CBDX:BORDERLANDS International Design Ideas Competition

CBDX:BORDERLANDS International Design Ideas Competition

 總獎金: 6000(CAD)

最高獎金: 2000(CAD)

報名時間: 即日起 ~ 2021-06-21

主辦單位: University of Calgary School of Architecture Planning and Landscape

Borders are spaces of transition—thresholds between areas with different characteristics. Whether political and imposed through human agency, or natural and made manifest through geographical features, borders have been, are, and will continue to be a staging ground for civilization’s greatest challenges. As urbanization pushes human activity towards Earth’s hinterlands, and existential threats such as—but not limited to—nationalism, warfare and climate change make geopolitical agreements more precarious, how we choose to choreograph and intersect these liminal spaces will reveal much about our priorities.

CBDX:BORDERLANDS International Design Ideas Competition

This international design ideas competition—the second in the CBDX Series—asks, How can designers intervene in borders? What logics of territory are necessary to mediate between areas on either side of a divide? Is it about “or”? Perhaps “and”? Perhaps neither? Perhaps both? And as advancements in technology further shorten distances and render immaterial previous restrictions across space, What even is the future of borders? How do we design borderlands?

Thus, this competition asks entrants to consider the opportunities, challenges, and complexities latent within borders and propose new paradigms of operation and entropy.


“As humanity wakes from the immobility that has been imposed by the pandemic, the relationships that govern our world will look much different than those of just one year ago. In this transitionary phase to new tomorrows, borderlands hold immense potential as microcosms of civilization. This competition tackles a timely topic that seeks to examine urgent questions.”



Entrants participating in The CBDX: BORDERLANDS International Design Ideas Competition are asked to:

  • Choose any type of border anywhere on Earth—political, natural, landscape, fiat, geometric, maritime, relic, or atmospheric;
  • Choose a topic or friction that presents a programmatic opportunity, challenge or complexity; and,
  • Design a place, structure, thing, system, process, or relationship that positively impacts the agents ( human or otherwise ) that are affected, influenced, or are in proximity to that border.


Competition Launches + Registration Opens: March 22, 2021.

Submission Page Opens: May 1, 2021.

Submission Deadline: June 21, 2021 @ 11:59pm MDT ( Calgary time; GMT-6 ).

Winners Announced/Exhibition Launches: September 8, 2021.

Publication Launches: Fall 2021.


Early ( March 22 – April 30, 2021 ): $30 CAD ( students ); $60 CAD ( professionals ).

Regular ( May 1 – June 21, 2021 ): $40 CAD ( students ); $80 CAD ( professionals ).


$6,000 CAD total prize money

  • 3 winners to each receive $2,000 CAD and a certificate; work will be published in the inaugural CBDX issue, and will be featured in an exhibition of the competition’s selected entries.
  • 12 honorable mentions to each receive a certificate; work will be published in the inaugural CBDX issue, and will be featured in an exhibition of the competition’s selected entries.
  • up to 35 finalists to be be featured in an exhibition of the competition’s selected entries.

Patrons + Partners

About CBDX

CBDX—City Building Design Experiments and Exhibitions—is an initiative by the University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape ( SAPL ). The goals of CBDX are to collectively tackle the big issues of tomorrow, initiate change and foster new ideas, and showcase innovation. CBDX explores two topics annually through an international design ideas competition, resulting in bi-annual exhibitions and an annual publication.


“Borders are political, natural and/or infrastructural spaces configured as hard and soft edges or vectors of flow that simultaneously frame and interrupt, define and divide. Borders are contradictions.”



Luis Callejas is an architect working in the intersection of the fields of landscape architecture, visual arts and architecture. He is the Director of LCLA OFFICE, a landscape architecture firm based in Medellin and Oslo. Callejas is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Previously, Callejas taught architecture and landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design from 2012-2016. His works have been exhibited recently at the Venice Biennale, Oslo Trienniale, Lisbon Trienniale, and the first Chicago Architecture Biennial. In 2013, Callejas won the Architecture League of New York Award for Young Architects.

