PROJECT: (Non) Architecture Competition
YEAR: 2021
DURATION: 3 months

In Amsterdam, the lack of a cycling bridge over the river Ij has been a controversial issue for many years. Currently, the city is one of the few that does not have bridges for pedestrians or cyclists, and most people must use a ferry to cross from north to south.

The problem is complex, as the river has high traffic flow, and it would be difficult to integrate a bridge into the existing urban context. Additionally, there is pressure from citizens living and working in the north of the city, which is now difficult to access, to find a solution to the problem. Despite the urgency, the city has not yet found a viable solution. In response, Non Architecture invited designers from around the world to come up with creative solutions that would finally reconnect the north side of the city. More than 70 teams participated in the challenge, adding new energy to the debate around the need for a bridge over the Ij.

Valencia 360°



A digital photo contest for students to contribute to ESPON EU-funded project

PROJECT: Gamified Co-creation
YEAR: 2021 – 2022
DURATION: 24 months
COMMISSIONER: Ayuntamiento de Valencia, Las Naves, World Design Capital 2022
LEADING PARTNER: Generalitat Valenciana, Ivace Internacional


Valencia was chosen as the World Design Capital in 2022, and the city’s innovation center, Las Naves, teamed up with Non Architecture to create a format that would bring citizens closer to the Climate Mission 2030. To do this, Non Architecture selected five teams from its community, three from Valencia and two from other countries, and worked with them to develop five virtual reality scenarios through a gamified design process.


EX FIGURA is a young studio with an experimental design approach. The context is always the foundation - the starting point of every decision. Respecting the environment and wondering about the future are a part of the process. After, the constant research on alternative ways of designing, thinking space and materiality becomes an endless stream of references that feeds new creations. It considers everything done before, regardless of the artform, moment, culture or origin, taking whichever aspects from those examples into an improved architecture. In the end, the new atmospheres are seamlessly connected to the world, to people, to Nature.


C · LAB was conceived with a purpose of discussion between the critical approach and the architectural expression. The materialization of the project is carried out from a space of collective research-experimentation, in which the social engagement as a key role in the transformation of the public space is understood through the graphic tool as a common language. The members -Alicia Marco, Mar Monfort and Eduardo Puertes- are young architects from the ETSA-UPV (Valencia), with international training and multidisciplinary experiences. Their careers run through research, curating and architecture. In their collective work they combine analytical capacity, a technical approach and cultural understanding with the purpose of finding out the needs of the contemporary city to build new imaginaries in the Valencian context and culture.


RAREA is a partnership formed by Patricia Mascarell and Daniel Vera, two Valencian architects based in London. In their practice, they seek and explore new methods to present research and an alternative view of architecture, focusing on true flexibility, non-linearity, identity and the distributions of power. This results in projects that question the invisible architecture and its processes, from the design to the act of living. Their work, narrative driven and visual, attempts to activate conversations within the audience by means of a wide range of formats and genres: ranging from film to installations and dystopia to utopia.


Quatre caps is a visualization studio formed by architects and artists. The five members of the team are: Bernat Ivars, Carlos Lopez, Didac Sendra, Juan Suay and Miguel Tomás. Our studio is based on three main pillars: The production of architectural and product visualizations for studios such as MVRDV or Powerhouse among others, teaching, and graphic and conceptual research in personal works where we explore techniques such as photogrammetry, retopology or virtual reality. Recently one of these personal works, specifically The nice host, has been selected to be one of the projects that will represent the Spanish pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Our way to transmit messages is through images, in them we express our interests and concerns ranging from urbanism to ecology.


Lloyd was born in Zimbabwe, raised in Botswana, trained in South Africa and spent upwards of eight years travelling. He is driven by new experiences in his creative and social realms; feeding off the unknown and with hunger for knowledge and adventure. He spent four years working in the Netherlands and London finding opportunities for the urban metabolism framework to contribute to the sustainable development of the city. He is on a constant quest for new creative solutions to the complex issues of the built environment, and believes in an honest architecture that can critically engage with its environmental, political and social environment. For the past two years he helped set up and has been lecturing at the Architecture department in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Currently he is working on 3D interactive gaming environments which are deployable on a website. Lloyd is constantly searching for new forms of architectural representation and has explored a myriad of different approaches including Augmented reality, Digital mapping, Virtual reality, Interactive Video Games as well as mastering most visualisation programs.


