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Architectural quality in competitions: A dialogue based assessment of design proposals
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture. (arc•plan)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9715-9656
2011 (English)In: FORMakademisk, ISSN 1890-9515, Vol. 4, no 1, 100-115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is the outcome of a comprehensive study of architectural competitions in the Nordic countries (1999-2000). The vital content of the research is derived from a series of meticulously conducted interviews with key actors including 18 highly qualified and experi­enced experts from the jury members representing clients, architectural associations and competitors. The study refers to quality as a key-concept and a main source of conceiving, judg­ing and selecting a prize winner. It is possible to articulate how architectural quality issues are met by jury members; how they are being communicated; and how a winner is no­mi­nated. The study provides insight into how the concept of quality in architectural design is understood in practice. Quality is identified through design criteria in a dialogue-based assessment of architecture and urban design projects. The assumption is that the judgment and evaluation of entries in competitions are strongly connected to the leading values, norms, regulations, organizations and traditions in Scandinavia. When quality is contextually bound, the assessment becomes a question of how the solutions fit the specific plot. These issues in a competition process cause uncertainties and discrepancies in judging and selection. However, while the main role of jury members is to agree upon the most appropriate solutions, they finally succeed in designating the best entry through their cumulated tacit knowledge and well-trained eyes. Competence and consensus are therefore two essential factors that make jury members feel confident in their final choice of a winner. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo, 2011. Vol. 4, no 1, 100-115 p.
Keyword [en]
Architectural competitions, Quality assessment, Architectural quality, Design criteira
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-42153OAI: diva2:445838

QC 20111114

Available from: 2011-10-05 Created: 2011-10-05 Last updated: 2012-12-06Bibliographically approved

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