A time to remember / Making competitions worth your while

It is a time for sadness and disappointment. The death of Professor John Hopkins at 59 is a truly sad loss for the profession. John was a thoughtful and talented landscape architect who excelled in both practice and academia. Yes we have his legacy of the Olympic Park but do you know – I wish he was still with us. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues; we have all lost a very special person.

The disappointment concerns competitions. Architects John McAslan + Partners won a design competition for George Square in Glasgow and at the same time were told it would not go ahead. I know nothing of the scheme or whether they deserved to win but to deny the winners that feeling of exuberance and joy even for a day is really unkind. I have won a competition and can recall the feeling of euphoria to this day.

In the 1990s the late Ken Fieldhouse and I decided to raise the profile of competitions. I wrote some guidelines for the Landscape Design Trust and https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/generique-viagra/ learnt a great deal about what constitutes a ‘good competition’. We concluded that everyone, including those who did not won, should feel it had been a good experience. The motives of the promoter are central to the success of a competition and some don’t recognise that it is a major PR undertaking. Glasgow City Council’s actions imply a great deal more about the authority than perhaps they would care to think.

My advice for competitions is to look at the motives of the promoter. Is it a real project or a device to raise the profile of the organisation? Are they bound to choose a well-known star to elevate their image? What are the chances of going on to the next stage? Are you being used to give them a range of ideas cheaply? If it all looks negative it is your choice to proceed but at least you understand the deal.

Look at the composition of the jury and understand where each person is coming from. Don’t enter if it is composed of people you don’t respect or are in disciplines that will sway the decision into areas you are weak on or don’t believe in. Read the brief very carefully and analyse what is really required. Needless to say the winning entries always transcend the brief and quite often ignore it. The graphics must be outstanding; Wholesale NFL Jerseys set a deadline when no further changes will be made and ensure all the effort is on the presentation. Read the submission details carefully — after all that work it would be a great shame to be rejected for failing to meet the basic entry requirements.

On a personal note, we learnt this week that our team’s submission for the Great Fen competition was not shortlisted. Staff costs on our contribution were £10k and as there were 201 entries…………well you do the math.

Having said all that, someone has to win a competition and it might well be you! Good luck.

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