Call for Outstanding Media Architecture

Call for Outstanding Media Architecture

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the fifth call of the Media Architecture Biennale Awards for outstanding projects at the intersection of architecture, urban design and planning, media and interaction design. The awards ceremony will take place on July 2nd, 2021 as an online live cast featuring the nominees and winners

This call targets projects that are already built or realized except if your projects fits the category “Future Trends and Prototypes.” We particularly call for projects that match this year’s Biennale theme of Futures Implied

Please note also that this is NOT a call for art installations to be exhibited at the Media Architecture Biennale (However, if you think that you have an exciting installation for MAB20 – please see details below).


Important dates

  • Start submission: 1 March 2020 
  • Submission deadline: 29 March 2021 12 April 2021
  • Notification:  26 April 2021 10 May 2021
  • Awards ceremony: 2 July 2021



Who may submit?

Everyone who has played a substantial role in the submitted project, including:

  • Architects and urban designers
  • Artists
  • Designers and experts in:
    • Media
    • Lighting
    • (Urban) Interaction design and HCI
    • Social engagement and social design
    • Other relevant domains
  • Experts from industry
  • Experts from academia
  • Members of NGOs or other institutional organizations


Minimum requirements for submitting a project

  • Submissions must:
  • Fill in all fields marked as “mandatory”
  • Provide at least 3 photos for which you own the copyrights.
  • Provide a weblink for additional information.

We encourage you to:

  • Upload a video(link) documenting the work


When submitting your project, please fill out the form here, answering as many questions as possible. Leave blank any that are unclear. Thank you.

We are aware that many Media Architecture projects are being realized by large teams of professionals. For this reason, we do not expect you to provide exhaustive information on your project as we recognize there might be some aspects that you do not know about. You can share the login data with other people involved in the project so that they can help you fill in the information.


Where to submit?

To submit your project, CLICK HERE


Awards ceremony

The awards ceremony will take place on July 2nd, 2021 as an online event featuring the selected nominees and winners. The ceremony will be live-streamed. 

Winners are not required to make a commitment to accepting their awards in person.


Award categories

You may submit your project in one or two of the following categories.

Animated Architecture
Projects demonstrating creative media façade designs. Façades of buildings are increasingly animated by integrated light sources. Designers are increasingly focusing on the perception of the building, searching for designs that add layers of meaning and/or bring out new experiences of the building itself, the broader site, and its surrounding public space.

Branding and Entertainment
Projects incorporating buildings that are closely related to business, banks, shopping centers, entertainment, and gambling. Lighting and other media elements in and on building surfaces are designed to attract people, to strengthen a brand associated with the building or to represent the power of the institution.

Participatory Architecture and Infrastructures
Projects that aim to impact the social and political life in the city, and empower citizens to become active participants in their communities. Examples are: digital, physical or hybrid community platforms encouraging all kinds of exchanges between citizens; visualizations of important societal issues in public space; platforms and installations for participatory city-making; and platforms or installations that allow for commons-based management of urban infrastructures and resources such as mobility or energy. Hybrid systems that consist of digital and physical components are highly wanted.

Spatial Media Art
Projects produced in an artistic context at the intersection of architecture and media art. Installations with an innovative form of spatial interaction and/or perception of space. Projects in this category experiment with new media materials and spatial experiences, add layered symbolic meanings to places or activate public spaces in innovative and artistic ways.

Future Trends and Prototypes
Projects that shed light on what the future of media architecture might look like. This section covers special solutions like three-dimensional displays, kinetic façades, OLEDs, or robotic elements that experiment with new technologies, production methods, or ideas. Projects in this category can be both actual projects or conceptual and speculative.

More than Human Architecture
Projects that explore the relation between humans and non-humans in the city, contributing to ecologically sustainable urban futures. Digital technologies, including those used in media architecture, can increase the quality of urban life for citizens. However, they can also have a negative impact on the natural environment and on ecological systems in and around cities. Projects in this category raise awareness about these issues, help to consider non-human actors and perspectives or aim at contributing to making cities sustainable.


Showcasing the projects

All selected nominees and their projects will be featured in a series of articles on Archdaily. This series will be published in May as a collaboration between MAB20 and Archdaily.

Winners and nominees will be featured on the Media Architecture Catalog. This is a compendium of outstanding projects that define the state of the art of built Media Architectures. 

A recent overview of media architecture can also be found in our publication: Media Architecture Compendium: Digital Placemaking.


What is Media Architecture?