LCLA_OFFICE | Oslo School of Architecture and Design


Danika Cooper is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where the core of her research centers on the geopolitics of scarcity, alternative water ontologies, and designs for resiliency in the world’s arid regions. Her work incorporates historiographical research methods, data visualizations, and theories of urban infrastructure to evaluate and design for environmental and social justice. Specifically, Cooper is focused on emphasizing alternatives to the prevailing nineteenth-century conceptions that the aridlands should be overturned through technocratic solutions and neoliberal politics. Her work has been published and exhibited around the world, and she has practiced architecture and landscape architecture in both the United States and India.

Danika Cooper | Dry Matters | CED UC Berkeley


Rania Ghosn is Founding Partner of Design Earth with El Hadi Jazairy and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her practice engages design as a speculative medium for making visible and public the geographies of the climate crisis. The work of Design Earth has been exhibited internationally—at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Matadero, Madrid; SFMOMA; MAAT, Lisbon; Milano Triennale; Guangdong Times Museum, Oslo Architecture Triennale, and Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism—and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Ghosn is recipient of the Architectural League Prize ( 2016 ), ACSA Faculty Design Awards ( 2014; 2017 ), the Boghossian Foundation Prize ( 2017 ), and other honors. She is founding editor of the journal New Geographies, editor of Landscapes of Energy ( 2009 ), and co-author of Geographies of Trash ( 2015 ), Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment ( 2nd ed. 2020 ) and The Planet After Geoengineering ( forthcoming ). Her essays have appeared in AR, Log, AD, Domus, Volume, Icon, Avery Review, Journal of Architectural Education, ARQ, San Rocco, Perspecta, Thresholds, and in edited volumes on energy, infrastructure, and climate. Ghosn holds a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut, a Master of Geography from University College London, and a Doctor of Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Rania Ghosn | Design Earth | MIT School of Architecture + Planning


Niall Kirkwood DSC. FASLA is a landscape architect, technologist, and tenured Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design ( GSD ), where he has taught full time since 1992. Kirkwood is also the current Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the GSD and serves as a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment, the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the GSD Innovation Task Force. He teaches, carries out research and publishes on a range of topics related to design, the built environment, climate change, and the sustainable reuse of land including urban regeneration, landfill and post-mining site reclamation, environmental site technologies, site construction and project management and international site development. His English language publications include Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape ( Taylor Francis/Routledge ). Principles of Brownfield Regeneration ( Island Press ), PHYTO: Principles and Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design ( Taylor Francis/Routledge ), Weathering and Durability in Landscape Architecture ( John Wiley ) and The Art of Landscape Detail ( John Wiley ).

Harvard GSD


Clare Lyster is an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago. Her creative practice explores the design of the built environment from the perspective of systems and flows, ranging from the adaptive re-use of 19th and 20th-century urban infrastructure to an investigation of the territorial implications of emerging socio-technical networks. She is the author of Learning from Logistics: How Networks Change Cities ( Birkhâuser, 2016 ); that focuses on how contemporary digital platforms transform urban space as well as co-editor of Third Coast Atlas: Prelude to a Plan ( ACTAR, 2017 ), which explores the relationship between urbanization and hydrology in the Great Lakes region of North America. She is a member of ANNEX, the curatorial team selected for the Irish Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2021 and co-editor of the affiliated publication, States of Entanglement: Data in the Irish Landscape ( ACTAR, May 2021 ). She received the UIC CADA Distinguished Faculty Award 2019-2021; the 2019 UIC Distinguished Scholar Award in Art, Architecture and the Humanities; and, the 2019 SOM Foundation Research Prize. She is Founding Principal of CLUAA, a research design-based office in Chicago.

