Overview 2A Asia Architecture Award 2016
Editorial of 2A Magazine issue 39- Ahmad Zohadi

Part 1: Over Review: 2A Asia Architecture Award 2016
The following report briefly outlines the structure of the 2A Asia Architecture Award (2AAA), articulating the process for and considerations made in arriving at the selection of 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 2016 2A Asia Architecture Award was an open award for anyone in the national or international architectural community who had designed or built a project in Asia during or after 2001. 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 “Theme: Innovative Architecture in Asia.” 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 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 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 were 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 three-stage process, the: pre-review, blind review, and discussion review.

Figure 1: The two-stage judging process conducted subsequent to the pre-review

Pre-review Process

402 projects were registered online. At this stage, all submitted projects went through a technical review to verify that they met the award standards. To maintain the quality of entries and ensure the required documents, all submissions were required to go through this pre-review stage. Out of 402 submitted projects in seven categories, 358 projects met the award submission standard and were qualified to be reviewed by the jury.

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 whose innovative characteristics epitomized the Search for Asian Spirit in Architecture, and who contributed to a new direction and order for Asian cities. 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.


Discussion Review in Vienna

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 its 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.

Participants from 24 Asian countries

Projects from 2001 – 2016
The acceptance rate of the projects in pre-review stage: 89% The acceptance rate of the projects in 1st stage judgment: 45% The acceptance rate of the projects in 2nd stage judgment: 16% The average acceptance rate of the 2016 2AAA: 6%

Some points have been derived from Negar Kalantar’s article in 2A magazine issue #33 & 34

2AAA jury board meeting and ceremony, Vienna – October 2016

Part 2: 2A Continental Architectural Awards:

Beyond the obvious professional architectural advantages and characteristics, the Continental awards is hoping to help enhance Peace, Compassion and Unity around the world:

Any form of art like architecture have a magical quality which may be subtle and invisible to many people. It has the power to help both the artists and its observers to shift their attention and viewpoints from the material to more subtle esthetic, ethical, social, cultural and sometimes spiritual dimensions, and in doing so it helps to bring people closer together, and enhance peace, kindness and unity among different ethnic groups and nations. In a way, it shifts the focus from segregation to unity. From dividing mental approach which may focus only on differences which tries to show one group is superior to another, into a more humanistic and even spiritual approach which focuses on similarities and unifying factors such as esthetic, common human emotions such as need to love, charity and worship.

2A Magazine as organizer of 2A Continental Architectural Award hopes to achieve a broader goal, which is by 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 will take another step towards creating a forum for all architects around the Globe to expand and enrich their vision about architecture.

ref.: www.award2a.com, www.asiaarch2a.com