Call for submissions: IASS WG21 Expo

After the success of the 2015 IASS expo in Amsterdam and therefore the 2019 expo in Barcelona, WG21[1] is organising a replacement exhibition to celebrate this success during the annual international symposium of the IASS and therefore the 7th international conference on Spatial Structures. The expo, symposium and conference will happen in Surrey from 23 to 27 August 2021.

Internationally recognized and celebrated artists, designers, engineers, and researchers in cooperation with top universities from everywhere the planet are invited to participate during a contest and exhibition of innovative lightweight structures. The structures must display a robust vision of structural design and innovation. they ought to demonstrably be the results of structural engineering focused research projects. it’s our ambition to possess an exhibition that shows new insights on structural typologies, through the planning of a pavilion. The pavilions are going to be exhibited during the joint IASS – Spatial Structures 2020 symposium in Surrey UK. During the conference the jury of the competition , will award a prize to the foremost innovative realized structure.

The winning team are going to be awarded a prize of €1000 and certificate signed by the jury.

The competition brief is to style an innovative lightweight pavilion/structure. The structure will stand outside at the venue of the University of Surrey. There are not any maximum external dimensions but it’s to be transportable by airplane. Therefore it’s to suit into six boxes each with a maximum external size of 1×0.75×0.65m and maximum weight of 32kg (total pavilion 192kg). The structure should reflect structural engineering research of the submitting team. Each structure are going to be judged by examining the assembly techniques, materiality, and level of structural innovation, constructability, transportability, architectural expression, overall originality, and transfer with art of the finished pavilion. the alternatives of materials, manufacturing methods, erection techniques, then forth are at the whole discretion of every team. Innovative ideas and prototype methodologies that push the boundaries of construction are strongly encouraged.

All entries to the competition are made by completing the online application form available on the WG21 website.

The pavilion contest consists of three phases:

Phase 1: Initial proposals 

August 2020: Provision of design rules and other conditions.
October 2020: 2D model of the expo venue will be provided on website.
31st January 2021: Submission of initial team proposals, allowing safety check by local authorities (it is possible to submit a preliminary design first and the final design later.)
14th February 2021: Acceptance of proposals and payment of contribution. WG21(the organizers will send an invoice to the team or sponsor of the team.

Phase 2: Detailed design and construction

February-August 2021: finishing of the Design and realization by each team of their pavilions as a “transportable kit”. This stage will include detailed design submissions to IASS and WG21.
Thursday 19th August – Saturday 21st August 2021. Building of pavilions in Surrey, undertaken by each team.

Phase 3: Exposition

Official opening of the exposition Monday 23rd August 2021
Exposition paper session during IASS Structural Membranes Symposium.
Award ceremony during closing of the Symposium.
Removal of pavilions by each team, 27th August 2021.

During the symposium in Surrey there will be a special session organized by WG21 about the exposition. All participants will be invited to submit a paper about their pavilion. Papers will be reviewed by the scientific committee of the symposium (not by WG21). After acceptance, papers will be published in the symposium proceedings. For the timeline of the paper submission please look at the website of the 2021 Surrey symposium. A special issue of the IASS journal on the 2019 exposition and 2021 expo is planned to be published in spring 2022. All participants are invited to submit a paper for this special issue of the IASS journal.

During the 2021 Symposium the jury will select one winning pavilion. The prize of €1000 will be awarded at the symposium. The jury will judge the structural pavilions against the following criteria:

  • Structural innovation
  • Materiality
  • Production methods
  • Constructability
  • Transportability
  • Expression
  • Originality
  • Transfer with art

The jury will be recruited from: • Organizers of the symposium • Symposium scientific committee • Board of IASS • Local officials.

The cost for the exhibited structures and organization of the expo will be covered in full by the participating teams. The teams are allowed to invite participating companies, universities etc. to contribute to the exposition by sponsoring in money or in kind (materials and services).