Clare Lyster | University of Illinois, School of Art + Design


Dima is a landscape architect, urbanist, and design researcher. She is the founding partner at studiolibani, a startup interested in alternative approaches to landscape architecture and urbanism, and recently listed as 2020 Best Young Practices by Archdaily. Dima has been teaching at the American University of Beirut for the past three years. Prior to moving to Lebanon, she worked and taught in Southern California. Dima’s research, writing and publications are at the intersection of design, ecology, and infrastructure advocating for the landscape approach in addressing contemporary urban challenges. Dima received her Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she graduated with distinction and was awarded the ASLA Award for Excellence.

Dima Rachid | Studiolibani | American University of Beirut, LA Department


Lola Sheppard is Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and a Founding Partner, together with Mason White, of Lateral Office, a Toronto-based practice. Lateral Office’s work operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. The firm is committed to design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the wider context and climate of a project– social, ecological, or political. In particular, they have been pursuing research and design work on the role of architecture in rural and remote regions, particularly the Canadian North, for the past ten years. Lateral Office’s work has been exhibited extensively and Lola has lectured across the USA, Canada and Europe. Lateral Office has presented at the Oslo Triennale ( 2019 ), Seoul Biennale ( 2017 ), the Chicago Biennale ( 2015 ) and they were awarded a Special Mention at the 2014 Venice Biennale for Architecture. Lola Sheppard is co-author, with Mason White, of the book Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory ( Actar 2017 ) and of Pamphlet Architecture 30, COUPLING: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism, published by Princeton Architectural Press ( 2011 ). Sheppard and White are also co-editors of the journal Bracket.

Lola Sheppard | Lateral Office | University of Waterloo School of Architecture


Alberto de Salvatierra ( jury chair, non-voting ) is an Assistant Professor of Urbanism and Data in Architecture and Director of the Center for Civilization at the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Founding Principal of PROXIIMA, and a Global Shaper at the Calgary Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. An interdisciplinary polymath, architectural designer, and landscape urbanist, Alberto’s research and work focuses on material flows as infrastructure at the urban and civilizational scales while also working within the broader frameworks of planetary urbanization and landscape as urbanism. His work has been published widely and exhibited both domestically and abroad, such as in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Australia, Sweden and Serbia. In 2019, he was part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s inaugural STS ( Science, Technology and Society ) program on Expertise, Trust and Democracy, and an invited panelist and delegate to the United Nations. Alberto is the past recipient of Cornell’s Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship, Harvard Library’s inaugural May Crane Fellowship, and Harvard GSD’s Penny White Prize. He has previously taught at Cornell University, the Boston Architectural College, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, la Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and the UNLV School of Architecture. Alberto holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and both a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Alberto de Salvatierra | Center for Civilization | PROXIIMA


“The border is deeply inscribed in the collective imagination. It is a focus of contention as well as opportunism. Many people live their lives on both sides of the border, frequently moving between jurisdictions. The border landscape demonstrates the ability of landscape to not just to be shaped by politics, but to shape politics too.”



Early ( March 22 – April 30, 2021 ): $30 CAD ( students ); $60 CAD ( professionals ).

Regular ( May 1 – June 21, 2021 ): $40 CAD ( students ); $80 CAD ( professionals ).

Please read the registration instructions carefully as failure to adhere to the proper guidelines might result in disqualification from the competition.

  • Step 1: Request an Entry ID. This will be your unique identifier for your submission and will allow us to keep submissions anonymous. This is an automated process: you will automatically be assigned a 10-digit number.
  • Step 2: Register for the competition ( we highly recommend you use the same email that you used to request an Entry ID ). The registration page will ask for your Entry ID ( 10-digit number ).
  • *Note: If you would like to submit more than one submission, you will need to repeat steps 1 and 2 again for each unique submission.




So, whether you are a team of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, you only pay for one ( 1 ) Registration and only need one ( 1 ) Entry ID per submission.

“Often perceived as a ‘terrain vague’, borderlands are places of social resistance and sites of ecological resilience.”



Entrants participating in The CBDX: BORDERLANDS International Design Ideas Competition are asked to:

  • Choose any type of border anywhere on Earth—political, natural, landscape, fiat, geometric, maritime, relic, or atmospheric;
  • Choose a topic or friction that presents a programmatic opportunity, challenge or complexity; and,
  • Design a place, structure, thing, system, process or relationship that positively impacts the agents ( human or otherwise ) that are affected, influenced or are in proximity to the border.

