Museum of Capitalism Architecture Competition

Submission: February 15, 2016
Registration: February 01, 2016
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: 1st Prize: $500
Type: Open


The Museum of Capitalism is an institution dedicated to educating this generation and future generations about the ideology, history, and legacy of capitalism. Representing the collaborative efforts of a multidisciplinary team of curators, artists, designers, and historians, the Museum strives to broaden public understanding of capitalism through multifaceted programs: exhibitions; research and publication; collecting and preserving material evidence, art, and artifacts related to capitalism; commemorations, reenactments, and other events; and a variety of public programming.

As part of an initiative to build a more permanent public presence, the planning committee seeks bold proposals that answer the question: What should the Museum of Capitalism look like?

Proposals may address questions beyond the visual appearance of the Museum’s design. How will it be built, where will it be located, and how will it interface with its surroundings? How might visitors be drawn to experience capitalism, to think it and to feel it, through interaction with museum spaces? The committee seeks answers to these questions in the form of strong architectural ideas and images.

The Museum of Capitalism’s curatorial vision includes consideration of the close historical ties between museums and capitalism. How might museum spaces reference the role of museums in projects of colonialism, modernization, and industrialization, the social and ecological impacts of the museum’s traditional function in preservation of cultural materials, or the role of museums as ritual spaces for the performance and production of citizenship, identity, and other subjectivities? Entrants are encouraged, though not required, to reflect upon these questions. Who inhabits museum spaces, and why? Who or what is on display, and how does it come to be there? What were the origins and implications of its ordering and classification, its constructed narratives and experiences, its participation and interactivity? And how do the answers to these questions change in a museum that memorializes the era of capitalism?

There are no restrictions on scale or scope of proposals—site, square footage, height, materials, budget, etc.—as long as submissions follow competition rules and meet the criteria for entry. This public competition is the first stage of a design process intended to help guide the thinking behind an eventual building project without imposing any constraints. Designs may be proposed for specific sites or surroundings, may be of reworkings or recontextualizations of existing buildings or sites, and may consist of entire buildings or specific rooms, galleries, or parts of the museum. Though we encourage proposals that are highly conceptual or speculative, the written part of the proposal and its accompanying visual materials should be clear and powerful.

This competition is open to anyone whose life has been affected by capitalism. Architects, students, engineers, artists, and designers are encouraged to participate, either individually or in multidisciplinary teams. There is no limit as to the number of participants per team.

Projects will be judged on their concept, ambition, methodology, and clarity.

There are no restrictions on scale or scope of proposals—site, square footage, height, materials, budget, etc.—as long as submissions address one or more questions put forward in the competition brief, follow all competition rules, and fall within specified word counts, image resolutions, file sizes, and page limits.

1st Prize: $500

December 1, 2015: Competition Launch & Announcement
January 15, 2016: Deadline for Submission of Questions
February 1st, 2016: Registration Deadline
February 15, 2016: Submission Deadline
March 2016: Winner Announced

All applicants must register here by the February 1st deadline. This is an anonymous competition and the registration number is the only means of identification. After your registration has been approved, you will be sent a unique registration number (within 48 hours) which will be necessary for application materials. Only one project may be represented by each unique registration number. Participants may submit various projects, but must register each entry separately. Submissions received without a registration number will not be reviewed.

Registered applicants will submit an application package with registration number appearing at the top right corner of every page.

Digital submissions:
Email your application cover sheet and digital PDF to submissions@museumofcapitalism.org by February 15th, 2016. If your PDF submission is larger than 15 MB, please use wetransfer (https://www.wetransfer.com/) to send your PDF to submissions@museumofcapitalism.org.

Printed submissions:
Printed submissions should be mailed to Museum of Capitalism, 1675 7th Street #24738, Oakland, CA 94623. Note that submissions must be received by February 15th, 2016 for consideration – this deadline is the date of receipt, not a postmark date. Envelopes should be clearly marked “DO NOT BEND”.

Physical applications must be packaged in a sealed envelope. Applicant’s personal information should only appear on cover sheet. The package should contain the following contents:

Please fill out and include the cover sheet as the first page of your submission. Download cover sheet here: museumofcapitalism.org/architecture-competition/cover-sheet. Digital files must be named after the Registration ID Number followed by “info”. For example: 0101-info.pdf.


Please include the following application materials:

Application Cover Sheet (with proposal title and registration number)
Application Project Package
Project Statement (500 words or less, typed, single-sided)
Between 1 – 3  pages of images/plans/diagrams.

Between 1 – 3 pages of visual project documentation are required, sized 8.5 x 11 inches, or one 11”x17” board and one additional 8.5”x11” page. We strongly recommend that applicants include a project board sized 11 x 17 inches horizontal orientation at 300 dpi in .jpg format. Board may include diagrams, sitemaps, collages, photographs, plans, sections, elevations, renderings and any other visualizations or information necessary to convey your ideas. Each page must include your Registration ID Number in the upper right hand corner. Digital files must be named after the Registration ID Number followed by the Image number. For example: 0101-1.jpg and 0101-2.jpg.

A project statement that coincides with the graphic materials, no more than 500 words, in English, written as a text-based document sized 8.5” x 11” in .doc or .pdf  format. Project title should appear in the first paragraph of statement. The text file must also include the unique Registration ID Number in the upper right hand corner. There should not be any marks or any other form of identification. Digital files must be named after the registration number followed by the word “statement”. For example: 0101-statement.doc.

Application package should not exceed 5 pages total. Applicant’s name and any identifying information should not appear on any page except cover sheet.

Entrants are prohibited from communicating with members of the Jury about this competition until the announcement of the winning entry has been made. Partners and employees of any Jury member may not participate in the competition. Any entrant who violates these rules will be disqualified.

This is an anonymous competition and the registration number is the only means of identification. Feel free to contact the competition organizers at architecture@museumofcapitalism.org for clarification on your eligibility.

Questions can be emailed to architecture@museumofcapitalism.org by January 15th, 2015. Relevant questions and answers will be posted on this webpage on or before February 1st, 2016.

Digital submissions must be received by February 15th, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST.

Mailed submissions must arrive by the submission deadline, February 15th, 2016, for consideration. Note that the deadline is the date of receipt, not a postmark date. Please mark clearly “DO NOT BEND” on the exterior of the envelope.

Museum of Capitalism
1675 7th Street #24738
Oakland, CA 94623

Winner will be announced in March 2016.

Winning entry and any additional entries deemed worthy of publication will be included in a printed catalog to be released by the Museum of Capitalism as part of its inaugural exhibition, planned for 2016. Selected entries may also be displayed as part of the exhibition.

Go to the competition’s website