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The Secret Life of Buildings – International Competition

The Center for American Architecture and Design of the University of Texas at Austin is hosting an international design/arts/architecture competition, called “The Secret Life of Buildings”.

The call is open for works of art or design that might fairly be called ‘objects’ by the nascent philosophies of Speculative Realism and Object Oriented Ontology, and that will throw light on architecture as a peculiar set of objects, phenomena, ideas, relations, connections, skills, materials, obligations, and operations.

Twenty (20) works will be selected in a two stage selection process, for inclusion in the “Objects” exhibition, scheduled for 20-22 October 2016 at the University of Texas at Austin campus. An edited selection of the objects submitted for exhibition will also be included in the “CENTER 21: The Secret Life of Buildings” publication, to be published in the Fall of 2017.

The call is open for objects that:

  • need nothing else and no one else; that are oblivious to where they are or what is made of them or how they were made, or what is done with (or to) them…OR that depend for their sense, and perhaps very existence, on exactly where they are, the company they keep, what is said about them, how they were made, and what is done with (or to) them;
  • have secrets, capacities, tendencies, or desires; that are “tips of icebergs;” that “listen to different drummers;” that receive or send feeds to other places, people, objects, dimensions…AND/OR that have evident, unique, and remarkable qualities all their own…OR that have no qualities at all and ask who you are;
  • point to or exemplify peculiarly architectural components, elements, phenomena, and processes without themselves being fragments or models (i.e. abstract miniatures) of them;
  • weigh less than thirty pounds and occupy less than fifteen cubic feet shipped, AND can be drilled into and/or be mounted (specify indoors or outdoors) by clamps that are themselves clamped to a steel pole (specify orientation).

All artists, sculptors, designers, architects, and philosophers over 18 years of age are invited to enter, professional and student, U.S. and international. Entries may be from individuals or teams.

“The Secret Life of Buildings” Exhibition Competition Entry Fee

Each proposal cost $50 US. Up to 20 fee waivers are available on a first-come-first served basis, based on need.