of Infinity: Quantum of parallel universe” by Roha Yousaf, Architect

“The Drawing is an architectural representation of the hypothesis that we exist at the intersection of many non-intersecting worlds. With the reference to Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, many worlds that exist in parallel to the same space and time as our own might exist in contrast. Can we be the core origin of these Parallel Universes? Nature accommodates two major circular movements, clockwise and anticlockwise. These movements are parallel or opposite to each other but never intersect, whereas, the merge of both movements will give birth to a never-ending loop. If we are to be placed at the intersection of numerous parallel worlds that branch off from each other, without intersecting or communicating then we are the “Inhabitants of infinity”. When “the merge” will occur, what exists at the intersection of the infinite can only exchange the information across timelessness.”

“The Earth Embassy” by Christian Coackley, The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL

“The project speculates on the revival of the revolutionary ideals embodied by John F. Kennedy (JFK), 35th president of the United States. JFK is associated with the space race, technological power, the Cold War, unification and integration, idealism, false hope, failure, and his death, leaving his legacy in mystic and allegorical ruin.

This project takes the ruins of a failed lunar colony base as the foundations for a newly constructed Earth Embassy on the Moon. An outpost at an urban scale, where the nations of Earth can send diplomats and scientists to engage in a united effort towards undoing the scars of the anthropogenic. It serves as a reminder to this generation and the next that the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth.”

“The Earth Embassy” by Christian Coackley, The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL

“The project speculates on the revival of the revolutionary ideals embodied by John F. Kennedy (JFK), 35th president of the United States. JFK is associated with the space race, technological power, the Cold War, unification and integration, idealism, false hope, failure, and his death, leaving his legacy in mystic and allegorical ruin.

This project takes the ruins of a failed lunar colony base as the foundations for a newly constructed Earth Embassy on the Moon. An outpost at an urban scale, where the nations of Earth can send diplomats and scientists to engage in a united effort towards undoing the scars of the anthropogenic. It serves as a reminder to this generation and the next that the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth.”

“Living with objects” by Amin Zargar, Azad University Tehran North Branch

“Slums are the result of people migrating to big cities and economic problems. They first start to grow in small numbers in the suburbs and then get bigger. Due to the cultural differences in this immigrant class, different lifestyles emerge and to meet all their needs throughout life, the sheds which they live in must be flexible and allowed to add or change during the day. In this informal life, design starts from the details and over time, as needs arise, responses tailored to the situation are added to their living space and ultimately form a whole. And in a place where they do not have the budget to build, programs are freely highlighted with the help of objects, so that sometimes in a module of objects that are hybridized by changing the layout or combining with other objects, dwellers can have different spaces of a house, shop, workshop, etc.”

“Passport to this World” by Oliver Tellez

“How many realities exist? Below or above us, probably we will never find those, but what if we focus on understand ours? Through the black elevator (a vehicle that runs in a different space/time), the spectators make their stop in the known world. Everything that was made by humans since the beginning is present. All the buildings and cities are witnessing a crucial moment. People are gathered at the center, surrounded by the architecture, knowledge and culture that defines our history. Union is our strength. We want respect and peace. We need to rely on each other to achieve that. Our voice is key to shape a better world. Or perhaps the passport to another?”

“The Messe, Revised” by Andrea SantosFabrizio Canessa Lama Alkadi, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

“The Messe is dead! Long live the Messe!

The congress center is loosing its appeal – how to reuse their buildings through playful architectural speculation?

Starting from the idea that the congress center is the hotspot of ready-mades, we wondered what would happen if the Messe Basel could be its own ready-made: what took and will take place would now be told through different programs that celebrate the exhibition ritual and the memory and future of this institution. In this way, it can tell its own history through the display of the old and the new.

Faced with an age of digitalization, we embrace new ways of exhibiting (streamers, youtubers, etc.) and use digital tools to revive experiences of past iconic exhibitions (such as the Rolex Oyster). If the current dynamics of the congress center do not forecast a bright future, perhaps this is the way to keep it alive!”

