Challenging Young Minds
Tiny House 2017: Competition Poster
One thing that really intrigues a creative mind and sets it on a path of discovery and invention is a challenge. Competition is one such form that is the best and most efficient way of nudging someone to think out of the box. Over the years, Volume Zero has planned and executed many such amazing, yet unique contests, which are based on real-life applications like ‘Re-School’, ‘TinyHouse’, ‘Unbox’, ‘Aquatecture’ and the more recent one being ‘Little big Loo’.
“The idea behind ‘Re-school’ was to motivate architects and re-imagine the idea of schools. Basically, finding ways to create space for not so privileged students and provide them with opportunity to receive non-conventional education from volunteers and learned people from their own community”, says Aniket. ‘Little Big Loo- Rethinking Public Toilets 2020’ is inviting ideas that can be used to disrupt the perception of public toilets with the most innovative and efficient solution for sanitisation, a real-world problem, which is plaguing our future.
Volume Zero hosts an average of 3-4 contests per year and spreads information primarily through social media and direct interaction with architecture colleges across India. Over the years, these contests have received over a few thousand entries from more than 20 countries. The response led to the birth of Volume Zero Awards, where contests are not only open for students and architects but also for product designers, industrial designers, and engineers.
These competitions are not just based on real-life applications. Some of the topics are more abstract as well, like ‘Moonception’, ‘Marsception’ – imagining life on Moon and Mars and creating functional and recreational spaces. “The basic idea behind these competitions has been how we can make it all interesting, yet educational for not only architectural students, but architects too”, says Aniket.
Interestingly, these competitions have not only garnered attention from the architectural community, they have intrigued minds beyond their community as well. “The age limit to submit one’s entry for these contests is set at 18 years and above. For the Tiny House contest, we had a couple of kids who really wanted to participate, but they were underage. They finally participated with help from their teacher, which was very interesting for us”, says Aniket.