AR 2020


This competition exists in an Alternate Reality. You make the rules in this realm. Does gravity exist? Do humans live on Earth? How far has technology advanced? You decide!

The aim of this competition is to explore wild design ideas – what architecture truly means and what it can achieve without any constraints. Let your imagination run wild and create spectacular designs that grab the world’s attention. The intention is to spark a conversation regarding issues plaguing the world through design dialogue.

The competition received around 150 registrations from participants all over the world. Scroll down to see the most creative ‘Alternate Realities’.

Results in Media

TheCharette Announces Winners For Alternate Realities 2020

Results - Alternate Realities 2020

Alternate Realities 2020 Winners News

Results of Alternate Realities Architecure Competition 2020

Result Announced: Alternate Realities 2020




Principal & Founder – MFGA
Associate Professor – Yale School of Architecture


Computational Architect


Founder & Director – United Make (UDMK)


Architect & Founder – e-architect


Principal & Founder – Kevin Veenhuizen Architects

First Prize winner

Gary PolkJungjae Suh


The world of Icarus posits one simple idea: what if humans had wings? What if we had evolved with wings as just another anatomical appendage, as fundamental and ordinary as an arm or leg? This premise opens up contingencies that affect every part of the para-human history – from the way we survive, to the way we transport, the way we clothe, interact, and so on. More importantly, how do we cultivate our built environment?

These images explore this premise through a series of vectors – an alternate, linear time; an ascension of scale and displacement from the earth into the sky; and spatial evolution.

The objective of Icarus is to contemplate the importance of design origins – that roads built for cars and horses, that we have windows because we enjoy sunlight, and that cities are the way they are due to the intrinsic specifics of the human and the environment they inhabit.

Jury Comments

These designs are complex and innovative. The proposal takes the concept of airships and balloons and adds a delightful mannerism to their forms.

“If angelology is the study of angels, then this is angel-tecture– a fantastic counterfactual proposal that simply imagines how architecture might be different if humans had wings.”

“Change one human characteristic, and you get a true alternate reality. The timeline of the evolution is well thought of.”

second Prize winner

Anoovab DekaInez Low
United Kingdom

The Coffin Maker

“And yet, who could throw away the casting of a loved one?

Who would not want to study it longingly, as the distant freight train blows its mournful tone?”

A lowly Coffin Maker stands on Bitter Street, looking upon the vastness of the Red Station. Earth no longer exists. What lay in between are meteor debris and rocks that float on cyclically. All plans fell apart when the Space Chorus XXX5735 malfunctioned and exploded on its course to Mars. Highly capable and skilled, the Coffin Maker collected as many remnants as she could and started to build upon the abandoned structure, and eventually, forming a network that connects to nearby planets and space stations. She worked first on entombing all who perished in the explosion, making each a Death Mask – eyes closed, with the faintest and sweetest of smiles. She felt that she is capturing a sublime moment between life and death, a snapshot of the soul, if you must. Highly speculative design objects, the Coffin Maker romanticized them in all their majesty.

And now, an ending.

Where there was once one, there are now two. For when life departs, the Coffin Maker pans a mirror to reflect what was gone.

A chance to see two?

When there are chances for reflecting a presence, there can always be two – or more.

You’ll never know, really.

Jury Comments

Beautifully presented, with a richness to the layering of designs and colors. The proposal and presentation is exquisitely poetic.

“A gorgeous and haunting vision of a future that is entirely original.”

third Prize winner

Jon Andrew Sealey

Protective Skins

The proposal focuses on material performance and expression. It hypothesis on the supernatural and the amplification of human abilities.

A series of protective skins which respond to the environment have been developed from organic compounds. By harnessing the attributes found in nature such as breathing underwater and camouflage, which have since been unattainable to humans, the skins allow buildings and humans to amplify and exaggerate their capabilities and respond to the environment. Invisibility and flying are now possibilities and are no longer human limitations.

The design is informed by technological advancements to generate displacements that replicate the visual properties of organic compounds both as a wearable and as a cladding material. The vision is that the alternative reality becomes adaptive and responsive.

Jury Comments

“Part architecture part fashion– or perhaps there’s less of a difference than we thought? This proposal deftly imagines a future where we need more and more forms of protection from an increasingly dangerous ecology and environment. Creepy, haunting, gorgeous. I would totally wear one of these.

“Research on a very human scale, great way of thinking.”

Honorable Mention

Allen Bell • Ryosuke Imaeda

Stronghold 2X

Honorable Mention

Vlad Dumitru
United Kingdom

Jobsville - A counter-culture commune inspired by Steve Jobs

Honorable Mention

Lenka Petrakova
United Kingdom

The 8th Continent

Jury Comments

This design has an attractive organic form, that is well developed. The proposal to clean up the sea, notably the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is a noble one, though the idea of bringing unbelievers out to inspect it would counter the sustainable objectives!

Honorable Mention

Krina Christopoulou
United Kingdom

The Third Space - Inhabitable Interfaces

Honorable Mention

Zhe Zhang • Zihan Huang • Zeheng Wu

Black Box

Honorable Mention

Liang Yu


Jury Comments

A beautiful proposal that recognizes what makes archtiecture architecture isnt the production of buildings but the imagination of new ways of living.

Honorable Mention

Raihan Reza • Khondaker Rahman

Choose your own Architecture

Honorable Mention


Invaded by Nature

Jury Comments

I enjoy the symbiosis of nature and buildings in this design. The premise regarding nature’s dominance is welcome.

Honorable Mention

Younwoo Kim • Junren Jian • Xuanxuan Liu

A Time Odyssey - The Sanctuary of Euthanasia

Jury Comments

“For millennia architecture has provided humanity with places of death – mausoleums, crematoria, mortuaries and funeral homes. what makes this proposal so brilliant is it asks what a future of euthanasia might be- through architecture.


Nadia Maarouf • Mira Burghed • Arkoun Merchant


Jury Comments

“A cheeky post-human take on inequality – super effective in its intent to use architecture as a tool through which to better see ourselves.”

Shortlisted - TOP 30

Out of all the path-breaking works received for ‘Alternate Realities 2020’, only the choicest 30 could make it to the final round of evaluation. Hit the button below to explore the other shortlisted Top 30 thesis projects with exceptional concepts!

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