Eleven has launched its inaugural ideas and design international competition based on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake: a chance for architects, designers and students to engage in a unique design challenge and help make a difference along the way.
Located just a few miles south from the magnificent Angkor Temples, the Tonle Sap Lake is the largest fresh water basin in Southeast Asia. It boasts a UNESCO biosphere status since 1997 due to its ecological significance as a haven for hundreds of species of birds and fish, many of which are endangered. The lake is also home to more than 1.2 million people living in traditional floating villages. These remote communities migrate seasonally around the basin and rely heavily on its waters for sustenance.
Today, the wellbeing of Tonle Sap’s ecosystem is severely under threat from the national and international price of rapid modernity. As the region develops, high levels of pollution make their way into the lake giving way to epidemic outbursts. This poses a huge threat to the safeguarding of future generations of both wildlife and human population.
The role of the floating structures competition is to tackle this problem through a design-led approach. Entries are asked to help deliver change and innovation by submitting a proposal for a floating structure (or structures) for medical aid, research and ecological education. The objective is to protect the Tonle Sap’s fragile environment, respect the local culture and ecosystem and empower the communities in becoming better-equipped guardians of this unique biosphere.
The floating structures competition – which was announced on May 11th and will run until September 11th – is open to all and calls on thinkers, architects, designers, students and multidisciplinary teams around the world to engage, deliver change and drive innovation through design-led solutions.
Entries will be exposed to a world-class international jury, extensive media coverage and generous awards. The floating structures competition will precede a series of spin-off events in the form of international exhibitions and publications. The winning entry will also have the possibility of directly engaging with a real-life project as Eleven is working towards delivering a live project on site.
The event is run in support of the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC), Cambodia. Proceedings from the profits made through the competition will be given as a charitable donation to the AHC in support of their noble cause in the safeguarding of children in need.
Eleven was founded by Dr Andrea Verenini earlier this year as a global platform for facilitating international design-led think-tanks in solving problems around the world.
“We believe design has a major role in shaping lives”, explains Andrea who has a PhD in Architecture and Urban Regeneration. “Competitions have many virtues; they encourage innovation and foster talent, but most importantly they raise awareness on global issues whilst suggesting possible actions.”
Already, the group is gaining popularity in the international media and prominent architectural and academic institutions worldwide.
More information can be found on the competition’s website www.eleven-magazine.com, where registrations for the events are currently being taken.