I had the honor of being on the jury for the 2015 Oyster student competition, organized by landscape architecture students Karolina Andersdotter and Hannes Kuortti in association with the recent Oyster seminar. Entitled Erase or Embrace, it challenged students to identify a barrier in a city of their choice, and propose how it could be erased, enhanced, or emphasized in a different way.
Since I was myself an organizer of the 2011 edition of the competition, it was particularly fun to sit at the opposite end of the table this time and review the submissions. The judging task was tricky but inspiring, and the 17 submissions took very different approaches to the topic. The notion of a barrier was addressed in various ways. Some entries proposed to overcome physical hurdles, others focused on improving social integration, and yet others challenged different kinds of mental barriers – even the one separating the architect from the public.
The jury unanimously selected the entry by Fredrik Angner and Henrik Lizell, students at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, as the winner. Their proposal activated a dormant train track in Stockholm in order to both connect two physically separated areas, and provide a space where social barriers can be overcome through creative collaboration. Congratulations on the prize!
All entries of the competition are posted on the website of the Swedish Association of Architects.