House of Jazz – Design competition launched to celebrate jazz music by UNI

The architectural design competition offers cash prizes worth $24,000 for the design of a performance space for jazz music and musicians.

Jazz is an intriguing cultural phenomenon in the world of music. Although often relegated to a musical genre, jazz has throughout its history defied attempts to tie it to a definition. From its roots in African-American communities in America at the turn of the 20th century, it has constantly evolved, expanded, changed, and gone through various distinct phases of development. Often defined as improvisation, jazz refutes this stereotype by “oscillating” between the two, being neither entirely composed nor entirely improvised. Yet despite its constant metamorphosis and elusive definition, jazz has the quaint quality of being instantly recognized.

What about jazz music that strives to break free from definition makes it so easy to spot? Can we, as designers, harness these qualities to imagine a home for this eclectic musical genre?

Deprived of the freedom to play the music that came from their homes, slaves in America adapted their music, partially preserving it and creating a new genre of music – jazz. Between 1905 and 1915, deprived of jobs and opportunities, African-American musicians turned to jazz because it could at least be played in honky-tonks, brothels and clubs, and thus emerged the origins jazz performatives.

Today, jazz is often considered a musical genre reserved for the most seasoned connoisseurs of music, but the reality of music is far from conservative and closer to the field than is known. Simply put, jazz is a free-spirited form of music that, despite its changing shapes and tones, is undeniably felt. Can we then, as designers, draw inspiration from this eclectic musical culture that is constantly changing, and design a performative space for it?

UNI, an international architectural design competition platform, seeks inspirational concepts that draw on the history and nature of jazz to design a performance space for jazz music and musicians. Entrants are free to draw inspiration from the images of the spaces where the music originated and was performed, but attempt to integrate it with the ever-changing nature of the music genre. The purpose of this competition is to push yourself to design spaces in a specific theme.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of esteemed architectural professionals, including Dr. Piers Taylor. (Architect, Principal – Invisible Studio, Australia)Paul Laurendeau (Architect- Atelier Paul Laurendeau, Canada) and Laurent Gravel (Architect – Founding Partner – FRES ARCHITECTES, France) with other UNI experts.

A prize pool of 24,000 USD is up for grabs!

For complete information on active prizes and entry fee details, please see the Contest Prizes and Fees section.

Learn more about this contest here.

UNI brings together the largest number of design challenges in the world organized by the world’s best academics and architectural professionals. With over 200,000 registered members, UNI connects the academic and professional spheres of architecture through a unique web-based knowledge-sharing platform.

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Ada J. Kenney