Tapio Wirkkala – Rut Bryk Idea Competition

Submission: April 04, 2016
Registration: March 28, 2016
Language: English
Location: Espoo, Finland
Prizes: Total prize pool of 20.000 €
Type: Open


The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation invites designers from all disciplines to join a discussion on the role of design and the future of archives today, with the launch of Sharing and international open concept competition for the future Wirkkala-Bryk Archive.

The Foundation currently maintains the archive Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk, a collection of over 5000 items. Ranging from final products to preliminary sketches and models, the scope and variety of the collection makes it challenging to exhibit in a cohesive form. Sharing, is a call for competitors to consider how an archive can open up its contents, to create a context, to relate with the world. The competition aims to challenge the existing paradigm for museums and archives and to consider the new possibilities for an archive to become a place for sharing, exploring and cultivating a discourse on design.

To accommodate the broadest range of interpretations and to make the competition as diverse and open as possible, the competition is launched without a predetermined programme. The competition simply presents the objects of the archive in a digital form as the subject of the competition. Competitors are encouraged to form diverse multi-disciplinary teams and submit entries that reflect their combined expertise. Will the future archive be an outstanding work of architecture? An interactive display network? A curatorial framework? With the launch of the Wirkkala-Bryk Archive Competition, we hope to inspire a discussion on the definition of an archive today.

Participants in the competition are asked to propose ways of presenting this collection, to develop a context through which to relate with the objects in the archive. To consider the design archive as an accessible and relatable public establishment, means to fundamentally reflect on the role of design itself and how it relates to the general public. In this light, a key task of the competition is for competitors to consider the changing definitions of design and to establish a position on the relationship between design and society today. The Wirkkala- Bryk Archive strives to develop flows and rhythms with the world to become an active and constantly renewing source of inspiration and critical resonance to the field of design.


The aim of the competition is not simply to select the most ideal design solution, but to establish a dialogue on the nature of archives and design by bringing together diverse perspectives. Accordingly, the jury will select multiple winners that offer distinct critical insights and interpretations of the competition task and aims.

The Wirkkala-Bryk Archive Competition aims to:

• Develop a new consideration for the role of archives in society and the ways they can interact with the general public today.

• Establish a dialogue on the concept of an archive as an active and inspiring participant in the discourse of design.

• Explore the role of physical archives in an increasingly digital world.

• Challenge the existing problem-solving paradigm of design.
• Provoke a discussion on the role of design in society today.


The competition is open to everyone.


The competition is organized around a total prize pool of 20.000 euros that will be distributed at the discretion of the jury. There will be a minimum of two (2) awarded entries and a maximum of five (5). Each entry will receive at least 3.000 euros in prize money. The jury may also select honorary mentions.

The authors of awarded entries will be invited to an expert seminar in Finland to present and discuss their entries. The seminar is currently scheduled to coincide with the Centenary of Rut Bryk’s birth, October 2016 and the conclusion of the Foundation’s centenary activities.

The Wirkkala-Bryk Foundation aims to implement as many entries as possible and the seminar session will be a venue to further develop the winning entries with the Foundation and local experts. As such, the focus of the competition is on the concept of the proposals, as functional details will be developed further after the competition. The seminars will also be an opportunity to assess implementation and funding with prominent stakeholders. The City of Espoo and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art have already provided a exhibition space within the museum that can be used to implement appropriate entries from the competition.


Competition entries will be evaluated on the basis of their conceptual clarity and critical insight in responding to the competition task. The jury is not only looking for functional solutions to the display and storage of the collection, but rather, for a unique conceptual position on the role of the archive in society today.

In particular, the jury will be looking for:

• An insightful conceptual understanding of the archive and how design relates to society today.

• Proposals that develop the archive as a contributor and mediator to the discourse of design.

• Potential in the entry to provoke a further discussion on the future of museums and archives.

• Entries that consider the archive environment as a deliberate context through which visitors can establish a relationship with design.

It is not required for competitors to consider all items of the archive in a single entry. Competitors may choose to select and develop portions or even specific objects of the archive in a considered way.


All entries must be given a pseudonym. This must be clearly displayed on all pages

• Maximum four (4) A3 panels in landscape (horizontal) orientation, including relevant images and texts to illustrate the concept of the proposal

• Digital copy submitted as a CD or Flash drive
• Declaration of authorship with pseudonym in a sealed envelope

Go to the competition’s website