These scenarios depicted the potential consequences of climate-related issues in both dystopian and utopian ways, using iconic locations in the city as their backdrop. The results were presented on a VR website, allowing citizens to access the VR artworks and be transported to a climate-changed future using their smartphones at the selected locations. The results of the process were also displayed live at Las Naves and presented at a public symposium.

Through this project, Las Naves was able to raise significant public awareness about climate-related issues in the city and bring the climate agenda to the attention of many people who might not normally engage with it, thanks in part to the powerful images and extensive press coverage generated by the project.


Cross-Border City



A digital photo contest for students to contribute to ESPON EU-funded project

PROJECT: Crowd-sourced Participation
YEAR: 2021
DURATION: 3 months
LEADING PARTNER: Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems  – ISINNOVA (Italy)
PROJECT PARTNERS: ZaVita (Slovenia), MCRIT (Spain), Spatial Foresight (Luxembourg)

The ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) “Quality of Life (QoL) Measurement and Methodology” project is a research initiative focused on studying and improving indicators for the spatial development of European regions. As part of this project, experts were tasked with defining new metrics for measuring the quality of life with a specific focus on Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.

To bring a fresh perspective to this effort, Non Architecture (NonA) was invited by consortia leader ISINNOVA to participate in the project and was asked to come up with a new approach to involve university students in the conversation. NonA responded by designing a participation process for students in the cross-border region of Koper, Trieste, and Pula, which is an area where people often commute between countries on a daily base.

Through a dedicated website, students were invited to submit a photo that captured their everyday experience of quality of life. As part of the submission process, students were also asked to participate in a gamified survey, which rewarded them with a book for their participation.



This participation process provided valuable input for the ESPON project in two ways. First, the survey responses provided quantitative data and suggestions for indicators that could be used to measure the quality of life. Secondly, the submissions from the students formed a powerful visual narrative of what quality of life means to the younger generation, with the photos serving as a strong visual representation of the topic.

Overall, this participation brought a new level of inclusiveness. This process allowed the ESPON QoL project to gain a deeper understanding of the quality of life from the perspective of university students, providing valuable insights that could inform the development of new metrics and strategies for improving the quality of life in European regions.


Carlo Sessa

Carlo Sessa

Research Director, ISINNOVA

"Quality of life is directly driven by sense of belonging and collective memories. With the Cross-border city contest we captured a glimpse of these feelings through the eyes of young university students from Slovenia, Italy and Croatia."

Community 2050



A collection of strategic visions from professionals and students

PROJECT: (Non) Architectural Contest
YEAR: 2021 – 2022
DURATION: 5 months
COMMISSIONER: Urban Planning and Design Institute Shenzhen (UPDIS)
PARTNER: ARQ; Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC)
MEDIA PARTNERS: KooZ/Arch, Act of Mapping



What will future communities look like and what should urban designers consider when thinking about 2050?

To explore answers to these questions, the Shenzhen Urban Planning and Design Institute (UPDIS) and the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) partnered with Non Architecture to organize the Community 2050 open contest. The contest featured two sites: Amsterdam Ijplein, the “sociocultural hub”, and Shenzhen High Tech Zone, the “innovation ecosystem”. Over 150 designers from 39 countries participated in the contest, developing proposals for one of the two sites, and contributing a total of more than 10,000 design hours. The submissions from professionals and young designers covered a wide range of scenarios and provided an overview of global trends and potential solutions for urban design. Through this initiative, UPDIS, IAAC, and NonA were able to gain insight into where the field of urban design and city-making may and should be headed in the future.


Saiwen Tang

Saiwen Tang

Director of The International Exchange and Joint Design Promotion Center, UPDIS

!The competition has stimulated us to think and explore the future of communities, the future of technology, and even human civilisation and development. It has helped us to find many excellent young design talents with high potentials."