Please note that the area of Media Architecture is dynamically evolving and therefore not easy to define. In our vision, Media Architecture is the emerging, highly interdisciplinary field of art and design that is concerned with the application of media and technologies in the city and its social, (urban) life. It brings mediated experiences into the (urban) public realm, bridges the use of digital platforms, technologies, and physical urban spaces, and connects the flows of data with the circulation of people, goods, and others. Examples abound: from urban screens, media façades, robotics, kiosks and displays to urban games and media art installations; from local community platforms, mediated neighbourhood planning processes and circular economy-technologies to ‘smart city’ tools, urban informatics, and new technologies and digital platforms that monitor and manage the use of urban resources.

Originally, Media Architecture was most concerned with the integration of displays and interactive installations into architectural structures, such as media façades and urban screens. Over the years, the discipline has grown much broader, as new technologies, such as digital platforms and smart city technologies, have increasingly made their way into the experience, design, and management of cities.

The development of Media Architecture is shaped by the people who are active in the field and by the innovative and groundbreaking projects they are producing. So, finally, it is also up to you and other participants to establish the directions in which we are heading. It could be that your project is opening up new perspectives and defining new benchmarks.


Who is the winner?

The awards are not given out to individuals. Rather, the project itself, as a whole, is awarded. Those involved in the project will be invited to take part in all events at the Biennale, which will place online from June 28th – July 2nd, 2021


Jury and curational network

The jury will consist of members from the Biennale organizing committee and an international curatorial network that will recommend projects to us (please check for updates). The jury will evaluate the projects according to the following criteria:

  • Aesthetic qualities
  • Innovative elements
  • Technical challenges mastered
  • Integration of different project components, e.g. architecture, display, content, social context
  • Impact on the city



Please note that we value your feedback and experiences, as they will be helpful for implementing any improvements to this process. Please direct your feedback to


Your (Art) Installations at Media Architecture Biennale 20

There are limited opportunities to show actual installations at the Biennale. Unfortunately, as our resources are limited, we can offer only very limited support. If you want to show an installation at our Biennale, please note:

  • It must be a project that is already built and that has been shown elsewhere (so that we can be sure it works)
  • We are unable to provide financial support
  • We can support you in building up the installation by providing electricity, internet, and other infrastructures, by mutual agreement
  • The organizational committee will decide on a case by case basis whether it is actually feasible to show the work

If you are interested in bringing an installation please contact

You can also enter to exhibit a representation of your work at the demo’s and poster section of MAB. See here for more information.


More information & Contact

Contact MAB20 Awards organizers via

Join the MAB-Community on Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn


Awards curator

Gernot Tscherteu, Media Architecture Institute.


Awards co-curator and technical director

Juan Carvajal B., Austrian Institute of Technology.


Awards system developer

Lotti Tscherteu, Media Architecture Institute.


Terms of participation

Please note that by submitting photos you give us the right to publish them at no costs in the exhibition, in the “media architecture compendium” (iPad and iPhone App available at the Apple App Store), on the MAB archive ( and the website, in publications related to the exhibition, and in scientific publications of members of the Media Architecture Institute. By submitting photos you also declare that you have the right for publishing and the dissemination of the photos.

Due to technical and organizational constraints, the organizers of the Media Architecture Biennale 2020-21 reserve the right to determine the actual extent, timing and layout/editing of the above-mentioned publications and documentaries.

The organizers and the sponsors of Media Architecture Biennale desire to make the results of the competition accessible to as large an audience as possible. To achieve this, a public relations campaign aimed at particular media outlets (press, radio, TV and Internet) will be conducted.

The organizers reserve the right to determine which of the submitted works will be included in the exhibitions and determine which of the submitted works will be awarded. The entrants hereby consent to make their works available for this purpose.

The entrant hereby declares that he/she is legally authorized to convey such rights to the extent stipulated above, that he/she has obtained any and all necessary consent from third parties as called for by regulations governing copyright, personal property rights or other such legal provisions, and that he/she is prepared to provide proof of such at any time if called upon by the organizers of Media Architecture Biennale 2020-21 to do so.

Additional stipulations with regard to the conveyance of rights within the framework of agreements concluded in conjunction with participation in the exhibition and awards supplement the rights conveyed in this agreement but do not limit them in the absence of an express written agreement to the contrary.

This agreement elaborating the terms of participation is governed by Austrian law with the exception of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and all norms serving as legal reference (Verweisungsnormen). The place of jurisdiction is Vienna.

The participants grant to the organizers the non-exclusive right, free of temporal or geographic restriction, to publish or post the submitted works on presently existing video streaming sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr.


The Media Architecture Biennale 20 is organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Utrecht University.

Executive Committee & General Chair: Martijn de Waal, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; Frank Suurenbroek, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; Nanna Verhoeff, Utrecht University; and Michiel de Lange, Utrecht University. Program Chairs: Dave Colangelo, George Brown College Toronto; and Ava Fatah, Bartlett, University College London.