The designs may be produced and realized in cooperation with the supporting company. Companies will have the opportunity to highlight their contribution by showing logos and by providing information about their activities during the Expo. The fee for the participating teams will be calculated using the following formula:

· Fee = €500 euro minus 0.025 x the distance to London in kilometres[2]. The distance between the cities can be calculated at this website. For instance, the participation fee for a team from Paris, will be €491.40; for a team from Melbourne it will be €77,52. This fee is for entry to the competition only and does not include registration at IASS 2021.

At least one member of every participating team must represent the team at the symposium in Surrey in 2021 by registering as a presenting author and paying the corresponding registration fee.

Practical matters and conditions

  1. The contest is open for all participants: artists, architects, engineers, universities, students, professors, companies, groups, individuals, etc.. All pavilions have to be prefabricated in the workshop of the participants and transported to the Surrey venue by the participating teams.
  2. All structures will be standing on the ground.
  3. The material used has to fit in six (imaginary) boxes that can be transported as “regular” luggage by an airplane, i.e. a maximum of 1×0.75×0.65 m/32 kg per box. The maximum weight is 192 kg. This also applies to the teams in the UK. The teams have the option to produce elements at fab‐labs in UK as long as size and weight of all the elements satisfy the above‐mentioned criteria.[3]
  4. The venue of the exhibition will be announced in autumn 2020 and will be outdoor at the venue of the University of Surrey. There will be space for at least 15 pavilions. There is no maximum size of the envelope for the structure. All pavilions will be standing on the ground. (There is no possibility for suspended pavilions). Electricity for the pavilions (lighting, sound or electrical motors, etc.) can be supplied if requested.
  5. Irrelevant or impossible proposals may be refused[4].
  6. The jury will invite only the proposals with the highest quality to be erected in Surrey.
  7. 7. WG21 reserves the right to cancel the exposition or withdraw the prize for the winner as promised in case of financial shortage due to a lack of sponsorship or participants.
  8. From autumn 2020 teams can ask WG21 to provide a (digital) 2D model of the expo venue. Teams can ask for a particular place for their pavilion on the venue. The organization will allocate the places in order of entry. The location of the pavilion will be confirmed definitively after payment of the competition fees.
  9. The participating teams are responsible for the transportation, packing and transportation costs of the pavilion. They should deliver the materials and services necessary to realize the pavilions on site.
  10. The participating teams must ensure the safety of their pavilion. Each team will be required to sign a document about the safety, ownership and responsibility of the pavilion prior to its erection. The organisers have the right to refuse the exposition of the submitted pavilion in case of danger and if the realized pavilion on the symposium is essentially different from the proposed pavilion in January 2021.
  11. The proposal submitted before 31 January 2021 will be checked by the facility department of the venue, the organization of the contest and local authorities on safety. Teams will be required to respond to any comments from local authorities.
  12. All the pavilions will be published in a digital catalogue of the contest and exhibition. The winning pavilion will be published in international magazines on design, architecture and structure.
  13. The teams are free to find sponsoring for the realization of their pavilion. The names of the supporting sponsors can be displayed at the exhibition of the pavilion, the online community and catalogue.
  14. The pavilions remain property of the teams during the exhibition. The venue may be open to the public 24/7. The organisers of the exhibition are not responsible for any damage done to a pavilion by visitors. Further, the organization of the exhibition is not responsible for any damage on the expo venue or injuries to the visitors related to the exhibition of the pavilions.
  15. After the symposium the pavilions have to be removed from the expo and disposed of according to local regulations. Any costs associated with removal or disposal are the responsibility of the team.
  16. In the case of dispute between the jury, the organization of the contest and a team, an arbitrator has to be found that is acceptable to all parties. This arbitrator will be a member of the scientific committee of the 2021 symposium in Surrey.

This contest is organized by IASS Working Group 21 in close cooperation with the symposium organisers of the University of Surrey. The complete information about the contest, rules, jury, etc. will be announced on our website.

  • Title

    Call for submissions: IASS WG21 Expo
  • Type

    Competition Announcement (Built Projects & Masterplans)
  • Organizers

  • Registration Deadline

    January 30, 2021 11:30 PM
  • Submission Deadline

    January 30, 2021 11:30 PM
  • Venue

    University of Surrey

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