World Architecture Festival announces winners of Architecture Drawing Prize 2018

Posted in Events, News on 17 October, 2018

Li Han, one of the founding partners of Drawing Architecture Studio in Beijing, has won the second annual Architecture Drawing Prize with his work entitled ‘The Samsara of Building No. 42 on Dirty Street’. 

This project comprises a chronological visual narrative of the development of a residential building in Beijing, China between 2008 and 2017. It shows how the building was transformed from regular apartments into an apparently spontaneous urban group with commercial venues in the former apartments; how these buildings were then demolished by the government in order to clean up ‘first-floor-homes-turned-into-businesses’; and how the building was subsequently restored to purely residential use. It uses drawing to examine the relationship between civil society and the state in urban development.

Narinder Sagoo, senior partner at Foster + Partners and one of the judges of the 2018 Architecture Drawing Prize, said, “This drawing challenges preconceptions of digital presentation.  It tells hundreds of stories over nine years in which architecture, cities and people’s lives change. It’s important for all architects to consider the life of buildings over the course of time. The drawing captures the energy of a project. You can feel the speed of the city and hear the noise. It’s a modern day Archigram drawing but also a step into the future, which is why it’s an overall winner.”

The prize, which will be awarded at the annual World Architecture Festival (WAF), held this year in Amsterdam, is curated by WAF, Sir John Soane’s Museum and Make Architects. It embraces the creative use of digital tools and digitally produced renderings, while recognising the enduring importance of hand drawing. 

A total of 17 entrants were shortlisted in the three categories: hand-drawing, hybrid, and digital still image. The shortlisted submissions came from a total of 10 countries. The overall winner was chosen from the winners of the individual categories. Li Han, the overall winner, also won the digital category. The other two category winners are Lukas Göbl of Austrian practice göbl architektur ZT GmbH in the hybrid category for ‘City of Beautiful Bodies’ and Carlijn Kingma of Studio Carlijn Kingma in the hand-drawn category for ‘The Babylonian Tower of Modernity’.

Lukas Göbl’s drawing is part of an ongoing drawing project dedicated to the idea of utopia and its role in today’s society. Following Paul Klee’s motto, ‘Not a day without a line’, it treats utopia as a process as much as a destination. 

Farshid Moussavi, founder of Farshid Moussavi Architecture and a judge of the 2018 Architecture Drawing Prize, said, “The power of intuition is here. It’s an example of hand drawing not as a final product but as a successful design and thinking tool.  It’s about drawing as process not outcome.”

Carlijn Kingma’s drawing recasts the story of the Tower of Babel in the light of the modern religion of capitalism. It addresses the idea that social media and the new tools of digital communication are leading to an ever more polarised society and public sphere, at odds with the technological dream of progress.

Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make Architects and a judge of the prize, said, ‘”This is an incredible drawing technically, with skilled projection of detail, shading and depth.  The way it takes you through spaces is phenomenal.  You can look at it for days.”

Several drawings were also highly commended. In the hybrid category these were ‘6 Moments: Meaning through Repetition’ by Vincent Perron of the University of British Columbia and, ‘American Dream or American Nightmare’ by Yue Ma of Cornell University   

In the digital category, Juan Alberto Arjona Belmonte of Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM) was highly commended for ‘The Tower of Memory: the tower and the landscape’ as was Daisy Ames of Studio Ames in the United States for ‘Other Medians: Perceivable Future’.

There was one high commendation in the hand-drawn category. This went to Sarmad Suhail of Bartlett School of Architecture for ‘Embassy Nation’.

A total of 31 countries are represented in the entries, showing the truly international nature of the prize. Of the entrants, 55% are architects, 12% are designers and 33% are students. 56% of the entrants are under 30 as are 63% of the shortlist. 

The Architecture Drawing Prize judges for 2018 are: Owen Hopkins, senior curator of exhibitions and education at Sir John Soane’s Museum; Nicola Kalinsky, director of The Barber Institute of Fine Arts; artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell of Langlands & Bell; Jeremy Melvin, curator of the World Architecture Festival; Farshid Moussavi, founder of Farshid Moussavi Architecture; Narinder Sagoo, senior partner at Foster + Partners; and, Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make Architects.

The winners and shortlist will be on display at a dedicated exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London from 17 October – 18 November. At WAF, in November, the winners will be exhibited on the drawing prize stand and the shortlist viewed via an interactive video screen.  Each of the category winners will present their work on the Festival Hall stage on Wednesday 28 November and will be awarded their certificates at a special reception on Thursday 29 November. The overall winner will be presented with their trophy at the Gala Dinner on Friday 30 November. For the full shortlist of this year’s Drawing Prize, visit

Commenting on this year’s competition, Owen Hopkins, senior curator of exhibitions and education at Sir John Soane’s Museum said: “Drawing is integral to Sir John Soane’s Museum. We are delighted to showcase 17 drawings by contemporary practitioners which together present a cross section of architectural drawing today in all its many forms.” 

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