“Reshaping The Hollowed-out Countryside” by Gonzalo López, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)/ Escuela Ténica Superior de Arquitectura (ETSAM)

“The uncontrollable growth of cities over the years has directly interfered with rural areas: small towns left behind due to lack of opportunities. Far from being the picturesque landscape we recall, the countryside is neglected and quickly turns into wasteland. This rural dilemma has taken a turn in the aftermath of the COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown since nowadays more people seek a vacation in contact with nature far from the hustle and bustle of cities. However, rural areas are not equipped to sustain such incoming flow of population they so desperately need.

The strategy is to frame this unattended land through an inhabited wall and thus enhance its fertility. This new boundary treats the existing village as a redoubt to be preserved and in homage to its vernacular constructions the perimeter is bush-hammered revealing the stones beneath its surface and welcoming the new spaces. Framing to highlight its value.”

“Resilient cities” by cheng-wei Lee, Shih Chien University Department of Architecture

“After the Japanese left, the Japanese-style dormitory was replaced by Taiwanese residents. Many laborers who came from other places to make a living also poured in the ancient mansion. The living space became narrow and crowded.
80 years ago, road was still an unpaved dirt road. On both sides of the road, there were many iron-making workshops for artifacts. At the corner a candy factory was opened. The sweet fragrance floated in the air of Street, accompanied by the sound of children playing, diluting the bitterness of life in a difficult environment.

The old building with sheet metal roof, the extended balcony and arcade. Variety of cultural and creative shops, and the overflowing fragrance of sweet candy to the rustic scent of books, had combined the old and new industries, this unique temperament formed by the collision has become a treasure. Architecture become the container of various cultures and interactivities.”

“‘Rhizomatic Bridge’ as a Hope in Perturbanism: Possible Future of Great Ocean [Road?]” by KUNDI SHU, Ka Chung LO and Xiufeng LI, The University of Melbourne

“Rhizomatic Bridge responds to the coastline’s erosion and provides a system to recycle the organic waste to regenerate marine snow for nurturing corals in the Great Ocean Road. As the coast is threatened by erosion and rising sea levels, the role of a road demands reconsideration with a reassessment of our value systems and cultural priorities. The bridges will grow along with the erosion, providing infrastructures and shelter for humans and non-humans. In the expectation, we humans will abandon our preconceptions ( Humans are the only species worth preserving) that humans are constantly under threat from nature, so we need to fight back with design (Colombina & Wigley, 2019). Aquaculture and aquatics provided by bridges will produce different employments for locals. Such a system is a bridge and a structure that changes our value system and creates a resilient future.”

“Gothic Street” by mykhailo ponomarenko, EDSA,inc.

“Somewhere on the border between Utah and Arizona there was a canyon like corridor carved by the river. The river worked hard so humans could observe and taste the fruits of it labor. It was massive. A series of portals was inserted in one portion of the corridor. All the people who kayaked down the river was very impressed and intrigued by those portals. It was like a street. Since the portals looked like Gothic shaped arches it was called Gothic Street.

Here, the scale of the portals are equal to the scale of the surrounding landscape. Contrast is present between geological layers of the canyon and layered portals. Portals stacked together to resemble typical Western European street. Each portal has a different orientation and angle, but at the same time, they are all tied together with one gothic style. I hope those kayakers get ashore and explore one of the portals inside.”

“Wuhe Fantasy” by Hao Du, Architecture Association

“The work of Wuhe Fantasy takes me 1 month to do the research and 1 month to design and draw. To do it, I visited 14 urban villages along Wuhe road in Shenzhen, China, and extracted each villages’ unique character. Based on their personalities, I redesigned each village in a narrative and fantasy way for the aspiration of the future.

For the process, I made collaged photos and wrote down stories for each village. Then I chose the best perspective angel and drawing method for each village’s character and organized them into one single drawing with the size of 6m*2m on the wall, making models for each village on rhino, and finally further edit on illustrator.”

“Venus” by bo huang

“The scene is misty from then and now,
and when the wind blows,
it becomes an unstoppably changing painting show.

As time passes by,
We are all going to die.

We wind through one arch after another,
meeting and separating from each other.

But this is still a banquet that will never end,
Although you and I no longer exist.”

“Fashionopolis” by Roxana Breceda

“Fast fashion’s rapid nonstop cycles are impacting the environment and labor rights. Inspired by Dana Thomas’s book “Fashionopolis” this duality drawing depicts a city that has been taken over by the over consumption of fast fashion. Fashionopolis is drowned in unwanted clothing and waste. Generated from the same capitalist dynamics that produce fast fashion shopping centers also constitute a form of fast architecture. The community then starts to find creative ways to repurpose clothes and the fast architecture. The community utilizes unwanted clothing as building material, and pavement. Sewing becomes a unisex and essential skill, for people to alter and design their own clothing. Fashion was been transformed in to a collective, sociable process where people worked and communicate with each other.

