Call for projects: DEMOCRATIC DESIGN

Aedes is looking for submissions from across Europe for an exhibition with accompanying programme on the interrelationship between democratic processes and building practices.

New collaborations are emerging in the architecture and urban design profession, overcoming previous hierarchies and enabling collective design strategies: between countries, among colleagues, across disciplines, bridging the gap between public and professional spheres, and forging connections between academia and activisms. Architecture, design and planning are, and have always been, about collaboration, cooperation and compromise. In this sense, good examples from new design processes can strengthen democratic understanding, support participation and a societal cohesion that societies are so desperately in need of. The project will ask the following questions:

- Can architects and planners serve as facilitators of tools that help strengthen democracy?

- How can architectural processes be translated into democratic and economic structures to accelerate essential transformations?

- What role can interdisciplinary collaboration play in fostering societal cohesion and participation?


  • Exhibition

  • Lab Talk Series

  • Publication

  • Online Platform


The intention to base this project on a collaboration between European platforms of architecture and urbanism reflects a shared motivation and belief in the necessity of common ground, interdisciplinary thinking and putting people first. The following institutions have signalled their interest:

VAI, Antwerp; COAC, Barcelona; Arc en Reve, Bordeaux; MAO, Ljubljana; LUCA, Luxembourg; COAM, Madrid; ROM, Oslo; Casa da Arquitectura, Porto; ArkDes, Stockholm; Tbilisi Architecture Biennial; ZODIAK Warsaw Pavilion of Architecture; ZAZ BELLERIVE Zentrum Architektur Zürich


- Built Projects: Built architectural and urban design projects that embody the essence of collaboration, serve the common good and are characterised by their multidisciplinary approach

- Activities: Cultural activities that engage or challenge spatial practices and empower citizens to their right of space

- Research: Research or teaching activities in the fields of architecture, planning, design, political or social sciences that combine their didactic endeavours with public outreach and activism

- Actors: Architectural, landscape and urban design offices, artists, collectives, partnerships and networks that have established new collaborative practices to address contemporary societal problems.


Abstract of maximum 500 words explaining how and why this Call for Projects resonates with your practice, project or initiative. Please include external links to projects or references, to support your application.