The UIA-HYP Cup, today in its 10th edition, is the only student architecture competition in mainland China. The UIA has endorsed the competition since its conception in 2012.
Each edition of the prize is chaired by an internationally renowned architect, who selects its specific focus. This year Rem Koolhaas, from the Netherlands, has selected the topic “Countryside Dilemmas: New Rural Planning”. Using the destructive fire in the ancient Chinese village of Wongding as a catalyst, Rem Koolhaas asks students think deeply about rural development, its benefits and costs, which are thrown into high relief by the larger global challenges of preservation and growing migration crises. Planning the countryside has never been more important for a shared future, and requires exploration of fundamental dilemmas that go beyond replacing the village’s thatched roof tops and intricate wood constructions.
Students are asked to submit projects (a movie no longer than 2:00 minutes and three A1 boards) proposing new experimental planning formats and proposals for rural environments, not only in China, but across the world. The plans should show engagement with and involvement of local communities with a social, economic and cultural component, making use of new (digital) infrastructures in a novel way and considering economic and ecological sustainability.