Winners announced of the LA+ IMAGINATION Open Ideas Design Competition

LA+ Journal’s LA+ IMAGINATION design ideas competition asked designers to create a new island. There was really only one rule: the island could not be bigger than one square kilometer. From a floating forest that reduces algal blooms to a metaphysical ode to memory and loss, the competition received 180 entries from 33 countries, with industry-leading design firms represented alongside scholars and students in design-related disciplines.

The jury awarded five equal winners:

  • Jacky Bowring (Lincoln University, NZ), “The Island of Lost Objects”
  • Bradley Cantrell (University of Virginia), Fionn Byrne (University of British Columbia) + Emma Mendel (Nelson Byrd Woltz), “Coastal Paradox”
  • Noel Schardt + Bjoern Muendner (Freischaerler Architects), “United Plastic Nation”
  • Neeraj Bhatia, Cesar Lopez + Jeremy Jacinth (The Open Workshop), “The Dredge Islands”
  • Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane + Ashely Kuo (Agency—Agency), “Pla-Kappa”

“The winning entries tell us something about what’s lurking in the unfettered imagination of contemporary design culture: we have monstrous ecological machines, places of melancholy, emergent digital natures, and of course, those old curmudgeons, utopia and dystopia. It’s an amazing archipelago of ideas,” Jury Chair Richard Weller said.

Each of the winning entries will receive $2,000 in prize money plus feature publication in LA+ Journal’s forthcoming IMAGINATION issue. The jury further awarded 10 honorable mentions who will also be published in LA+ IMAGINATION, along with interviews with each of the jury members and a selection of entries making up the Salon des Refusés.

LA+ IMAGINATION’s jury was comprised of James Corner (Founding Principal, Field Operations, and Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture, PennDesign), Marion Weiss (Co-founder, Weiss/Manfredi Architects, and Graham Chair Professor of Architecture, PennDesign), Javier Arpa (The Why Factory, Delft), Mathew Gandy (Professor of Geography, Cambridge University), Mark Kingwell (Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto), and Richard Weller (Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture, PennDesign).

Winning entries can be viewed at LA+

About Damian Holmes 3313 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at