Tamayouz Excellence Award is delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 Memorial Design Challenge, launched in February 2021.
Tamayouz Excellence Award is pleased to announce the winning projects of the 2020 Memorial Design Challenge. The recent design challenge, which was the second of its kind, is a speed competition that gives participants seven days to design projects that respond to a theme. While the inaugural challenge, which was launched in May 2020, tasked participants with designing their ideal lockdown space, the second challenge, launched in February 2021, called for designs for a memorial to 2020.
Part of Tamayouz’s growing programme of awards and prizes that recognise and champion positive contributions to the built environment, the challenge is open to the general public. The 2020 Memorial Design Challenge received 139 entries from around the world, with designs ranging from public parks to monuments, temporary installations to permanent buildings. While the lion’s share of the submissions focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, several memorial designs highlighted the Australian bushfires, the Beirut port explosion on 4 August and the Iraqi youth uprising.
Winners selection featured two processes:
Judging panel selection: Tamayouz judging panel selected three winners.
People’s Choice Award: A public vote selected one winner, which was determined by receiving the most reactions on Tamayouz’s Facebook and Instagram pages. The public vote lasted seven days, starting on 21 February.
The jury for the 2020 Memorial Design Challenge met remotely to review all of the submissions and select three winners. The jury members included:
- Philip Michael Wolfson – USA
- Sebastian Hicks – UK
- Kanan Makiya – USA
- Rolando Rodriguez – Mexico
- Natalia Wrzask – Mexico
- Tha’er Qub’a – Jordan
Each of the four winners of the 2020 Memorial Design Challenge wins $100, and the winning projects will be published on Tamayouz’s website, social media accounts and annual review. The projects will also be published on Round City.
After reviewing the submissions, the jury commented: “The submissions presented in Tamayouz’s 2020 Memorial Design Challenge showed an incredible devotion and commitment to thought and design. Especially considering that this was a short one-week charrette. All those who took part should feel that they have benefitted in the conception of a worthy creation. Further to this, a memorial requires interaction, either physical, emotional or both. That interaction is essential to making something meaningful and timeless. Similarly, considering how a memorial acts as a monument is worthy of analysis and this is not just a matter of scale. Thus, many of the entries showed an incredible sensitivity to the ideas proposed, as well as an inspiring way to look forward in looking back at the past.”
The Winners – Jury Selection
Overcome by Rand Hamdallah
Located in Bethlehem, Palestine, ‘Overcome’ is a permanent park that consists of features reflecting the journey of 2020 in Palestine, shedding light on the psychological aspect and how that affected our experience of space-distance and time. The city chosen is the first and most affected city in Palestine to face the virus — Bethlehem. The design was based on a grid of six feet, which is the least amount of space required to be safe in terms of social distancing, while the pathways are wide enough for individual movement along the space giving it a more personal experience.
“This is a visually stunning piece that is incredibly immersive and evocative of complex psychological mental spaces. The work proves that despite sharing a common threat, 2020 had unique effects on each individual and that the psychological trauma, even in people not affected by the virus itself, proved to be just as harmful or more than the disease people were trying to protect themselves against. The black background is reminiscent of the darkest hours, the lack of an urban context speaks of disorientation, and the figures in monochrome speak of how the threat affected everyone the same.”
Awakening by Rama Malaysheh, Sarah Mitwasi and Alaa Amro
Located in Beirut, Lebanon ‘Awakening’ is an homage to the 2020 port blast in Beirut, and features a narrowing walking path that leads to an observation point with views of the port across the coast. This opening view allows visitors to see the site of the explosion in its entirety, as well as the damage caused. The view also highlights the urban context, and shows how life in the city continued despite present challenges.
“Pure, simple and poetic. The project is described in very few words with dramatic visuals, which tell the full story of the project. This memorial has captured in four steps the emotional distress of the citizens of Beirut starting by framing the explosion site and then leading the visitor through darkness into the light and into the endless horizon of the sea. It is a powerful proposal which emphasises hope and a positive outlook into the future.”
A Walk in 2020 by Haya Amin Abu Baker and Mohammad Hammad
Located in Amman’s Hussein Park, ‘A Walk in 2020’ builds a journey through two walls representing the harsh events that took place during the worldwide quarantine. As visitors walk inside, counters that are continuously counting appear, depicting the shocking growth of Covid cases. The deeper into the opening visitors go, the more narrow the passage becomes until it is eventually barely large enough for one person. The movement here is meant to represent the feeling of self-isolation. A beam of light is seen at the end — the silver lining of the whole year — and refers to people emerging from 2020 with appreciation for human contact.
“The simple monolithic typology presents a certain character that can promote a sense of solitude, which in turn allows for an introspective response to something. Contemplation of a person or event can be abstracted. The particular nuance of the digitised counting of Covid cases, either deaths or just known contacts, gives a vastness and distance, possibly from the specific, but furthering reflection. All presented in the darkness of a seemingly black void. The scale is interesting as it is neither too grand to become a personal experience, nor too small to be overlooked.”
The Winner – Public Vote
Freedom & Life by Zainab Kareem, Zahhraa Salam, Zahraa Muniem and Zahraa Hassan
The design philosophy of this project focuses on the principle of freedom and life, as the project’s name suggests. The statue, located in Baghdad, Iraq at a roundabout features a protestor’s figure lifting a flag and trying to achieve their demands from the 25th of October protests. In addition to the October protests, which started in 2019 and reached into 2020, the statue also highlights the struggles of Covid, quarantine and e-learning.
Tamayouz Excellence Award is sponsored by Coventry University, the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, Kufa – Makiya Charity, Dewan Architects + Engineers, Ayad Al-Tuhafi Architects, Bonair Ltd, British Airways, Final Fix Interiors, JT+Partners, LWK + PARTNERS, and the United Nations Global Compact – Iraq Network.