By GUEST COLUMNIST Mitchell Mahaffey
Global design and architectural minds will soon compete to build the most efficient and livable version of The Free Republic of Liberland.
Just over five years ago, The Free Republic of Liberland was proclaimed as a libertarian utopian micronation, situated on disputed land between Croatia and Serbia. Founded on the principles of libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism, the world’s youngest micronation garnered keen interest from over 200,000 global individuals who registered for citizenship within the first week of proclamation. To date, Liberland has received over 600,000 applications for citizenship.
With this incredible amount of interest from around the globe, there arises a significant challenge; the micronation encompasses just 7 square kilometres of land, a challenge facing Liberland Founder and President Vít Jedlička who mentioned that: “The citizenship is only limited to 120,000 people. it’s pretty dense to consider 120,000 citizens living there.”
In order to ensure the future success of Liberland, its design and architecture must optimize the use of its 7 square kilometers to perfection. Every precious piece of land must be utilized to its fullest capacity, to create a space that is liveable, enjoyable and sustainable.
To accomplish this formidable task, ArchAgenda LLC, a research-based architectural and computational design lab dedicated to advancing radically innovative architecture agendas, will be curating the Liberland Design Competition 2020. The competition will soon draw design talent from across the globe to envision the architectural future of the new micronation, based on its aspirations for individual and collective freedom, autonomy, minimal governance, voluntarism, charity, fair free markets, non-aggression, diplomatic goodwill, innovative entrepreneurship, and ecological responsibility, all supported by a distributed and transparent peer-to-peer computational network (blockchain). The competitors will be challenged by the curator to translate the untapped potential of distributed peer-to-peer computational networks into architectural and urban designs, and to propose nature-like systems that deliver urban synergies and design fluidity.
If the curator’s design guidelines, coupled with extreme population density and limited space weren’t enough of a challenge, competitors must also consider Liberland’s close proximity to the Danube river, which is notorious for periodically devastating floods. Whilst considering the flooding, the architectural design must be sustainable, given the limited space and resources available.
Jillian Godsil, editor in chief of the Liberland Press and judge with the competition says: “I will be interested to see how the entrants can incorporate blockchain into the development of Liberland. Blockchain is already being used as the bedrock of the governance and I am keen to see what inspiration, real or intangible, will be derived from blockchain in the development of the built infrastructure.”
Director of ArchAgenda LLC and Lead Strategist of Liberland Design Competitions, Daniela Ghertovici mentions: “In this unprecedented moment of global crisis, we have the opportunity to collectively rethink the design strategies of our built environments. As countries converge on drastic social control measures that aim to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, the fundamental infrastructures of every societal function system have been threatened with collapse, or at best, an unstable future. There is a newfound urgency to activate innovative agendas to counteract this new normal. Liberland is the optimal incubator and role model for new societal agendas and a vision for cities of the future.”
Registration for the competitors in the design competition is scheduled to open on May 13, with submission of designs, judging and the distribution of prizes to occur in late 2020. Given the current isolation mandates in most jurisdictions around the world, this year’s Liberland Design Competition will allow many architects and designers to direct their creative energy into a 21st century micronation that values liberty and sustainability.
To Liberland Design Competition 2020 website is now LIVE