SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 3, 2021 –The international Human City Design Award (HCDA) that aims to bring solutions to various urban issues and create a better world opened its third call for entry.
□ This year marks the third edition of the HCDA since its inception in 2019. Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and organized by the Seoul Design Foundation (SDF), the Award recognizes designers who built harmony between people and society as well as people and the environment to form sustainable cities.
○ Advocating five core values—creativity and innovation, sustainability, publicness and sharing, participation and cooperation and positive impact on life—the HCDA successfully positioned and differentiated itself from other globally reputed design awards in just two years.
○ Last year, the Award garnered global attention despite the ongoing pandemic, receiving 99 submissions from 31 countries.
□ The creation of the HCDA was motivated by Seoul’s appointment as a UNESCO City of Design, the first in Korea, and the World Design Capital title holder in 2010. Since then, Seoul has served as a design leader in the East Asian region and, in 2019, became an award-giving city rather than being just a recipient by launching the HCDA. Against this backdrop, the SDF plans to make the HCDA become recognized as one of the top five global design awards.
□ This year, the scope of the award has been broadened to encompass product, visual, digital and multimedia, space and system, experience, service, social, etc. with the intention to encourage the good efforts of designers in all fields.
□ In addition, the Citizens’ Award is introduced for the first time this year, which allows the public to take part in the screening process. The jury comprised of world-renowned experts in urban research and design has engaged in a total of three in-depth screening processes every year. This year, professional jurors from Korea and abroad will conduct the first and second rounds of screening in November and December, and the third round will be accompanied by presentations and by interviews with the top 10 candidates as well as citizens’ voting.
○ Starting this year, 10 final teams competing for the Grand Prize will be dubbed as an “honorable mention.” Their live presentations and interviews will be livestreamed online, and citizens can cast their votes both online and offline.
※ Honorable mention: An award given to top 10 candidates who were not awarded the Grand Prize but nevertheless presented projects of exceptional merit. Until last year, they were called “finalists.”
□ The screening will focus mainly on three aspects: whether the design provided (1) solutions for urban life issues, (2) visions for the future, and (3) global values.
□ Another special award titled the “Safety & Security Award” is also introduced for the first time.
This award will be presented to a project that helped maintain safety and security in cities in the face of threats from infectious diseases, natural disasters, and crimes.
○ The Safety & Security Award reflects HCDA’s spirit: seeking designs for sustainable cities that promotes a harmonious relationship between people and society and the environment.
○ This year, the Safety & Security Award will be presented to the designer who found creative solutions to rediscovered urban issues in the face of the global pandemic.
□ The submission period is from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. Application form can be filled out and submitted via the official website (http://humancitydesignaward.or.kr). Details of the announcement and the submission method can also be found on the website.
□ “The spirit of the Human City Design Award is to find solutions to problems in cities through design and local cooperation and solidarity,” said Joo Yong-tae, acting director of the SDF. “I hope to see a diverse range of projects reflecting this spirit submitted this year so that the Award can play its role as a platform for sharing sustainable future designs.”
□ The Grand Prize winners of the 2019 and 2020 Human City Design Award were “Dunoon Learning and Innovation Project” and “Countless Cities,” respectively.
○ The first award ceremony named the “Dunoon Learning and Innovation Project” as the Grand Prize winner. The project instilled a hope for the future into a poor South African neighborhood of Dunoon with underdeveloped infrastructure. Dunoon saw more than fivefold increase in population during the past 20 years but experienced no changes in public amenities. And so, since 2013, the team that carried out the project used recycled shipping containers to build a sports complex and also a local library. A community lounge was also built within the library to provide a learning environment for the residents.
○ Farm Cultural Park’s “Countless Cities” received the honor of Grand Prize for reviving the rural village of Favara in Sicily, Italy during the second award ceremony. The project turned dilapidated, abandoned houses in central Favara into museums for contemporary art exhibitions and spaces for community interaction. The town, which was formerly inhabited by mafias and saw no visitors up until 10 years ago, became a livable city with over 100,000 tourists. It is a marvelous case of revitalizing the whole city through a design regeneration project inspired by art.