Complicity and Defiance in Architecture

Charrette 2 – Complicity and Defiance in Architecture

The Premise – When The Shit Goes Down
Architecture is historically complicit with the policies of those in power, both symbolically and functionally. It offers not only representations of power, but also vehicles for enacting power in its most grandiose, oppressive, and physically enduring expressions, from palaces and corporate skyscrapers to border walls and prisons.
Art that opposes power, on the other hand, is more fluid. Graffiti, protest songs, and written manifestos cost nothing and are easily disseminated–all things that architecture has historically never been. As such, there is no canon of activist built architecture. And while there have been revolutionary movements and utopian visionaries in the history of architecture, only now through Photoshop and the internet can an architecture of protest and revolution truly form and proliferate, through imagery that is arguably more provocative in imagined scenarios than built projects in their real-life executions.
We are only a few weeks into his presidency and Donald Trump has already taken steps toward his promised authoritarian legislation: enacting an immigration ban, threatening existing allies, ordering the construction of a border wall, deregulating banks, attempting to repeal universal health care, reproductive rights laws, and years of environmental protection. These displays of power mongering have sent shockwaves through the design community and have already sparked debate about complicity and defiance.
The Proposal – You Better Be Ready
Through original design or borrowed content, we want you to create one architectural image that communicates a clear and provocative message of critique and/or defiance towards any one of President Trump’s authoritarian legislation measures. Now is the time for architects to act, and in this era of digital and social media, and interactivity, creating high-powered visuals (our specialty) is the only way to communicate. Within this mashup culture where reposting, reblogging, and retweeting meet fake news and alternative facts is the opportunity to modify and subvert prevailing tendencies. These dynamics can be harnessed for the worse, but with your help, we can use them for the better.
Example Works:
+ First Place – $1000 + Publication (visit recent press)
+ Second Place – $500 + Publication
+ Third Place – $250 + Publication
+ All entries will receive (1) print from the Trojan Developer drawing series (see below)
+ All entries will be posted on the Reality Cues website
Oil Well | Embassy (2017)
Drug Running | Light Manufacturing (2017)
Human Trafficking | Casino and Hotel (2017)
Special Competition Print Edition (exclusive for charrette entrants)
Valued at $75
8 x 10 inches
Signed by Archistophanes
For more info, visit the Trojan Developer Drawing Series page.
Submission can be your own design or a collage of borrowed work. Entry designs will be judged by the clarity and provocation of the message they illustrate.
Eva Franch i Gilabert – Chief Curator and Executive Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture
Cristina Goberna Pesudo – Co-Founder, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism
Kyle May – Founder, Kyle May, Architect | Editor in Chief, CLOG
Benjamin Porto – Partner, Snarkitecture
Justine Testado – Editor, Archinect | Bustler
Julia van den Hout – Founder, Original Copy | Co-founder CLOG
Liam Young – Founder, Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today | Unknown Fields
Important Dates
Charrette announced: March 15, 2017
Registration deadline: April 01, 2017
Submissions due: April 15, 2017
Winners Announced: April 22, 2017
Submission Requirements
Registration is a flat fee of $50. One entry will be accepted per registration. Group and individual entries are accepted, but only one entry prize will be awarded per each valid registration. Email your submissions to the Reality Cues Librarian (
Submissions are to include:
+ (1) graphic image – 11”x17” / 300 DPI / any orientation / JPG format
+ Project title
+ 50-word max description
+ Entrant(s) name as how you would like it published

Register Here!

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Special thanks to Josh Perez and Dan Sakai!
The Rules
1. No entrant shall receive or be entitled to receive any payment as a result of a submission or for granting the promoters any right here in or associated with the competition except an award pursuant to the rules herein.
2. Ineligible entrants include any staff or directives of Reality Cues, any jury members and direct employees or relatives.
3. Reality Cues has the right to publish without prior consent all materials submitted to this competition.
4. Submissions shall not be published or made public until after the final submission date.
5. By entering the Competition, any and all entrants, agree in full to these Rules.
6. All work submitted for the competition must be the entrant’s original work. It is the entrant’s sole responsibility to ensure that the work submitted does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including, but not limited to copyright, trademark and design right.
7. The decision of the jury shall be final and binding on all parties, and no disputes shall be entertained.
8. The jury might declare the competition deserted and reject any and all proposals received in response to this competition.
9. Entrants may not communicate with the jury about the competition in any way until a public announcement of the winners is made.
Reality Cues is about making architecture in digital, interactive, and social media, where ownership is communal and subject matter changes as quickly as users can click the ‘share’ button. Within this culture of reposting, reblogging, and retweeting is the opportunity to modify and subvert prevailing tendencies. Combine this with the ease with which anyone can alter images to create virtual worlds, and you are left with an increasingly fuzzy area between the so-called virtual and real. The Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, Mr. Trump Competition looks to accelerate this process to see just how fuzzy we can get.