In late 2015, the Museum announced an architecture competition, in the form of a call for ideas that answered the question “What should a Museum of Capitalism look like?” There were no restrictions on scale or scope of proposals, as long as they followed the competition rules and responded in some way to the competition brief.
The proposals we received came from all across the globe, in a variety of styles, approaches, and engagements with the concept. Competition judges Chip Lord, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, and C. Greig Crysler were impressed by the quality and range of submissions. The decision was difficult, as there were many more entries deserving of recognition than could be given a portion of the prize amount or honorable mention. In the end, the judges decided to apportion prizes to these five submissions:
"Poly-iterative Museum", Alden Copley (United States) "Lighthouse", Maxence Mokey (France) "Arbitrary Equivalent" Holes of Matter / Sergio Lopez-Pineiro (United States) "ALL CONSUMING”, Peter Blakeman (Canada) "Museum of Capitalism" Jakob Sieder-Semlitsch, Nicolas Stephan, & Helene Kummer (Austria)
An additional thirteen proposals were selected for Honorable Mention.
“Also Gazing Into Thee”, Chaos Reigns / Mathew Suen, Gary Leggett (United States) / “Museum of Capitalism”, Elaine Tsui (China) / “The Invisible Glove”, Seth Ellis (United States) / “1321”, Kyle Green (United States) / “Freedom Boxes”, Javier Mosquera González (Spain) / “Ouriboros”, Artur Zakrzewski (Poland) / “Big Fish”, Palce Liza / Karol Kurnicki, Barbara Nawrocka, Dominika Wilczy'ska (Poland) / “Three Towers of Dhak",” Muhammad Zahil Suhaimi (Australia) / “Performing Capitalism”, Kah-Wee Lee (Singapore) / “Museum of Nothing & Everything (MONE)”, M. Maxfield Braillard + Eric Rogers (United States) / “The Endless Loop of Seeking Freedom”, Stephanus Theodorus Suhendra, Niniek Pebriany Basri, Dika Ardi Irawan (Indonesia) / “THE BIG BOX”, Normal Architecute / Nazmi Anuar (Malaysia) / “The Pyramid”, Lukas Utzig (United Kingdom)
Representing a range of creative abilities and styles, these selections also reflect the multiplicity of voices, stances, and affective experiences of capitalism that will be needed to create the kind of institution we envision. No one approach will suffice; but in each there is something worthy of incorporating into the collective project of building a Museum of Capitalism.
This architecture competition was an attempt to share the Museum of Capitalism concept broadly, and to invite people to directly engage with it and grapple with some of the same issues that we face as Museum organizers and curators. The competition process was structured to foreground its own status as an artifact of capitalism, and to insert itself into ongoing debates about spec work, crowdsourcing, and creative labor. The competition was free to enter, and rights to all submissions remain the property of their author(s), giving all competition entrants freedom to share, adapt, or use their work however they wish. As one instantiation of what is truly a global project, our Museum of Capitalism encourages all participants to pursue the visions set out in their submissions in their own local contexts, and let a diverse network of Museums of Capitalism proliferate around the world.
Museum organizers are currently working on creating a public exhibition of selected entries, and will be following up with applicants about ways we can help support some of the more feasible proposals. And in recognition of the ongoing nature of this project, the competition will officially remain open, indefinitely, for architects, artists, and anyone with an idea to propose a vision for the physical design of the Museum of Capitalism. The initial competition was free to register, but registrants were given the option of donating a self-chosen amount at the end of the registration process. Museum curators will review submissions on a rolling basis and award prizes when appropriate, using the modest funds raised during the registration process of the initial competition and any future contributions received through this process.