Overview 2ACAA 2017

Editorial of 2A Magazine issue 41- Ahmad Zohadi

There are many countries in the great continent of Asia, which have rich and ancient cultural heritage. Each of them has unique, colorful and rich history and civilization, which may look very different on the surface, however they are not contradictory but complementary to one another, because they all have some underlying commonality; which is their richness in culture, history, religion and civilization. International events such as 2AAA, allows us to witness this beautiful display of various amazing cultures and their characteristics in one forum. And in doing so encourages the contemporary architects to appreciate their roots and at the same time learn more  about various viewpoints and methodology of their Asian  Counterparts. It also facilitates the interaction between the Asian Architects. And internationaly promotes the Asian Architecture, and displays the greatness of Asian civilizations specially their amazing architectural designs and projects. 2A Magazine as organizer of 2A Asia Architecture Award hopes to achieve a broader goal, which is bringing architects who are also creative artists together and providing an opportunity for sharing and interacting ideas, help enhance peace, friendship, and disseminate the wave of unity, friendship and peace around the  world.
Meeting this goal, 2A magazine has taken another step towards creating a forum for all architects around the Globe to expand and enrich their vision about architecture which is 2A Continental Architectural Award and it has been organized in Berlin 2017 for Asia and Europe.
Each of these great continents (Asia and Europe) have different cultural and historical backgrounds, therefore their social and architectural needs are also different. Architects of each continent had to consider their local and regional features such as geography, customs, culture, tradition, history, religious values, etc. while designing a project. This consideration has led to the formation of different and diversi ed styles of architecture in each continent. Therefore, after  successfully organizing 2A Asia Architecture Award for  two years, 2A magazine decided to expand the Award to include other continents. Thus, this year (2017), Europe has been comprised in the award as well. This trend will continue, and the organizer wishes to eventually arrange the award for all the continents in the coming years.
2A Continental Architectural Award will be a landmark and turning point allowing practitioners to pause and reflect upon what the continents, as a part of global community have achieved in the field of Architecture.
Architecture is an art and a profession, which plays a multi-dimensional role in any society. Its function and responsibility is not merely to create beautiful living  spaces, it has to reflect and respond to the social, cultural and economical needs and challenges of that speci c society, country, region or continent.

Over Review
Organizing Committee of 2ACAA

The following report briefly outlines the structure of the 2A Continental Architectural Award for Asia and Europe 2017, articulating the process and the considerations made to select the winning projects. This report is divided into three distinct parts, the broad objectives of the award – judging criteria – judging process.

Broad Objectives of the Award
The 2017 2A Continental Architectural Award was an open award for anyone in the national or international architectural community who had designed or built
a project in Asia and Europe during or after the year 2010. The award announcement was published broadly in numerous architecture publications and other media outlets in order to invite individuals or groups to participate.
The theme of this year’s award was “Innovative Architecture in Asia and Europe”. Accordingly, the Award recognized an individual or group’s substantial contribution to today’s architecture in Asia in terms of contemporary challenges in the field and region, which had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.
2A Magazine, the organizer of the award, has always emphasized on unique regional distinctions, rather than global modernism in architecture and the associated
extinction of cultural identity. Accordingly, this award provided a context for recognizing and highlighting the essence of architectural identity in Asia and Europe beside presenting it to an international audience.

Detailed Judging Criteria
The organizing committee set up a two-stage judging process and detailed judging criteria based on the award announcement. These were distributed to the jury members to solicit their feedback. The award criteria was also published on the website. The organizing committee developed a detailed set of guidelines for the jury members to use when evaluating projects, and distributed it to them in advance of the judgment process. In the online review, the criteria were displayed on every page. There were three sets of criteria for the seven categories of projects:

1- Criteria for all categories except interior and urban design:
-Design achievement
– Technical advancement, including engineering achievements (structural, mechanical, etc.) and innovative use of materials
– Reflection of sense of place, ecology, environmental sustainability, and cultural identity
– Social responsibility, community, and urban connectivity
– The effects of economic conditions on the project

2- Criteria for urban projects:
– Design achievement
– Contextual analysis and study
– Reflection of sense of place, ecology, environmental sustainability, and cultural identity

– Social responsibility, community, and urban connectivity
– The effects of economic conditions on the project

3- Criteria for interior projects:
– Design achievement
– Technical advancement, including engineering achievements (construction detail, structural, mechanical, etc.)
– Innovative use of materials and experimentation with new materials
– Reflection of sense of place, ecology, environmental sustainability, and cultural identity
– Social and economic responsibility

Judging Process
The award review had a two-stage process, blind review and discussion review.

Blind Review with Online Scoring
In this stage, jury members were asked to assess two PDF files and a project description for each entry, and score them based on the general goal of the prize. The purpose of the contest was to locate and highlight contemporary urban, landscape, and architectural works in Asia and Europe whose innovative characteristics epitomized the Search for Asian and European Spirit in Architecture, and who contributed to a new direction and order for the cities in these continents. Based on the judging criteria, each project could receive a score from 1 to 10. Each was reviewed and evaluated with other projects in the same category. Although the majority of the evaluation criteria were common among all categories, each category’s submissions were evaluated separately. In the end the jury members chose the candidate projects for the next stage.

Discussion Review in Berlin
In this final stage, award winners were selected based on a selective basis. All of the jury members had copies of the competition criteria and reviewed the projects accordingly. During the deliberations, selection decisions were made in several rounds and by voice vote. Each jury determined his own voting procedures. More important than the tally procedure, though, was the exchange of views taking place during the jury’s deliberations. The final decisions evolved from that dialogue.