Location: Conceptual
Categories: Idea, Smart City, Public Space, Public Building, Public Infrastructure
Submission deadline: December 16, 2021, 12:00 PM
Language: English
Organizers: CityLabs India

    Summary: Drawing is a powerful medium that is not only used to record what is around us but can also be used to create an imagination for the future. Graphical representations can allow us to express our opinions and anxieties about the city and its architecture. It also gives us the creative freedom to re-configure, re-order and re-imagine our existing cities to hint towards a possible future. The purpose of this competition is to use the power of representation to critique the existing city and create an image for the future city.



    The challenge is to produce an A2 visual representation along with a short written manifesto that imagines the future of the cities. Participants should use the listed scenarios as a guide for the same.

    Rather than begin with a clean slate (tabula rasa), participants engage with an existing city; and imagine the possibilities that can emerge by – Ripping, Mixing & Burning. *

    In this competition, participants will try to use the existing parts of the city and re-configure them (Rip) to create a new configuration (Mix) and represent the same in a single drawing (Burn). Hence the theme RIP, MIX, & BURN – the city.

    Participants aim to develop a drawing that can be an illustration, a collage, a visual commentary, digital or hand-drawn and produce a written manifesto as the key argument for the imagined city.

    * Inspired by the famous Macintosh ad of 2001 that for the first time gave an iMac user the possibility to Burn their music playlists on their CDs.


    Participants to choose any one of the below-mentioned themes as a guide for their visual representation.

    • Technology and the City

    In this scenario, we assume that certain new or existing technologies have begun to dominate our cities in which they either govern, control or perhaps liberate the citizens. Technology has been the rock-bed of urban development, especially so after the Industrial revolution. It changed the way we live and commute; be it the water supply or wastewater systems, transportation or electricity.

    But will future technologies create more sustainable and balanced cities? Or will they splinter the urban fabric by creating a dystopic future? Participants may explore both the positive and negative possibilities of Technology and the City.

    • Nature and the City

    Some of the earliest cities were a result of surplus agricultural practices. It demanded modification of waterways and the organization of extensive labour to carry out the massive civil project of canals and dams. The question of nature in the city at the same time becomes intriguing and challenging to answer.

    At one level, cities modify the existing natural conditions to re-configure and create a new nature; on another level, cities in many parts of the world destroyed the earlier rhythms of nature.

    Can you imagine the relationship between the city and nature in the distant future? Where are we headed? Is there hope, or are we trapped in a vortex of a downward spiral?

    • ​Citizen and the Community

    Across the world, many cities have imagined themselves to be close to the Greek ideal of a polis, where the urban citizen participates in civic affairs. This rhetorical claim of an idea of the public sphere is an important one that makes the city progressive, cosmopolitan, diverse and accepting of the other.

    However, the reality on the ground in our cities are not as ideal; ghettoization, hardening of community identities, and splintering of the large city into many different self-sufficient gated neighbourhoods have taken away the possibility of realizing the true potential of the city.

    Can we imagine a new way in which urban communities can organize themselves, socially and spatially, allowing for the creation of more diverse, just and humane cities? or will we be forced to carve out a semblance of an idea of the “polis” in the endless urbanity of decaying ghettos and shiny condominiums?


    • Competition Launch – 10th September ’21
    • Submission Deadline – 15th December ’21
    • Announcement of Winners – 10th January ’22


    • Grand Total Prize – ₹ 1,00,000
    • Winner – ₹ 75,000
    • Runner-up – ₹ 25,000
    • 5 Honourable Mentions
    • 3 Curator’s Choice


    • Pratyush Shankar (curator)
    • Prof. Seema Khanwalkar
    • Prof. Christophe Jaffrelot
    • Prof. Matthew Gandy
    • Ruturaj Parikh
    • Priyanka Sheth


    This competition is open to all. There is no restriction on education, institution or nationality. Registration can be done as an individual or in a group (maximum three participants).

    CityLabs India and the Panel in charge will follow the same evaluation criteria that will be assigned based on the following –
    1. Clarity and quality of the graphic.
    2. Coherence between the manifesto and the illustration.
    3. Relevance to the theme.

    Find all info about this competition and download the competition on the competition website here.


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