*Galleries Lafayette drawn in the right was the multistory design inspired by the Paris Arcades where the culture of consumption was born according to Walter Benjamin*”

“SYMBIOCITY” by Navid Javan Shojamofrad, Technical University of Vienna


“SYMBIOCITY is a bold experimentation of size, scale and ambition. Originally imagined near the outskirts of Vienna, within a large and barren industrial district, it draws on the question of how could all these uninviting and hostile industrial halls and storage facilities but pushed together over time to form one huge unit. An entity which is not only able to optimize their functions, but also enhance the entire spatial experience by harnessing the concepts of density and scale to offer the most efficient use of space possible for every user; from the ground floor employees all the way to tourists and visitors.

This drawing serves as a speculative glimpse of this self-contained city within a massive 750meter long megastructure where production, consumption and recreation coexist to form a highly efficient, yet imperfect symbiotic relationship.”

“system.singularity” by Alanna Deery

“Technological Singularity: where human and artificial intelligence merge. A spatial system emerges from the integration of artificial and organic form. The hybridized structure is generated under a state of constant flux, where the configuration of tectonic elements produces a hyper-dynamic environment. One where time, scale and orientation are manipulated based on evolving parameters. The structure transcends traditional limitations of the physical to examine a new, singular, system condition. This speculates on the relationship between the architectural object and spatial order through experience of tectonic elements.”

“See You at Work” by Dorian Sosa, HKS Architects

“Office Building 4 in Reston, Virginia sits at the intersection of economy, sustainability, and beauty. The edifice is constructed as a composition of just three modular panels, each with a unique wall-to-window ratio, shielding the building from direct sunlight, reducing the U-value, and ultimately improving thermal comfort for the workplaces within. It’s this visual performance of glass and solid, coiling around the structure, that distinguishes the building envelope from the typical glass box building, and that gives it its raison d’etre.

As the structure meets the ground, the building opens up through large glazing panels that enable nature to penetrate the interior spaces. An indoor bike garage, an in-house fitness club, and an array of balconies and rooftop terraces exemplify the type of office space that the new generation workforce seeks. Work, Play, Live – OB4 is designed with this ideology in mind.”

“2099” by Herbert Anthony, Architect

“The drawing is about how I envision the future on our planet if we, as a society, don’t change the way we exploit natural resources, and each other. By 2099, we will have the technology to make our buildings float in the air, and as the sea level will have risen dramatically with the melting of the poles, our buildings are located in the middle of the sea, and access is done by boats.

Society still has difference in social privileges, so at the bottom of the main building there is a base of blocks distributed in a less conventional, and more organic way. It’s where the less fortunate occupy, with the dampness of the sea, and lack of natural light obscured by the buildings that float above.

The highest towers are occupied by the most privileged, in these volumes are also located the structures of hospitals, schools, malls, etc.”

“State of Union” by Nielen de Bruyn, Turner & Townsend

“The world around us is fragile. Even the seemingly complex cities we’ve built which represent the taming of our environment, can quickly crumble to expose a delicate and fleeting reality when pressured and tested by those that inhabit it.
In the US, hyper partisanship, civil unrest, growing wealth disparity and accelerating economic imbalances threaten to tear its social fabric apart, and with it, alter the built environment in ways not yet predicted or understood.

This piece tries to capture that uncertainty. Depicting New York City, what many see as the symbol of American prosperity, tearing apart under the pressures being faces by those within it and the country at large. How it will reconstruct itself in the future though is unknown…”

“Shadowing Future” by Bobby Wijaya, Pelita Harapan University

“The pandemic made us realize that today’s civilization may not be relevant tomorrow. The dimension called “dwellings” becomes a place where “work”, “play” and “live” are combined without clear boundaries. Everyone hailed “tired”, and the boundaries of ignorance made things confusing. Will this dimension called “dwelling” remain the same in the future? After this, will we still see things with the same “eyes”?

This picture shows the atmosphere of a space called “dwellings”, which now mixes “work”, “play” and “live”. It’s like being in a vast field. We, humans, are confused about how to arrange the three sides neatly in the last two years. Everyone is competing to innovate about what is essential in the future. Using a variety of approaches, which ultimately means ‘acting together’ for a better ‘future’. We don’t know what the future will look like, but now is the time to design the future we want.”

“Work Play Live and Love Places of the Near Future” by Douglas Wittnebel, Architect

“Around the world, thousands of designers and thinkers are speculating about the future of the workplace, and millions of knowledge workers are going to experience that questionable future as we return to the office or to the places of work.

Work Play Live and Love Places of the Near Future is illustrated in a variety of settings.

The essence of the spaces will be like a synthetic and natural Nam June Paik “TV in the Garden” installation. Everyone will be enjoying an integration of built and shared landscape and network information features; flexible, changeable, movable and adaptable. Cultivated and wild flourishes of Nature in abundance will weave in and out of the sculpted spaces providing super safe healthy environments and plenty of areas to perform work, live well, play safely and support love for the future.”

“In Love, In Florence” by Johnny Lemoine

“Dominating the skyline across Florence, Italy, anybody can see and have access to the incredibly stunning Duomo di Firenze. The building started construction in 1296 and didn’t finish until the late 1800s. This beautiful piece of architecture saw many architectural and art eras, wars, poetry, romance, all while being the heart and center of Florence. It captures Italian culture in its entirety, with wonderful details, an innovative structure, and a building for everybody that can make your heartbeat race to the point it feels like you’re falling in love. This building isn’t only for Italians, but it’s for all of us.”

“The Dandelion Abattoir” by Glory Kuk, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

“In a self-proclaimed nation of ‘animal lovers’, are we really who we want to believe we are? The drawing questions our fundamental way of living, how industrial farming has led to cruelty, where a transformation from life to product has taken place.

Taking place in a post-meat-eating world where humans can no longer slaughter animals for the bliss of their taste buds, thousands of abandoned abattoirs scatter across the fields – psychologically scarred landscapes where billions of lives are slaughtered within. Existing within the graveyard landscape, the Dandelion Abattoir uses vast dandelion fields surrounding it to creating proteins from the flowers through an extraction process. Small blimps carry the proteins to the city, to support a new way of living.

As we evaluate humanity and our existing choices, the Dandelion Abattoir serves as a platform to dream about a brave new world with no animal exploitation…”

“a room of [no] one’s own” by Renee Die-Girbau, Architectural Association

“Traditionally accommodating leisure activities, the kitchen patio is reassessed to serve not only as a shared outdoor dining and living space but also also as a support network between optionally separate households, that, by tying together the kitchens, offer the potential of socialization— becoming an avenue for shared domestic labour, from cooking to child & elderly care. Framing domestic labour out in the open, to be shared, seen and valued, a long-standing feminist ambition.

And in this way what has normally been understood as “back of house” is retraced, proposing a new housing typology that becomes most open at the core, providing residents the option for degrees of sharing— setting forth a distinction between private occupation & private property.”

“New Normality Resilience” by DIEGO ANTHONY DE LA CRUZ DASILVA, Architect

“Undoubtedly the architecture and its hermetic atmospheres become resilient, adapting to the time, landscape and outlines of cities trying to interpret and investigate their environment on different human scales and perspectives.

The first scenario represents the current situation in a paradigm of spaces in population density in an almost invisible atmosphere of the silent Covid-19 with humanized characters that complement the architecture in a pedestrian setting.

And the another one shows the investigation and interpretation of a traditional architecture in port spaces completely opposite to the humanized scenario that, in the absence of life, architecture takes the main spatial role and the notorious presence of Covid-19.

They are scenes, details and close typologies that show the present time under a same sky and time since architecture tends to become resilient and multifunctional .Nowadays to be able to exist as historical centers do. Curious in a pandemic world to survive.”

Next 25 Drawings →

Read more articles by Architizer

One Drawing Challenge 2021: The 100 Finalists (Part 2)

The Finalists of this year's One Drawing Challenge tell complex, often poetic stories about architec ture and life in 2021.

One Drawing Challenge 2021: The 100 Finalists (Part 4)

The Finalists of this year's One Drawing Challenge tell complex, often poetic stories about architec ture and life in 2021.