A proposal for the demise of open architectural competitions
The competition is mostly seen as a free and egalitarian way of expressing diverse ideas. However, what often happens is that open architectural competitions place stress upon the fragile economies of small architectural firms.
What is even worse is that such competitions favor the exploitation of interns because, if the entry is unsuccessful, no reimbursement is given to the participants.
When a small practice wants to enter a competition, it will have to use interns to reduce the costs of the production needed for the submission, triggering a situation of exploitation when interns are forced to work up to 80 or 90 hours per week. In general, an open competition should not require too much time and effort from its participants, nor should it impose intricate restrictions.
Some open competitions have become lottery-like events, receiving thousands of entries.
In addition, many competitions impose rules which deprive the architects of any intellectual copyright on their own submission. This is the ultimate contradiction, especially when the architect has to pay a fee to participate. Too many negative aspects are overshadowing open competitions despite the excitement and good will of many architects.