The winners of Drawing of the Year 2016

Cities shaped by conflict: El Hamdi Firas from Tunisia wins first prize

How can you interpret the concept Habitation through a digital drawing? 365 architecture students from 64 different countries gave it a try and submitted drawings for the international student competition Drawing of the Year 2016. Friday 2 December the winners were announced at Aarhus School of Architecture.

The competition theme inspired the contestants to submit drawings that deal with all aspects of Habitation. The jury found that the drawings, in general, represent a variety of typologies often inspired by different traditions within painting, collages and architectural representation and bridging the digital and the analogue, the real and the imagined, the abstract and the concrete with great freedom.

The jury has awarded the best drawings within different typologies celebrating the variety of the expression of the architectural imagination. The awarded drawings have been chosen as leading examples of different drawing typologies and for their exploration of the theme Habitation, putting forward new insights and statements.

All drawings were anonymised in the assessment process.

Cities filled with rubble and ruins

The winner of the first prize of EUR 5000 is El Hamdi Firas, who studies at the National School of Architecture and Urbanism of Tunis in Tunisia.

First prize: El Hamdi Firas

First prize: El Hamdi Firas

The jury explains: “Conflicts throughout the world have filled the cities with rubble and ruins. Accumulated in piles, this shapes the reality of the current condition of contemporary cities like Aleppo. It is a new landscape that manifests individual and collective memories of these tragedies. It is the worst type of monuments of our era. How architecture responds to these conflicts yet remains to be seen, and it is still a task that needs to be solved. It seems reuse will be the architects’ only tool for providing sustainable solutions.

The drawing puts forward this theme of human accumulation and memory in a drawing of a very high artistic level. The drawing explores the digital possibilities, yet it builds on the aesthetics of the hand drawing. It is very well composed, situates itself in the abstract yet real, and references both Giovanni Piranesi and Hugh Ferriss.”

A refugee camp

The winner of the second prize of EUR 2000 is Mickael Minghetti from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne in Switzerland.

Second prize: Mickael Minghetti

Second prize: Mickael Minghetti

The jury explains: “One of the most difficult challenges to architecture is the ability to address the urgencies the world produces. The current refugee crisis is not new, yet its scale and dimensions are. Architectural drawings in the form of technical documents have traditionally been produced to transmit knowledge. The paradox of the drawing is that the refugee tent does not need specifications. It is the architects that have to be reminded of the human crises through their own language of the technical drawing.

This drawing is a brutal, humorous, and extremely honest reminder of that circumstance. The drawing is elegantly composed and pure in its reduction of methods. Every letter and line are extremely precise, making the drawing a piece of art. The title of the drawing “Housing of the Year” is added in the legend of drawing.”

The globalised tower

The winner of the third prize of EUR 1000 is Marten Herma Anderson from the University of Fine Arts Berlin in Germany.

Third prize: Marten Herman Anderson

Third prize: Marten Herman Anderson

The jury explains: “The reproduced modern glass tower has become a symbol of globalisation. Despite local differences, today, we as humans all seem to live in the same tower. The drawing represents this current condition. Not as a flattened image, but as a complex illustration depicting the generic frame yet the different lives. As architects, we still produce these buildings. The question is Is this the dystopia or is this the real?

The drawing has a strong isometric composition. Through light and shadow, you explore a sense of thickness to the building that takes you into the space – a scaleless structure with no beginning or end. The drawing can take you along many paths: the oil tradition, early Russian constructivism, or to references like Edward Hopper and Giorgio de Chirico.”

The jury

  • Architect and Curator Eva Franch i Gilabert (US)
  • Architect Kasper Heiberg Frandsen (DK)
  • Architect Sergei Tchoban (DE)
  • Architect and Rector Torben Nielsen (DK)

Jury report and special mentions

Read the jury report and see the special mentions:

Drawing of the Year 2016 is sponsored by schmidt / hammer / lassen architects, VOLA and Danish Arts Foundation.