Dear Architecture

Submission: July 24, 2015
Registration:  May 27, 2015
Language: English
Location Concept
Prizes1st Prize $1500, 2nd Prize$1000, 3rd Prize $500 


For the largest portion of our history as a kind, we humans have entrusted paper with most of our acts of communication. Letters have been the most important tool at our disposal, and we have used them to convey the words of gods and kings, to serve as means of payment, to shake the collective conscience by writing open ones and publishing them where many could see them, as well as to connect with distant people that we love and nurture our relationships with them.

As paper is being replaced by our electronic devices, the function of letter writing is also being transformed by our incorporeal, atemporal new channels.

While physical mail turns into junk mail and into the occasional Hallmark card with a pre-printed message ready for us to subscribe to by signing our name, email takes the place of pen and paper when we are communicating with specific recipients, and social media is the sea in which we disperse thousands of unsolicited, self-promoting messages in a bottle with no ideal reader in mind.

Paper is just a support, but with its specific characteristics and limitations it forged a communication genre that forces us to say all that we need to say, with as much precision as we can muster, within the physical boundary of the available space on the page.

A letter is not as casual as any of the electronic communications we are growing accustomed to. It takes time and effort. It takes intention. It represents its writer for all the time it exists as a physical object, and is not editable. While an email thread can be updated at any point with a new message, a letter doesn’t allow for this flexibility and it forces us to reflect on our words, and only use those we really mean.

This exercise in exactitude, together with the potentially disruptive power of a well worded open letter within the community it resonates with (that is, the community it creates by uniting people who identify themselves as members of it), are at the core of the challenge Blank Space invites you to accept.

We invite you to address architecture, as a concept, as a social practice and as a community, in no more than 500 words, and with an illustration as an auxiliary tool to convey your message.

Through the solemnity and poignancy that letter-writing encourage us to confer to our own ideas, we hope to instigate passionate reflections on architecture’s place in society, and start an open dialogue on its responsibility and mission.

Let’s take this opportunity to make demands of architecture, to keep it on its toes, to express wishes as to what its future should look like and what its concerns should be, to declare our love for it, our hate for it, our neutrality towards it. Let’s use our words to congratulate architecture on its accomplishments, or criticize it for what it has become. Let’s make our own commitments to it, and hold ourselves accountable to them in a public, written form.

With “Dear Architecture,” we wish to initiate a discussion on architecture that extends beyond the life of the competition, one that will grow larger and inclusive, revolving around universal questions such as “How do we shape our world through our actions?” and “How do our actions shape our world?”

Whether the actions in question are building a house, building a city, or rethinking the ways in which we inhabit and use the space around us at an even larger scale and scope, everybody should feel entitled to interact with these ideas and practices which we call “Architecture” for short, and there’s no better way to create a connection than to reach out and say something.

Say something to architecture. Say it to all of us, and say it to yourselves too. Let’s start a conversation.

We look forward to hearing from you.


LETTER: A short letter in 8.5″ x 11″ .doc format, between 400-500 words in length. The letter must be addressed to architecture, and start with “Dear Architecture”, the text must be in English. Please do not use any special text formatting.

ARTWORK: 1 image (9″ x 15″) (vertical format at 300 dpi in .jpg format) to be paired with your letter. The image can be a collage, map, plan, section, elevation, picture, diagram, 3d representation or any other graphic format. The image must contain one image only. Comic-book layouts are permissible, however we encourage entrants to make the text big enough for easy reading online. There are no special layout requirements.


TEAM INFO: Individual or Team participation data in 8.5″ x 11″ in .doc format. This must include the registration code supplied by Blank Space, the names of all participants with their profession, home address, phone number and email.


SUBMITTING FILES TO BLANK SPACE: Files must be e-mailed to Blank Space using a url supplied by WeTransfer. In order to create a wetransfer file link, go to wetransfer.com, click on the small icon at the bottom left corner to select “LINK” and then upload your files. WeTransfer will then give you a unique url. Copy the url, and e-mail it to: competitions@blankspaceproject.com

You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting your entry.

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