Competition Juries as Intercultural Spaces: Between Evaluation, Experience, and Judgement

  • Carmela Cucuzzella Concordia University


In this article, design competitions, as they are practiced in Canada, are understood as devices that allow the study of interdisciplinary and intercultural dimensions of architecture. From the construction of the brief to the selection of the winning project, competitions are exemplary platforms for communicating design values. For example, competitor project proposals, which comprise many qualities, including constructive, material, and even political, represent the priorities of each design team, in the form of a place. Jurors debate each of these qualities through their own expertise. In their search for excellence, the competition jury is then an exemplar contact zone. By examining the various documents produced in this process, we can uncover the value systems of the many stakeholders. Observations of jury deliberations and analyses of jury reports can help expose how the diversity of jurors influences the selection of the winning project. Furthermore, in a contemporary context where environmental design is at the forefront, this diversity is especially interesting to study. An environmental expert’s evaluation of quantitative eco-measurements is very different from an architect’s judgment of spatial qualities and experiences. The focus of this article is to understand how such a variety of jurors influences the competition outcome.


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Author Biography

Carmela Cucuzzella, Concordia University

Dr. Carmela Cucuzzella is an associate professor in the Design and Computation Arts Department at Concordia University. She is the research chair on Integrated Design and Sustainability for the Built Environment (ideas-be. ca). She is co-editor, along with Dr. Jean-Pierre Chupin and Dr. Bechara Helal, of Architecture Competitions and the Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge. Her research focuses on the interrelation of the expressive, experiential, and practical considerations of sustainable design practices. Her work is also articulated around the needs of communities where her CoLLaboratoire initiative studies how installations in the public realm can contribute to a deeper embodiment of sustainable practices.

How to Cite
CUCUZZELLA, Carmela. Competition Juries as Intercultural Spaces. FOOTPRINT, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 1, p. 39-62, july 2020. ISSN 1875-1490. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 13 aug. 2020. doi: