Projects/Competitions on

Several of my projects on the portfolio pages reference As stated on their website, Jovoto is a “playground, training camp and workspace for creative talent from all around the globe. We’re a platform to enable creative excellence through mass collaboration.” Jovoto is a platform that hosts competitions for various sponsors.

The first project that I proposed was for the $300 house. Since this project was for a building, I (mistakenly) expected this to be an “architectural” competition. I am used to architectural competitions that have fixed programs, judges from the field of architecture, and judging criteria that rewards architectural creativity as well as how well an entry complies with the program.

As I discovered during the course of my “initiation”, the registered members of jovoto have a huge impact on the winners of the competitions on jovoto, whether they have any qualifications relevant to the project or not. This is dismaying because many members simply vote for what they like without any regard for how well the entry complies with the program. In addition, the voting members can see what entries are popular, which also affects their voting. To a large extent, many of the winning entries are successful because the  contestants, known as “creatives”, have learned how to submit an entry that will appeal to the other creatives, not one that is the best solution to the problem. It becomes a popularity contest. Putting the responsibility to select the “best” entries in a competition with complex requirements in the hands of people who might know nothing about architecture or building design is sure to lead to inequities.

I had hoped that the jury would be more objective in their selection process, but everyone has their agenda and this affects their voting. For example, the first place winner, as selected by the jury, did not even have a front door. How this project complied with the programmatic requirement for “security from others and from animals” is beyond me.

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