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How Participating In Competitions Benefit Architecture Students

As an architecture student, do you like to participate in design and architecture competitions? How often do you take part if you come across one? If not, what’s stopping you from partaking in one? Is it due to the lack of time or your trepidation about facing something new?

Regardless of being a seasoned architect or a pupil, competition can shape you to become a better individual. If you skim through the history, you’ll find several architects who came into prominence after taking a chance and winning it. If Maya Lin’s “Vietnam Veterans Memorial” design got denied, she would not have emerged.

Likewise, multiple designs came up in response to a specific architectural competition. The Pompidou Centre emerged from an architecture competition that prompted a group of budding architects to analyze urban gestures together.

Why Should Architecture Students Take Part In Competitions?

Apart from monetary gain, architecture competitions have a plethora of benefits. Therefore as a student of this discipline, you must try to participate in as many architecture competitions as possible. For instance:  

1. It Allows You To Be Creative

Limitations will restrict you from exercising your creativity. If you’re a student, tight schedules, deadlines, and inexperience will hinder your chances to be creative. Similarly, demanding clients, budgets, or software glitches will weigh you down as a professional. As a result, you may become demotivated and stop flexing your creative muscles.

architecture competitions
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But no matter where you stand in your career, you must always look for opportunities to let your creativity flow. Participating in architecture competitions can help you achieve that. 

Competitions are nothing short of laboratories for untested ideas and explorations. So many concepts and theories remain unexplored due to day-to-day routines and practices. 

Architecture competitions are like a ray of sunshine that brings those theories out of the haze of mundane schedules. You get to think outside the box, make a few mistakes and learn from them. Since creativity is essential in architecture, the more imaginative you become, the better. So don’t hesitate to enter any competition and use it to unravel your concealed ideas.

2. It Builds Your Portfolio 

Participating in architecture competitions is a lucrative way to exhibit skills you cannot show off in real life. You can document those by listing your outcomes and experiences in your portfolio. You may ask, “Why portfolios?” 

That’s because portfolios play a crucial role in enlisting everything you achieved in your career and fetching your preferred job.

It is not unusual for young designers to not have enough chances or time to gain new experiences at a firm. Architecture competitions allow you to break free from your shell and build a portfolio that describes you as an architect.

Furthermore, adding that experience to your portfolio will give you an edge in showcasing yourself better. Never mind if you win or lose, your attitude will show your willingness to accept new challenges. It will also showcase your confidence to put yourself up against others to materialize your imagination. Treat your portfolio like a queen, and it will return the favor like one!

3. It Boosts Self-confidence

Whether you like it or not, your confidence may waver depending on the challenges you will face throughout your career. It may be while expressing your thoughts in front of an audience or selling your project in a life-changing event. 

However daunting it might seem, presenting your ideas to a group of people is one of the most necessary aspects of architecture. 

Participating in architecture competitions can give you that much-needed confidence boost to present yourself better. You can then use this confidence and determination to accomplish your tasks and encourage your peers.

4. It Helps In Gaining Recognition

A good reputation can earn you some outstanding projects and clients before rival firms in a competitive field like architecture. Architecture competitions can help you achieve that, especially if you win it entirely! Desired recognition can boost your clientele and showcase how serious you are about your work. You may be competing against a handful of people or even thousands. Either way, you can showcase your work to a large group of people.

5. It Builds Connections

You may face situations where you’ll have to work with a team instead of participating individually. It will allow you to build connections and enhance your collaborative skills. Working with others lets you materialize fascinating ideas more easily. It also prepares you to work under large enterprises and establish yourself in the real world.

6. It Gives You New Experiences 

What happens if you fail to win the architecture competition you entered? Does that make you a flop? 

Of course not! 

You will gain new experiences with every new competition you take part in. You will indeed feel like a warrior. But it will test your resilience besides letting your creativity flow. 

You may think that your efforts are getting overlooked. Instead, use the criticism as a stepping stone towards success.

It will encourage you to evolve into a better designer.


There are so many perks to participating in architecture competitions. You will get a chance to enhance your portfolio, earn recognition, and exercise your creativity. You will also be able to work on your skills and have fun! Competition may have lesser financial benefits and strict timelines, but it shows the practicality of the profession. 

And we hope that’s all you need to consider architecture competitions with seriousness.

By Sreyoshi Dhali

While finding her solace in silence and everything mundane, Shreyosi prefers to untangle the chaos inside her head and makes an effort to paint scenarios with words that keep her awake at night.

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