IAF2020 is open calling for "unbuilt" designs submissions

Many architects are able to express their thinking on architecture through practical works while there are also many challenges for implementation of those ideal architectural works or schemes due to current limited knowledge, construction skill and technology etc. However, those “unbuilt” or being criticized as "unpractical" works are also full of pioneering ideas and marvelous design philosophies, which has arose our thinking on life and the world.


Ideal Architecture Festival is an international contest program that focusing on realization and rebirth of those "unbuilt" Architectural design works. Every year, it open calls for submission of unbuilt architectural works from architects and designers around the world to pick out those outstanding and the best entries. The selected works will be awarded and exhibited during GZDW annual fair or in the museum, which provide them opportunities to be put into practice.


Ideal Architecture Festival encourages architects to express their own distinctive and creative thinking on architecture, endow architecture with more art and imagination, giving more possibilities for design to change the future.





Guangzhou Design Week Organizing committee, GZDW International Alliance(GIA)

Strategic Partner


International supported Institutions

American Institute of Architects(AIA) 、 Neu Bauhaus Elite Verein für Meister des Designs e.V.(NBEV)、ACTIVE HOUSE、Macau University of Science and Technology

Press & Publication

Design detail


Eligible Entrants

It is open to global 

*  Architecture colleges and universities /
*  Architecture institues / 
*  Architecture companies / 
*  Architecture Studios / 
*  Individuals (architects, designers).

No limits to nationality or place of registration(organizations)


Scope of Entries

Open call for “unbuilt” architectural works from the world including but not limited to below lists


Including factory, workshop, power house and Warehouse for industrial production. 


Including houses, dormitories for residential use.

Public Building

Including education, office, scientific research, commerce, finance, entertainment, medical treatment, sports, 

transportation, civil affairs, justice, religion, communication, garden, memorial and other types of projects for public activities.


Comprehensive buildings including above types.



Preliminary selection :

IAF2020 Winner (No more than 20% of the total entries)

Final selection:

IAF2020 Best of Best ( No more than 3 entries for each category). 


Jury Members


Dream Helper Committee

The dream building committee is composed of owners, investors, real estate developers, hotel / club / catering management companies, commercial building management companies, government and public institutions, engineering contractors, building materials brands and other owners and design relevant professionals and third-party platforms.

The Dream Helper Committee can be divided into two parts:

Part 1 : To discover and recommend excellent Architects / designers to participate in the selection;

Part 2 : To provide opportunities for those excellent “unbuilt” design works to be completed, help the global architects to realize their dream of unbuilt works or schemes.

  • Dream Helper (Organizations)

  • Dream Helpers (Individuals)


Judging Criteria

The jury evaluates entries based on:

~  The creativity and innovation of design thinkings and models.

~  The feasibility of being constructed and came into service.

~  User-friendly, reliability and safety.

~  Applicability,  economics and valued in market.


How to enter for it

In Chinese: 
Please log in the registration platform in website of DESIGN EPOCH for registration:  "2020 IAF锋建筑节” 
In English:
Please downlown the Application Form and complete it with required info from: 
Ideal Architecture Festival 2020 - DOWNLOAD
The Application Form should be packed with other required submission materials together and be sent to intl@gzdesignweek.com

Requested materials: (Including but not limited)

1. Design Drawing

Content of Design Drawing: Design Description (Including problem-posing, creative planning, design thinking, scheme highlights etc)、regional plan、site plan、location analysis、overall plan landscape and environment、joint designexpression chart and other graphics that could show the design.

The entrants shall apply to corresponding forms or ways for expressions of their designs. The submitted drawings are expected not to surpass 4 pcs, and the proportion shall be decided by themselves. The drawings size should be 841MMx594MM, the type setting and composition is not limited to horizontal or vertical version. The graphics should be submitted as JPG and PSD format, which are no less than 3,000,000dpi.

2. Eligibility and Prerequisites

1) Entrants(Individuals) are requested to provided: Personal profile, portrait, working experience, social achievement/honor/status etc, personal qualification and certification(scanning copy), Identification(like passport etc, both sides in scanning copy;

2) Entrants(Organizations) are requested to provided: Organization profile, social achievement/honor/status etc, business license etc.

3. Optional submitted materials

Video clips(2~4minutes) : In order to present the design thinking well, a video clip is suggested to be submitted together. The team could be show up and to explain the whole design concepts in the video. The format shall be MPEG、MP4、AVI.


Selection Phase 

1) . Deadline of submission: Oct. 10, 2020

All the entries should be submitted to the Organizing Committee before deadline.

2). Preliminary selectionOct. 15 - 25, 2020

The Jury select out no more than 20% of total entries from each catalogue as “IAF2020 Winner”.

3). Announcement of “IAF2020 Winner” : Oct. 31, 2020

All the Winner entries will be announced and published on IAF website and GZDW official Wechat Account.

4). Exhibition for “IAF2020 Best of Best”Nov. 1 - 30, 2020

The organizer will advise the winners(individuals or organizations) to participate in “IAF topic Exhibition” in writing. The winner’s design works will be exhibited during GZDW fair facing to over 400,000 visitors including owners, developers, investors, architects and designers. (The entries could be displayed in forms of model, display-board, video and audio etc. The relevant costs incurred in the model production or relevant arrangement will be covered by the winners)

5). Selection of “ IAF2020 Best of Best ”: Dec. 2, 2020

IAF Jury will be invited to GZDW fair to do the final review, selecting out “IAF2020 Best of Best” entries in “IAF2020 Topic Exhibition” zone.

6). IAF Annual Meeting: Dec. 3-6, 2020

The individuals and organizations who won the “IAF2020 Winner” and the “IAF2020 Best of Best” will be awarded in the annual meeting, which is published and promoted to over 400,000 professionals including proprietors, architects, designers, media outlets etc).




Awarded Benefits

IAF is committed to providing opportunities for excellent "unbuilt" architecture design works to be completed or constructed.
The awarded entries and architects info will 
1). Be presented to the public through GZDW Official Wechat Account.
2). Be Published on the renowned architecture magazine "Design Detail".
3). Be displayed during Guangzhou Design Week 2020 fair and exposed to around 400,000 professional visitors.
4). Be reported and promoted by GZDW official media platforms, GZDW cooperative medias and alliances.
5). Chances to be display and promoted in IAF exclusive museum for years.

6). Chances to participate in IAF activities that will be held in global premier cities.


Fees Explanation

1) The organizer undertakes not to charge any fees from the participants in any name and in any way at any time;

2) Entrants are reminded that it is an offense to offer any advantages (e.g. money, gift, etc.) to the organizer, an employee of the organizer, supporting units or the Jurors as an inducement to reward for favorable considerations. 

3) The transportation and accomodation cost occured during the participation in the IAF2020 series activities should be covered by their own.

4) Organizer will send the guest cards to the IAF2020 winners who will be invited to attend the awarding ceremony on Dec. 3-6, 2020.


Rights and Obligations

1) The applicants' registration shall be deemed to have fully understood and unconditionally accepted the provisions including the rules and the interpretation;

2) The participants shall authorize the organizer to exhibit, present, publicize, edit, publish or print all the submitted works base on award purpose without any charging and regardless of geographical restrictions;
3) The participants shall bear all the responsibilities for participation in IAF2020 Selection. If the personal data or works of the participants are found to be fabricated or not in conformity with the evaluation conditions, the organizer has the right to cancel the qualification of the participants or withdraw the distributed awards. Any lost caused to the organizer under this condition shall be born by the participants;
4) The organizing committee has the right to consider the application as invalid if it fails to submit the evaluation materials as required before the deadline.


Settlement of Disputes 

1) Any dispute raised between the participant and the organization or other participants shall prior to be settled through negotiation. In case the parties fail to resolve the dispute by their own, the organizer can assist to coordinate to figure out a middle ground. If it fails, the parties shall seek legal solutions by their own.
2) In case that the third parties raise disputes on the intellectual property rights to the participants, it shall be resolved and borne all legal liabilities by participants; In case that the organization is involved in the disputes, all lost caused shall be borne by the participants.


Consultation and Contact 

Ms. Lucy Rong
Project Specialist

Mr. James Peng
Project Director

Address: Rm902, Block G, PWTC, No.996, Xingang East Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou, P.R China 510335
TEL:+86 20 8908 0318  | FAX: +86 20 8908 0322 |  Email: pm@citiexpo.com  | Web: www.gzdesignweek.com

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