Register: JUL/07/2019, Submit: JUL/10/2019, Eligibility: Students, graduated, freelance architects, designers, artists; individually, teams (any number of members, at least one member between 18 and 35 years old, members can to be from different countries and universities), Fee: 60 EUR (APR/08 – MAY/12/2019), 85 EUR (MAY/13 – JUN/09/2019), 110 EUR (JUN/10 – JUL/07/2019); +22% VAT, Awards: 1st Prize: 8,000 EUR + realization, 2nd Prize: 4,000 EUR, 3rd Prize: 2,000 EUR, 2 Gold Mentions: 500 EUR each, 10 Honorable Mentions, 30 Finalists Mentions
At the extreme ends of the earth, dull grey skies are whipped by winds saturated with dust. Here, men, women and children wander through boundless expanses of plastic looking for waste to sell at a few cents a kilogram. Is this a dystopia? Is this science fiction? No, it is not. This happens along the river Dhaka in Bangladesh. This is one of the numerous aspects of a disaster, which is now too extended to be told. By nature, plastic waste is indestructible and currently there is an incalculable amount of it on the planet.
Human beings are losing the fight against plastic waste. Actually plastic is not an enemy. It made space travels possible. It revolutionized medicine. Daily, it saves millions of people making food resources safe and accessible to the poorest populations of the planet.
What is needed is not a world without plastic. What is needed now is a revolutionized awareness about waste management. Moreover, a technological research to create sustainable alternatives to traditional polymers is required.
National Geographic is well aware of that. For years, it has been informing the general public about the effects of plastic pollution with its photographs.
Bio-On knows it perfectly too. It is the Italian excellency that invests millions of euros in research in order to develop completely-biodegradable biopolymers.
Plastic Monument is the result of the collaboration between the giant of photography and the biopolymer excellency. It is a competition aiming to create an itinerant architectural installation that will travel all around the world to raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on our planet.
In the fight against plastic waste, everyone can make the difference. Plastic Monument offers architects the opportunity to play a key role in raising awareness. Plastic Monument will create an object to show the world the consequences of disposable culture. It will be the ambassador of a renewed attention on the effects of our choices. It will denounce the disaster caused by the superficiality and bulimia of modern man. However, it will also be the new foundation to protect our planet.
Plastic Monument will be the cultural expansion of “Planet or Plastic?”. This is the first National Geographic exhibition regarding plastic pollution to be held in Italy. Genus Bononiae is the prestigious network of museums and cultural buildings of the city of Bologna.
It supports this exhibition, which is situated in a highly symbolic place: the church chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita. Such church is situated nearby the main square Piazza Maggiore in the historical heart of Bologna. It hosts some of the most remarkable art masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. The church is the legacy of an ancient hospital service. The Italian confraternity “battuti bianchi” founded it around 1275. An exhibition of marvelous photographs will be situated in the symbolic places of treatment and healing. It will stand for the medicine to heal the wounds of our planet. It will show the effects and repercussions of disposable culture on the ecosystem. The goal of the competition will be creating an itinerant architectural installation to be the standard-bearer of the fight against plastic waste. It can be an icon of eco-sustainability or a statement against global pollution. The aim of the installation will be guarding the symbolic sites of our civilization (squares, museums or monuments). By doing so, it will clearly communicate the need to change gear. It will inform and raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystem. In order to ensure a contextualized design aiming at proposing feasible solutions, hereby follows a list of the main constraints and features to take into account for the design.
- Installation site; the installation will be firstly positioned in Bologna. However, architects can choose any scenario to present it. They can contextualize the installation in Tokyo, New York, Rome, Paris or any other city in the world. They can prefigure possible scenarios of an object that will have to reach different contexts and cultures;
- Cost-effectiveness; the lack of a fixed budget aims at enhancing architects’ creativity. However, the installation will have to be sustainable both from a technological and an economic point of view. Therefore, architects will have to take construction costs into account;
- Resistance; the installation will be situated in different kinds of spaces. Hence, the design of the installation will have to enable its setting up both indoor and outdoor;
- Transportability; according to its function, the installation will have to be easily transportable and mountable;
- Durability; the installation will have to be made of durable materials or materials that can be easily replaced;
- Components; architects can choose any material. Nevertheless, the installation will also have to include the plastic waste that will be collected throughout the exhibition. This way, there will be a symbolic connection between the activity of the exhibition and the educational aim of the architectural installation;
- Structural elements; the installation will have to be self-supporting since it will have to adapt to different contexts.