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Open Call 2019 - RIBA Architecture Gallery - Boundaries

The RIBA is now inviting practicing architects and students to design a temporary installation relating to the London Festival of Architecture theme of ‘Boundaries’ in the RIBA Architecture Gallery.

25 March 2019

This year RIBA will host installations, talks and events, all responding to the London Festival of Architecture theme of Boundaries. As part of our summer season of cultural activity, the RIBA is now inviting practising architects and students to design a temporary installation for the Architecture Gallery at the RIBA Headquarters at 66 Portland Place. The installation will be on view from 4 June through to August 2019.

The Brutalist Playground installation in the RIBA Architecture Gallery by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings, Getty Images

Installation brief

This open call asks for responses to the theme Boundaries, on the occasion of the 2019 London Festival of Architecture. From city boundaries to national borders; from social to personal, from the tangible to the imaginary, the RIBA wishes to explore examples of boundaries that have been raised, broken or challenged.

Boundaries can exist as physical or psychological delineations as well as positive or negative separations of space. It can denote professional and personal barriers that needs to be challenged within our diverse society. How your practice addresses ‘boundaries’ remains open to interpretation and there is no prescribed brief for how the gallery is to be animated; this could take the form of a built installation, of a set of architectural sculptures, sound pieces or a film. The installation design needs to take into consideration that the gallery will not be invigilated during the exhibition period.

Experimentation and imaginative thinking are encouraged as we wish to challenge our understanding of boundaries including the way in which the boundaries of a gallery are perceived and experienced by audiences. To advocate the inclusive nature of the profession and the increasingly blurred boundaries of the traditional design disciplines, architects are welcome to develop ideas as a collaborative endeavour with an artist or designer.


The project budget (for materials, production & installation) is £22,000 – all work, including construction and ongoing maintenance, must be feasible within this budget. In-gallery interpretation graphics and marketing will be covered by a separate budget. The installation design needs to take into consideration that the gallery will not be invigilated during the exhibition period.

The winning individual or team will receive a £3,000 (including VAT) design fee and travel expenses will be offered to selected architects based outside the local area, as necessary.


  • 19 March 2019: Brief opens
  • 5 April 2019: Deadline to submit response to the theme ‘Boundaries’
  • w/c 8 April 2019: Proposals reviewed by selection panel
  • 10 April 2019: Architects notified regarding outcome
  • April – May: Selected proposals developed in dialogue with RIBA curators
  • w/c 13 May 2019: Fabrication and install
  • 4 June 2019: Exhibition opening
  • August: De-install

Selection criteria

There are no formal requirements to how the theme of Boundaries is interpreted, and entrants should approach the brief with an open-mind and inquisitive outlook. The RIBA assesses submissions based on artistic excellence, the ability to articulate a cohesive curatorial narrative, feasibility of delivering the project on time and to budget and considerations to sustainable construction and material methods.

Selection panel

  • Christopher Turner, Keeper of Design, Architecture and Digital, V&A
  • Marie Bak Mortensen, Head of Exhibitions, RIBA
  • Max Dewdney, Principal at Max Dewdney Architects and winner of the 2017 Open Call
  • Shumi Bose, Curator Exhibitions, RIBA
  • Tom Ravenscroft, Deputy Editor at Dezeen

How to apply

To be considered, please complete the application form.

To complete the form, you will need:

  • Practice/team name
  • Team description
  • Proposal Statement (less than 400 words)
  • Installation proposal of less than 10MB (up to 3 pages, including up to 5 images of relevant past work)

Download a selection of plans and photographs of the RIBA Architecture Gallery.

If you have any questions please contact

Deadline for entries is 5 April 2019 at 5pm.

Eligibility and conditions

The project is open to all RIBA Members, Chartered Practices and architecture students (for whom membership is free).

Entry to the open call requires a named individual project leader who is a RIBA Member or a RIBA Student Member or employed by a RIBA Chartered Practice. All team members will be credited if successful. Find out how to become a RIBA Member relevant to your career level: i.e. Student, Affiliate, Associate, Chartered.


The Open Call organisers are not liable for lost, misdirected, or late entries. Decisions of the jury represent their professional judgements and all decisions are final. We will aim to give feedback to submissions where requested. You agree that any materials submitted by you shall be your sole responsibility, shall not infringe or violate the rights of any other party or violate any laws, contribute to or encourage infringing or otherwise unlawful conduct, or otherwise be obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste. By submitting such material, you are representing that you are the owner of such material and/or have all necessary rights, licenses, and authorisation to distribute it. The ownership of copyright of the design will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, that is copyright rests with the author of the submitted design.

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