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2017 ‘Cities for a Flying World’ International Contest Winners Announced

HSE Graduate School of Urbanism has announced the results of the first international contest ‘Cities For a Flying World’.

Shukhov Lab of the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism has updated the results of the first Future Cities Competition ‘Cities for a flying world’. Unfortunately, plagiarism was detected in the submission of the former first prize winners, following which the jury board took the decision to reconsider the results of the contest.

The online competition was open to students and young professionals from any field who were willing to create a new city infrastructure, new buildings, new devices, new social platform or a mix of all of the above for a city where things start to fly. The contest was a research initiative dedicated to the launch of a new Master’s Programme ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ of the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism in Moscow.

More than 600 students and young professionals from all over the world have registered to take part in the contest. For the final stage, 93 proposals from 26 countries were submitted including USA, China, Russia, India, Vietnam and many others. Each project included a brief description about the concepts and graphic materials, plans, elevations, digital models, drawings, photographs.

The winning award went to project ‘Twinkle’ by Honghao Deng and Jiabao Li (Harvard School of Design, USA), dedicated to the use of luminous transformative shapes on light posts. Nowadays the lightning leaves many unsafe perceptions and instigates crimes. Twinkles could be compared to aerial animals like fireflies, which are curious, playful and attracted by human activities. During the daytime, they rest expanding their solar panels for charging. At night, they interact with pedestrians to improve urban safety without surveillance.

The second place was awarded to the project ‘Aerotopia’ by Audrey Chan and Iskm Hon (UK). They were inspired by the current abusive use of energy in cities all over the world which may lead to the energy crisis in the nearest future. Building on the idea that soon we will have vertical airplanes and flying cars, ‘Aerotopia’ proposes to bring the airport back to the city, back to people. It is about the airport which will be divided into different modules and scattered around the city, so it can cater the various needs. The concept revitalises airport infrastructures to house different cultures and different people. The ‘airport of the city’ becomes ‘airport = the city’.

The third place was given to the project ‘Satellite City’ by Olga Melnikova, Alexey Lotsmanov (HSE Art and Design School, Russia) and Vladislav Shlenov (Moscow Architectural Institute, Russia). Being excited about the idea of using flying vehicles, they created a model of the satellite cities connected with megapolises by flying transport.

The aim of the competition is to stimulate creative and research activity in order to generate insights and visions about the city of the future. Organizers were inspired by such modern projects as Uber Flying Cars, Hover Surf and Amazon Zeppelin and believe that flying technologies will transform the urban environment in the future. How will the city change with the flying vehicles? Will these cars fill the urban space like famous spinners in the cult sci-fi movie ‘Blade Runner’ (Ridley Scott, 1982)? Can cars drive take of vertically, hover and cruise using the jet propulsion in the nearest future? If so, how will the city life, its infrastructure and social life change?

Director of Shukhov Lab, former chief architect of Barcelona Vicente Guallart said: ‘The Shukhov Lab is a new center created in the center of Moscow at the Higher School of Economics in order to investigate the city that is to come, and especially the impact of information technologies on the city and society. Through competitions like this one , the laboratory seeks to promote debates on topics of global relevance using Russia’s technological, artistic, cultural or social traditions ’.

Cathy Runciman, media expert, co-founder of ‘Atlas for the Future’ and one of the competition jurors also commented: ‘Many projects took nature as their inspiration for new models of skyscrapers – I found the poetic and elemental aspect of this (while it may not be super practical in the short term) very seductive, especially thinking about how flying technologies may help us to live more harmoniously’.

The official Awards Ceremony and the exhibition of the projects will be held in Shukhov Lab in March 2018. Second Future Cities competition will be launched in April 2018.

Projects were evaluated by an international jury board:

Silvia Brandi – Director of Communications and External Relations, IAAC MAA Senior Faculty, Barcelona

Ali Basbous – Founder and Director of Building by Associative Data, Beirut

Xavier de Kestellier – Head of Design Technology and Innovation ‘Hassell Studio’, London

Vicente Guallart – Director of Shukhov Lab, Former chief architect of Barcelona 2011-2015, Barcelona

Daniel Ibanez – Architect, Harvard GSD, Urban Theory Lab, USA

Sergey Kuznetsov – Chief Architect of Moscow, Russia

Matthias Kohler – Professor of Architecture and Digital Fabrication ETH, Zurich

Greg Lynn – Architect, Head of ‘Greg Lynn FORM office’, Professor of Architecture, Los Angeles

Yang Lei – Industrial designer, Beijing

Joachim Mitchell – Architect, Terreform One, New York

Alexey Novikov – CEO Habidatum, Moscow

Cathy Runciman – Media expert, Co-founder ‘Atlas of the future‘, London

Pati Nuñez – Journalist, Writer, Curator and Communication Consultant ‘Pati Nunez Agency’, Madrid

Matteo Robiglio – Architect, Professor Politecnico di Torino, Torrino

Jon Tugores – Jon Tugores + Architects, photographer and Vueling pilot, Barcelona