Rapid urbanization is making the public space of Hanoi become messy, with some areas deemed unsightly. A Hanoi’s public design competition is being held with the expectation that the capital will be “every-centimeter beautiful” and “more elegant”.
|An entry by late Spanish designer Diego Chula at the Designed by Vietnam Contest 2020. “New life/ Old Memories” is a design concept wishing to change the visual identities of metal fences that are being used in the public spaces in Hanoi. Photo: vietnamdesignweek.com|
A meaningful contest
The Designed by Vietnam Contest, launched by the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) and Vietnam Design Group, is a part of Vietnam Design Week (VNDW) 2022.
The third season of the contest is the first time it has included a public space design competition dedicated to Hanoi city, with the theme “For Hanoi to be every-centimeter beautiful” - beautiful from fences, trash cans to electrical substation booths.
The contest is open to everyone, professional and amateur, Vietnamese and foreigners, as long as their designs exploit the elements and features of Vietnamese culture, history, traditional crafts, local materials, or stories.
The overall theme of this year’s contest is “New Expectations”, covering competitions in five areas: communication design, costume design, object design and decoration, interior design, and public design.
And for the first time in the field of public design, there is a sub-theme dedicated to public design for Hanoi, “Hanoi design city - every-centimeter beautiful Hanoi.”
For a more beautiful Hanoi
Chairman of Vietnam Design Group Le Viet Ha shared that the reason for adding the public space design competition to this season is the disorder and increasingly dwindling identity of Hanoi under urbanization pressure. The public space and streets here have yet to ensure neither safety nor beauty.
The organizers expect the contestants to send in ideas for designing and beautifying a street corner, a sidewalk, or a park bench or trash cans - small things that carry new expectations: Hanoi, first of all, the Hoan Kiem District area, will truly deserve to be a creative city in the “design” category as honored by UNESCO, “a place of taste, civilization, and culture.”
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, director of the VICAS added that Hanoi possessed both creative tradition and potential, but is facing the threat of its public spaces losing their aesthetic appeal as well as identity.
“‘Old town’ reminds us of a nostalgic feeling of the past that keeps the soul of Hanoi and its people through generations. When new design fences appear on the pedestrian street, the old patterns have a chance to relive in contemporary rhythm and breath to send the message to connect the past with the present and look forward to the future,” Diego Chula wrote. Photo: vietnamdesignweek.com
The contest is aimed to unleash the creative potential in the field of design to make Hanoi more picturesque, while at the same time turning the city into a center for creativity. Meanwhile, all the designs are intended for daily life usage but not for the stage.
“The judges hoped to receive works that were life-centered rather than stage-oriented, the creative and modern designs must be based on the connection with the Vietnamese native culture,” according to designer Vu Thao, a member of the jury.
Vice president cum general secretary of the Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association (VIETCRAFT) Le Ba Ngoc emphasized that the prioritized criterion that design entries must guarantee is zero emissions and sustainability through all five product life cycle stages from raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution and use, to the end of service life, and contributing to the fight against global climate change.
All entries for the Designed by Vietnam Contest can be sent to email email@example.com from July 1 to August 31.
Thirty best works will be chosen for the final round, which will take place within the framework of Vietnam Design Week that will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Hanoi from November 5 to 11, 2022.
Vietnam Design Week is an annual series of events seeking to apply distinguished designs in practical fields that are useful human everyday life, namely food and beverage, living, fashion, souvenir, and public art.