This Is Now: 5 New A+Award Categories That Reflect the Changing Face of Architecture

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

Architizer’s A+Awards — the world’s largest awards program for architecture and products — is now open for entries, and a host of new categories means the opportunity to celebrate great design on a global stage is greater than ever! Find out how to submit your project here.

Architecture never stops changing. Our built environment must constantly adapt to address evolving social, economic, and technological contexts, and, as a result, architects are at the forefront of design innovation. Thus, in order to celebrate contemporary buildings and their creators to the maximum extent each year, Architizer’s A+Awards must evolve, too. The world’s largest awards program for architecture and products is constantly expanding, with new categories specifically designed to recognize the radical work designers are doing to address topical issues pertaining to our urban environment as well as the emerging opportunities afforded by extraordinary technological advancements.

For 2015, a plethora of new “Plus” categories have been announced that encapsulate this exciting era of change in the profession. This expansion includes inaugural awards for sectors experiencing an incredible resurgence, including prefabrication and renovations, as well as categories dedicated to emerging technologies such as 3D printing, software, and apps. Here, we highlight five of the most notable new awards and invite you to consider which of your projects best represents the changing face of design:

Hangzhou Shop Interior by SAKO Architects, made from ‘Bone’ 3D-printed nanomaterials, via e-architect.

1. Architecture +3D Printing

There was a time when 3D printing was viewed as something of a gimmick, reserved for small experiments and novel demonstrations — but no more. The technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, catapulting into the minds of architects exploring potential uses in modularization, robotic construction, and the application of nanomaterials. Projects eligible for the 3D Printing award include anything from a beautifully detailed scale model to a fully inhabitable structure built using this burgeoning technology.

Model of Shigeru Ban’s housing project for Nepal

2. Architecture +Humanitarianism

Architects are no strangers to humanitarian architecture, but the sector has taken on a whole new relevance in recent times. This relevance is, in part, due to the growing need for architects to design more resilient cities, as illustrated by the work of the Rebuild by Design team in New York and Shigeru Ban’s innovative shelters for post-earthquake Nepal. The other reason for the increasing significance of this niche lies online: increased public awareness of crises due to the internet and the blossoming of crowdfunding means there is now more potential than ever for a collective response. This award will serve to recognize the most empowering public interest projects on the planet.

My Micro NY by nARCHITECTS, Brooklyn, N.Y.

3. Architecture +Prefab

By 2050, it is estimated that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, and that projection brings with it new challenges that architects are looking to address today. This rapid urbanization has led to a renaissance in the much-maligned art of prefabrication. Projects such as the My Micro NY modular apartment block and the speed-building exploits of the Broad Group in China have breathed new life into this genre, and a brand new A+Award has now been launched to discover the very best in metabolic, modular, and component-based architecture.

From power plant to dance studio: the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity by BNIM.

4. Architecture +Renovation

Another consequence of our increased densification, radical renovations and innovative examples of adaptive reuse have been on the rise throughout the past year, and now they have the chance to be celebrated on a global stage by winning this specialist A+Award, new for 2015. Any reinvention of an old space is eligible, from a tiny apartment renovation in Tokyo, Japan, to the transformation of a towering power plant in Kansas City, Mo.

5. Architecture +Technology

While the first new award in this collection looked at a specific niche of design innovation, there is also a fresh category designed for any use of emerging architectural technology you can think of. Whether you have utilized tiny drones to build a sculptural pavilion or masterminded hardware that can build a model with a single tap of your tablet screen — see MIT’s mindboggling video above — this award could soon be landing in your studio, together with publication across multiple platforms including the Phaidon A+ book, the Architizer website, and a Facebook page with over 1.5-million followers!

get your project published across multiple platforms, including PHAIDON’s essential A+ Book! CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER WHAT THE A+AWARDS PROGRAM IS ALL ABOUT AND ENTER NOW. the early bird entry deadline is October 30th.

Top image: 3D-printed model for Super Docking – Brooklyn Navy Yards by Planetery ONE.

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© Schemata Architects / Jo Nagasaka

cafe/day // Schemata Architects / Jo Nagasaka

Numazu, Japan