Location: Conceptual
Categories: Idea, Strategy
Registration deadline: April 30, 2021, at 11:59 PM (Early-bird)
Submission deadline: June 21, 2021, at 11:59 PM
Language: English
Organizers: University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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Summary: Borders are spaces of transition—thresholds between areas with different characteristics. Whether political and imposed through human agency, or natural and made manifest through geographical features, borders have been, are, and will continue to be a staging ground for civilization’s greatest challenges. As urbanization pushes human activity towards Earth’s hinterlands, and existential threats such as—but not limited to—nationalism, warfare and climate change make geopolitical agreements more precarious, how we choose to choreograph and intersect these liminal spaces will reveal much about our priorities.

Description: This international design ideas competition—the second in the CBDX Series—asks, How can designers intervene in borders? What logics of territory are necessary to mediate between areas on either side of a divide? Is it about “or”? Perhaps “and”? Perhaps neither? Perhaps both? And as advancements in technology further shorten distances and render immaterial previous restrictions across space, What even is the future of borders? How do we design borderlands?

Thus, this competition asks entrants to consider the opportunities, challenges, and complexities latent within borders and propose new paradigms of operation and entropy.



The CBDX: BORDERLANDS International Design Ideas Competition asks entrants to:

  • Choose any type of border anywhere on Earth—political, natural, landscape, fiat, geometric, maritime, relic, or atmospheric;
  • Choose a topic or friction that presents a programmatic opportunity, challenge or complexity; and,
  • Design a place, structure, thing, system, process, or relationship that positively impacts the agents (human or otherwise) that are affected, influenced, or are in proximity to that border.


  • $6,000 CAD total prize money


Luis Callejas, Director and Founder, LCLA Office (Medellin, Colombia) and Professor of Landscape Architecture, Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Oslo, Norway)

  • Danika Cooper, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley (Berkeley, USA)
  • Clare Lyster, Founder and Principal, CLUAA and Associate Professor of Architecture, UIC School of Architecture (Chicago, USA)
  • Dima Rachid, Founding Partner, Studio Libani and Lecturer at the American University of Beirut (Beirut, Lebanon)
  • Lola Sheppard, Founding Partner, Lateral Office (Toronto, Canada) and Professor, University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada)
  • Rania Ghosn, Founding Partner, Design Earth and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, MIT (Cambridge, USA)
  • Niall Kirkwood, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard GSD (Cambridge, USA)
  • Alberto de Salvatierra, Director, Center for Civilization and Assistant Professor of Urbanism and Data in Architecture, University of Calgary SAPL (Calgary, Canada)

The CBDX Series is made possible through the support of Stantec, a global design and delivery firm. Selected entries will be exhibited in September 2021 and published in Fall 2021. CBDX is organized, in part, by the Center for Civilization.

Visit the official competition website for the full brief and resources.


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