Non Architecture launches a Game of Thrones design competition

The popular HBO show Game of Thrones (GOT) has recently come to an end after airing for 8 seasons. Ten years after the launch of the first episode, GOT proved to be a howling success with millions of fans around the world. Set in a fantasy world of medieval inspiration, the series chronicles the violent dynastic struggles for the Iron Throne taking place in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the continent of Essos.

During its course, the show displayed a diverse range of buildings and places of remarkable design interest belonging to different styles and eras. For this reason, Game of Thrones travelled around the world, from Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia and Italy, to Morocco and Iceland, in order to find exciting filming locations. King’s Landing was represented by the walled city of Dubrovnik, Doune Castle in Scotland, has portrayed Winterfell, the Braavos urbanscapes are a meshing of Venice with the medieval town of Šibenik in Croatia, while Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mayan revival architecture for the Textile Block Houses in Los Angeles inspired the setting of Daeneris Targaryen’s palaces in Esteros.

Deborah Riley, the set designer of the show has many times emphasized the necessity of the sets to be more than a mere backdrop, and actually form a critical part of the narrative – as a story telling of the built environment. This view is backed up by the opening credits, that served as a guide to the physical landscape of the world of Game of Thrones and changed for each episode depending on the locations where the plot was unfolding.

Recognising its importance as a major phenomenon of pop culture and inspired by its dexterity in creating immaculate fictional buildings, cities and landscapes, Non Architecture decided to celebrate its completion with an unprecedented competition.

With “GOT: Architecture XXI century”, we encourage fans and designers to reinvent the iconic castles, fortresses and palaces of the show in today’s world. One drawing, to reinvent your favourite building with your own architectural language. In line with our principles, the competition will leave absolute liberty of design style, representation style, scale and location of the project submitted. Accordingly, the re-imagined building can be portrayed as a whole, in parts, as a collage and in any chosen by the author of the project.

The aim of the “GOT: Architecture XXI century” competition is to reconceive the fictional settings of Game of Thrones as contemporary architectural masterpieces. Participants are asked to draft one image with freedom of scale, technique and level of abstraction, that will convey the new interpretation of one of the show’s castles and fortresses. Choosing one among the most prominent castles of the noble families, participants are encouraged to identify their architectural, functional and aesthetic characteristics and re-imagine them with contemporary and a critical eye.

We encourage creativeness, criticality and innovation.

Participants are asked to submit one image with personal expression. This can be a technical drawing, an axonometric that highlights functional aspects of the building, a close up interior view of its main space, a panoramic perspective or even a comic strip. Regardless of the chosen mode of expression, the image needs to convey with clarity the design concept for the proposed castle.

WINNER (1 prize) 1.500 euros, publication in the Non Architecture book and website, and reviews in digital magazines and several architecture blogs. Selected for the cover of the book.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS (6 prizes): in the Non Architecture book and website, and reviews in digital magazines and several architecture blogs.
FINALISTS: (42 prizes): Publication in the Non Architecture book
For the first time, Non Architecture will be the only jurors of the competition
Marco Mattia Cristofori – Director
Luca de Stefano – Creative Director
Matilde Mellini – Project Manager
Daniela Silva – Researcher & Editor
Giovanni Garrone – Content Manager & Graphic Designer

20-30 May 2019 Pre-sale period
1 June Competition Opening
1 June – 30 June Early Registration period (40 €)
1 July -31 July Late Registration period (80 €)
15 July 2019 Submission Opens
31 July 2019 Submission Deadline (23:59 GMT 0)
21-26 August Winners announcement
15 November 2019 The “GOT – Architecture XXI Century” book available

The timing always refers to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT 0).

Find out more and register to the competition here!