post pandemic performances

PostPandemic Performances: Gatherings in times of Social Distancing

Submission: June 14, 2020
Registration: June 13, 2020
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open


Humankind has witnessed several historic, life-changing episodes such as industrialisation, colonisation and wars, and society has always adapted to such significant milestones fruitfully. Over the years architecture too, has been a witness the very same happenings, and has shaped itself accordingly to suit the times.

While most such events are read and studied about, the ongoing pandemic is a rather unprecedented one.

The future of architecture and the notion of a city too are standing at crossroads. The notion of the city and ‘city-life’ revolves closely around the act of gathering, and the possibilities that come with meeting, living and sharing lives with ‘strangers’. How will the city function if this very function was to change completely? This pandemic though alarming, brings with itself an aperture to redefine architecture and the very experience of cities and its spaces.


We, at Project Platypus introduce a spatial design competition, which will touch upon our experiences, cravings and learnings from a times when the world has come to a standstill. Since ideas are not bound by professions, we invite ‘creatives’ across all fields to collaborate and come up with design and space making solutions that affect us all. We encourage a fresh perspective, and a direct engagement with an exercise as the designer, architect and as someone who experiences their spatial environment on an everyday basis.


The span of the lockdown and social distancing is currently indefinite, and the possibility of this happening again is uncertain. It is only wise then, to create and work towards a system, that is conducive to the lifestyle during times like these.

The performing arts industry thrives largely on live physical interaction for the ecstatic passion of artistic experience. Watching your favourite musician live is unquestionably much more valuable an experience compared to watching a 4K video of a concert. Spatial
surroundings affect emotions. This overwhelming experience is the raison d’être of an artist as well as the audience. Through history, this very art has been the source of solace to humankind through the merriest and darkest of times alike.

Lately, the performing arts industry has taken a backseat, and may take a long while to spring back to normalcy. An important source of passion and recreation in our lives, the performing arts have now been limited to our screens. Experiences which were defined by
their ambience, surroundings, interaction and space, are not exclusive anymore. They are almost immediately interchangeable, with the option of moving from a dance recital, to a concert, to a museum, each with a single tap on the screen.

Eventually, if social distancing were to become a norm, could we explore the possibility of creating artistic experiences without risking our safety, and respecting health guidelines? Could architecture and design facilitate dedicated artistic experiences that allow for a true connect with the art-forms in times like these?

Competition Brief:
We are now looking at a world where social distancing is the norm. And like we always have, it is time to assess, evolve and adapt. Through this competition we want to imagine and design the future of performing arts’ experience.

Participants of the competition are invited to design a physical space which respects safety guidelines for a social gathering of not less than 50, and up to 5000 people, set in built environments of different scales. For us to understand your response to the context and program, the choice of site for the intervention must be made from the below options. The scales of built environment that participants can choose from are as follows (with examples of such spaces and the community that it engages:

(1) Intimate indoor gatherings:

Number of people: 50-1200
Examples: House gigs, club events, band performances, jazz bars

(2) Open, dynamic gatherings:

Number of people: 10-500
Examples: Flash mobs, street theatre, open air performances

(3) Large scale festive gatherings:

Number of people: 700-4000
Examples: Flea markets, art festivals, Pop up Gigs

While the choice of the scale of the audience and environment can be decided by the participants, all the members in the audience need to have a visual, auricular (audio) access to the experience. The proposed designs must allow for a immersive spatial and sensorial
experience for both the audience and the performer (who must be present in the same physical space).

This could be achieved by architectural resolution, conceptual design, through secondary function in an existing space–or a combination of all these, and the participants have full liberty in the approach they would like to take in order to reach the goal.

Timeline and deadlines: (To be Decided)
Opening / Announcement of competition: 2nd May 2020
Early-bird Registrations: 5th May to 15th May 2020
Standard Registrations: 15th May to 31st May 2020
Final round of registrations: 1st June to 13th June 2020
Submission Window: 12PM 14th June to 12PM 15th June 2020

Participant eligibility and registration:
This competition is open to people from all backgrounds.
We have the provision of pairing people from outside the architecture field with willing teams from the architecture background to enable more participation (Willingness to be paired must be mentioned during the registration process by all participants). Registration can be made individually or in teams (not more than 3 people per team) This is a competition that is not profit-driven. Hence, registrations can be made through donations to any one of the listed NGOs or organisations working towards providing relief to the people in need during the pandemic.

Registrations for the competition are to be made by uploading a screenshot of the donation to any of the partner organisations of the participant’s choice.

Submission guidelines:

• One Conceptual Graphic: to explain the idea and concept of the proposal (including,
but not limited to collages, drawings, photographs, graphical representations,
diagrams, illustrations. References attached in this link)
• One 3D Graphic ( 3D view / isometric / axonometric drawing, references attached in
this link )
• Title of proposal (up to 3 words), Subtitle (up to 10 words)
• One textual description about the design proposal (up to 300 words)
• Participants are required to mention the following at the time of submission:
• Category of space designed
• Number of people designed for (audience)
• Brief description of the type of performance (up to 10 words)
• Team member details: (Name, professional background)
Jury Panel:
• Ar. Gustavo Carmona
• Ms. Mare Trevathan
• Ar. Pratyush Shankar
• Ar. Rupali Gupte
• Ar. Shubhra Raje

Parameters of judgement:
• Conceptual Treatment of the program
• Multidisciplinary approach of the proposed concept
• Innovation in representational techniques
• Richness of artistic experience: performer and audiences
• Written Description: containing description of the built environment of the intervention, the conceptual idea, design process and vision of the future of performances and gatherings

Additional points to consider:
• How communities or groups are benefited by the proposed relationship of art and spatial resolution
• Ways in which local art and craft techniques could play a role in redefining the the architecture of artistic experiences

Prizes and winners:
• 3 Winning Entries: cash prize (to be decided)
• Top 5 shortlisted entries from each category: Feature in a dedicated online and printed book published by (a renowned Publication house to be decided), curated and designed by Sortedpandit Studio, Bangalore.
• Winning and shortlisted entries would also be featured in a virtual exhibition on Project Platypus’ website and in a physical exhibition (when the world allows for it!) both curated by Sortedpandit Studio.

What we are looking for at the moment:
Given that the competition is multidisciplinary in its most basic sense, we are open to collaborations in the organisation and the various aspects that go into making this competition a success.
• Organisations from the performing arts space, to partner/support us in any way possible.
• Jury members from the performing arts field
• NGOs who are working with COVID relief to partner with us for the purpose of registrations.
• Architecture/Design/Arts publication houses or research studios who can partner with us on the publication featuring the winning and shortlisted entries of the competition.
• Marketing and Social media partners from art, architecture, design, performing arts backgrounds to invite people from as many fields to participate and engage in the essential dialogue being discussed in the competition.
• Venue partners to facilitate and co-curate the physical exhibition of the entries of the competition.