Submissions must conform to the page dimensions and instructions provided below:


  • Image 1 ( 8.12 in x 10.25 in @ 300 dpi ): Representative/featured image of design highlighting a specific feature; portrait orientation, full bleed, jpeg ( RGB ).
  • Image 2 ( 10.25 in x 16.25 in @ 300 dpi ): Supporting imagery or development of design; landscape orientation, full bleed, jpeg ( RGB ).
  • Image 3 ( 10.25 in x 16.25 in @ 300 dpi ): Primary/presentation image of design—the “hero” image; landscape orientation, full bleed, jpeg ( RGB ).


  • Statement: title of project and project description text ( 400 words max. ) describing the proposal and how it satisfies the competition brief, including the location of your design ( city, country ); word document ( .doc ) only.
  • Team info – for each member of the team, please include the following ( in the same document ): first name + last name, nationality ( multiple ones can be listed ), affiliation ( university if a student, company if a professional ); word document ( .doc ) only.


  • Video: one ( 1 ) 90-second ( max ) high-res video ( .mp4 ) @ 1920 x 1080 pixels that further illustrates or supports your design; or,


  • GIFs: 1-5 GIFS @ 1080×1080 pixels that further illustrates or supports your design.



  • Image 1: ENTRYID_Title of Project_Image1.jpeg
  • Image 2: ENTRYID_Title of Project_Image2.jpeg
  • Image 3: ENTRYID_Title of Project_Image3.jpeg
  • Statement: ENTRYID_Title of Project_Statement.doc
  • Team document: ENTRYID_Title of Project_Team.doc
  • Video: ENTRYID_Title of Project_Video.mp4 ( OPTIONAL )
  • GIFs: ENTRYID_Title of Project_gif1.gif ( OPTIONAL )


“[This] competition could not be better timed. The question of geo-political borders, health divides, ecological frontiers, racial boundaries have been brought into sharp focus in the past year, although these challenges are long-standing and persistent. How can the design of our cities identify, challenge, and dismantle these multiplying borders is a critical question.”



Q: Are there any limits to the site that I can choose?
A: Yes. Your site must be a border found somewhere on Earth.

Q: Does my site have to be a border?
A: Yes. However, you can choose any type of border you want; feel free to interpret the word “border” in the broadest sense of the word. Potential sites could include political borders ( such as between countries ), natural borders ( such as between water and land ), relic borders ( such as between East and West Germany ), etc.

Q: Can my border be any size or shape?
A: Yes, your border can be as small or as large as needed.

Q: How specific does my border have to be?
A: It depends on what your design is. Your design could be a strategy along a broad swath of territory ( like the U.S.A-Mexico border ), or it could be for a specific instance along that border ( like the border between the cities of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, U.S.A ).


Q: Are there any limits to the topic or “friction” that I can choose?
A: No. You are free to choose any topic or friction.

Q: What is an example of a topic or “friction”?
A: A potential topic or “friction” could be the geo-political conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus Mountains between Russia, Turkey and Iran; climate-induced sea-level rise in Miami, Florida; or, the growth of red poppies on the sites of disturbed soil in World War I’s Western Front ( such as in Flanders ).

Q: Does my border have to address human agents?
A: No. Your border could address non-human agents such as plants or animals.


Q: Is there a limit to what I can design?
A: No. You can design any place, structure, thing, system, process, or relationship that positively impacts the agents ( human or otherwise ) that are affected, influenced, or are in proximity to your chosen border.

Q: Can my design include other disciplines?
A: Yes.

Q: Can my design be projective—speculate on a future condition?
A: Yes.

Q: How realistic does my design have to be?
A: CBDX: BORDERLANDS is open to a wide range of proposals—from the practical to the projective.


