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PLANETARIUM

The Experience of Space

Welcome to Eleven’s 6th international challenge. This time around, we turn our attention to Planetariums.

From the dawn of civilization, mankind has had a fascination with the sky. From Stonehenge to the Pyramids of Egypt and South America, architecture has played a central role in the understanding of space and time, both as an observational tool and as a metaphorical experience.

Today, the Planetarium dome has become the standard vessel for communicating astronomy and astrophysics. However, many of these lessons have become restricted to projections, films or virtual reality, thus downgrading the architecture to a passive container rather than a committed protagonist.

In this competition, we ask if architecture itself could become – once again – the tool for experiencing and understanding space. How can architecture engage with and enhance today’s renewed age of space exploration and discovery? What does the next generation of Planetariums look like?

There are no right or wrong answers, just endless possibilities in the pursuit of excellence and design-led innovation. So… let your creativity go wild and enjoy the process! We really look forward to seeing your fantastic proposals.

This competition is run in partnership with Christina Ciardullo and is sponsored by the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS).


Intro

Architecture, Space and the beginning of Civilisation

Mankind has always been fascinated with what lies beyond our sky. Since the dawn of time, the study of astronomy and space has influenced us. During this time, architecture became a primary tool in the study and mapping of astrological phenomenons, eventually leading to the birth of calendars, which paved the way for the mastery of agriculture: the bedrock for great civilizations to flourish around the world. Stonehenge celebrates the solstices of the sun; pyramids and temples in Egypt map out the night sky; and the Mayan step pyramids tracked the passage of time. It is then that architectural form moved on from its origins as a means for shelter, to became a catalyst for an experience: the link between mankind and the mysteries which lie beyond our world as a way of directly interacting, rationalising, understanding and ultimately experiencing space.

The Planetarium Dome

As astronomy moved away from divination and became more embedded in science, a new architectural model was sought out that could become a suitable mechanism for both learning and teaching: the Planetarium.

Mimicking the spherical nature of our planet, domes became the quintessential shape for this new typology of building: used as concave screens for the projection and mapping of astrological phenomenons, planets and stars.

Planetariums have given us a new way of understanding space. However, in many ways, the direct link between mankind and astronomy has been diluted; reduced to projections where both we and architecture become spectators rather then participants in the adventures and wonders of space.

The Experience of Space: A Renewed Paradigm

A building becomes architecture when a relationship between the physical and the metaphysical is created, thus engaging with the user directly through an emotional feedback. This can be achieved with the manipulation of scale; playing with light, shadow and the shifting dimension of time; tectonics; materiality; and more subliminally with symbolism. These can define, communicate and reinforce both meaning and context, turning design into a teaching tool through experience, engagement and through creating powerful messages which are bound to resonate deeper within the user.

Today, we live in exciting times. We are steps closer to becoming an inter-galactic species, astrophysics has blossomed into the mainstream, and technology (both physical and virtual) has opened the door to previously unthinkable realities.

In this spirit, we ask: how can a new architectural model be created for Planetariums, turning them from passive containers for projections into engaging vehicles for experiencing space?

Focus

We invite you to imagine a new typology of Planetarium, one that responds to new science, new discoveries, new methods of communication and one which allows architecture and design to play a central role in the experience of space.

 

Aims

In this competition, we ask if architecture itself could become the tool for experiencing and understanding space, rather then a passive element containing the planetarium experience. Ask yourself:

How can architecture became the experience of space?

Can architectural form become the function of learning about astronomy rather then simply the container for a projection screen?

Can architecture become a teacher which tells a story through an engaging process of both connecting to space and the end-user itself?

Is there a way for digital advances to compliment physical dimension, in a way which is integrated in the architecture rather then independent from it?

What does the 21st Century Planetarium look like?


Please Note:
A this is a condensed synopsis of the competition brief. A full competition brief will be provided in PDF format after registration.


Submission

Two A1 sheets and 500 words explanatory text per team. Physical models are optional but encouraged. Projects to be submitted online by the 11th August 2017 by 11AM (UK Time).

Outcome image

Jury

Meet our panel of world class experts, scientists, artists, leaders and fellow designers!

dennis

Dennis Cohen

Creative Director and Experience Designer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA)

dennis

Dennis Cohen

Creative Director and Experience Designer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA)

cb

Charles Beichman

Executive Director of NASA's Exoplanatory Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech / NASA JPL

cb

Charles Beichman

Executive Director of NASA's Exoplanatory Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech / NASA JPL

sd

Steven Dubois

Secretary of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS)

sd

Steven Dubois

Secretary of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS)

jimsweitzer

Jim Sweitzer

Astrophysicist and Museum Consultant

jimsweitzer

Jim Sweitzer

Astrophysicist and Museum Consultant

eric-hanson

Eric Hanson

Founder and Partner at xRez Studio

eric-hanson

Eric Hanson

Founder and Partner at xRez Studio

dan-goods

Dan Goods

Artist in Residence at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

dan-goods

Dan Goods

Artist in Residence at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

lars

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Head of Education & Public Outreach Department at the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

lars

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Head of Education & Public Outreach Department at the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

tom-wang-2

Thomas Wong

Partner at Ennead Architects

tom-wang-2

Thomas Wong

Partner at Ennead Architects

christina-c

Christina Ciardullo

Co-Founder of Designer SEArch+ / PhD Candidate at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology RPI

christina-c

Christina Ciardullo

Co-Founder of Designer SEArch+ / PhD Candidate at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology RPI

eloise

Eloise Carr

Editor, Eleven Magazine

eloise

Eloise Carr

Editor, Eleven Magazine

andrea

Andrea Verenini

Founder, Eleven Magazine

andrea

Andrea Verenini

Founder, Eleven Magazine

The 12th Judge

This is you! We will be exhibiting all of the submissions on our website and give the general public the chance to vote for their favourites. The entry that will accumulate more online votes will win the People’s Choice Award and £100!

Fees

  • Early Bird: £60 per team
  • Standard: £80 per team
  • Late Bloomer: £100 per team

Please Note:
Maximum 4 people per team, one submission per entry fee.

Schedule

  • 11 March: Competition is officially announced.
  • 11 April: Registration Opens. Early Bird discounted fee applies.
  • 1 May: Early Bird discounted fee ends. Standard Registration fee applies.
  • 1 August: Standard Registration fee ends. Late fee applies.
  • 11 August @ 11AM (UK Time): Competition closes. All entries are due for submission!
  • 14 August: Public voting opens online for People’s Choice Award.
  • 10 October @ 11AM (UK Time): Public voting closes online for People’s Choice Award.
  • 11 October: Winners and awarded entries are announced. Time to celebrate!

Awards

the
Winner

£2,000 cash prize (per team)

Publication in Eleven Magazine and our global media partners.

Induction in Eleven’s Hall of Fame.

One Free Entry Voucher (per team) for future Eleven competitions.

the
Runner-up

£400 cash prize (per team)

Publication in Eleven Magazine and our global media partners.

One Free Entry Voucher (per team) for future Eleven competitions.

Honourable Mentions

No cash prize (boo)… but lots of glory nonetheless (yay)!

Publication in Eleven Magazine and our global media partners

One Free Entry Voucher (per team) for future Eleven competitions.

People's Choice

£100 cash prize (per team)

Publication in Eleven Magazine and our global media partners.

Induction in Eleven’s Hall of Fame.

One Free Entry Voucher (per team) for future Eleven competitions.

Competition Sponsors, Friends & Official Media Partners

Competition sponsors, friends and partners logos

Contact Us

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FAQ

  • Q1: Who can register?
  • A1: Anyone is welcome to register, be it students and professionals alike.
  • Q2: How many people are allowed per team?
  • A2: A maximum of four people are allowed per team.
  • Q3: How many projects can one team submit? 
  • A3: There is one project per entry required. Teams who wish to compete with multiple designs can register their team multiple times.
  • Q4: Where can I access the full brief? 
  • A4: A full PDF brief, containing all of the competition materials and detailed information, will be accessible once you register for the competition. If you have any questions about the brief or the competition prior to entering, please email a member of our team on info@eleven-magazine.com. Be sure to put ‘PLANETARIUM’ as the subject line the email so that we can prioritise your response and get to you quicker.
  • Q5: When do we have to give you the names of all the members of the team? Before or after the payment of the fee?
  • A5: After. You can add/remove/update your team members through your competition portal, which you will gain access to after you register. You will be able to amend this until the day you submit your project.
  • Q6: How do I submit my work?
  • A6: Online through your competition portal, which you get access to once you register. More information about submission criteria is found on the competition brief which you will be able to download once you register… so don’t leave your registration to the last minute!
  • Q7: How do I register for the competition?
  • A7: Simply click on ‘JOIN’ and follow the instructions. Please note that you will have to have an account with Eleven before you register, but this takes 2 minutes to do and is 100% FREE. We value our user community and your privacy. All account details are strictly confidential to Eleven.
  • Q8: What forms of payment do you accept?
  • A8: You can either pay directly with your PayPal account or with your Credit/Debit card. This will give you instant access. Alternatively, we also accept Bank Transfers, but in this case your registration will be activated as soon as payments clear in our account only. This may take 5-7 days from when you instruct your bank, so if you are planning to pay via Bank Transfer, please leave yourself plenty of time.
  • Q9: Are there any discounts for multiple teams entering the competition?
  • A9: Yes, there are! If you are a practice, an academic institution or a university who wishes to enter multiple teams in the competition, then please email us in regards on info@eleven-magazine.com for more information. Be sure to put ‘PLANETARIUM’ as the subject line the email so that we can prioritise your response and get to you quicker.