Q: Who can enter CBDX: BORDERLANDS?
A: This international design ideas competition is open to all—students and professionals, individuals, and teams. There are no professional qualification requirements to enter. Global/ international submissions from all fields are welcomed and accepted.

Q: Are team entries accepted?
A: Yes. Teams are limited to five ( 5 ) persons maximum. No exceptions.

Q: Are entries by a professional office accepted?
A: Yes. However, the above rule still applies. The team document must state clearly, by name, the individual team members ( a maximum of 5 ) on the official entry.

Q: Can I submit more than one entry?
A: Yes, if you would like to submit more than one entry, you will have to request an Entry ID and pay a registration fee for each separate entry.

Q: Do I have to register in advance?
A: We recommend registering at your earliest convenience. Registration will close at 11:59pm MST ( Calgary time, GMT-6 )—the same time as the deadline for the competition. If you choose to register early, the registration fee is less.

Q: If I am in a team with all students and one ( 1 ) professional, which registration fee do I pay?
A: Regardless of the number of students on a team, if there is at least one ( 1 ) professional on the team, you must pay the ‘professional’ fee.

Q: Do I need to conform to the image size requirements?
A: Yes. Entries that fail to do so will be disqualified.

Q: Can I provide more than 3 images?
A: No.

Q: Do I need to give my entry a title?
A: Yes.

Q: How important are the ‘optional media’?
A: These aspects of the submission are optional. Choosing not to submit them will not negatively affect your entry.

Q: How important is the statement?
A: Your statement is a crucial component of your entry.

Q: Can I include the statement in the submitted images?
A: No. Please keep the statement separate from the images. This is crucial.

Q: Can I include text in the images?
A: Other than labels, notations, legends, diagrams, etc… do not include text in your images.

Q: What file formats do you accept for images?
A: .jpeg or .jpg with a resolution of 300 dpi ( RGB ).

Q: Are there rules about anonymity and eligibility?
A: Yes. See our Conditions of Entry below for details. Breach of the conditions of entry—and non-conforming entries—are subject to disqualification.

Q: Are physical/mailed submissions accepted?
A: No. All projects must be submitted digitally through the submissions page on this website.

Q: Can I submit a design I have previously completed for a course? ( user submitted )
A: If the design fulfills all the criteria listed in the brief, then yes. However, the design must not have previously been published anywhere ( e.g., via websites, print, social media, etc… ) prior to the announcement of winners, otherwise the submission will be disqualified.

Q: Our submission is part of a design studio or class—are entries that have been previously reviewed by critics violating the conditions of entry? ( user submitted )
A: Entries will be accepted provided that they have not been published ( e.g., via websites, print, social media, etc… ) in advance of competition winners being selected.

Q: On the registration page, why is “China” not listed as a country? ( user submitted )
A: In our registration system, China is listed under its full name: People’s Republic of China. So, you can find the country indexed under “P.”

Q: Are academics ( university faculty, instructors, researchers, etc… ) allowed to participate? ( user submitted )
A: Yes, this competition is open to all. For the purposes of registration, if the entrant is not a student, they are considered a “professional.” This would include academics.


Q: When will I know if I have won?
A: Winners will be announced at a ( virtual Zoom ) Jury Panel and Exhibition Launch on September 8, 2021.

Q: When will I be able to view the winning entries?
A: All entrants, as well as the public, will be able to view the winning entries during the ( virtual Zoom ) Jury Panel and Exhibition Launch on September 8, 2021.

Q: Can I still view the entries if I miss the Jury Panel and Exhibition Launch?
A: Yes. Selected entries will be exhibited physically, in Calgary, and virtually, on our website. The virtual exhibition will be open to any entrant or member from the public from around the world.

Q: Is it possible for my entry to be selected for the exhibition and/or publication even if I am not a finalist?
A: Non-winning entries may be selected for publication. However, only winning entries ( winners, honorable mentions, and finalists ) will be exhibited.

“The climate crisis is putting environmental issues at the core of a new ‘geopolitics’—the politics of the earth itself. How does design make sense of this shift and its effects on power relations in the borderlands, old and new?”



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