The Asean Economic Community may hope to do away with borders, but there will still be challenges for the places where neighbouring countries meet. To tackle some of the issues and generate ideas, the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) is holding the Border Competition, with the theme "Designing Future Asean Borders".
The competition aims to spark discussions about the border areas along the 10 Asean nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Competition curator Luke Yeung said notable architects who are defining a new generation of Asian practice had been gathered as judges.
"Their presence will attract designers from all over the world and we hope to receive critical and challenging proposals from the next generation of architectural talent."
Regarding the "Borderless" theme, Yeung notes that, "With all this talk about the AEC
[Asean Economic Community] and creating a 'borderless' condition in 2015, I'm surprised that there has been little discussion about the physical conditions of the borders. Not enough is being done to improve these areas and spaces. In order to achieve 'borderlessness', we must first understand the space of the borders themselves."
The international judging panel is composed of notable architects Vo Trong Nghia, Takashi Niwa and Masaaki Iwamoto of Vo Trong Nghia Architects in Vietnam, Takaharu Tezuka of Japan, Ary Indra, Rafael David and Johansen Yap of Aboday in Indonesia, Thailand's Boonserm Premthada, and Luke Yeung and Jariyawadee Lekawatana from Architectkidd in Thailand.
Boonserm, a noted architect, artist and educator, said achieving borderless ideally means to create "architecture that can connect with people or to make people connect with each other".
"Architecture should be a part of harmony no matter where people come from or no matter who they are. It should be a little part of peace, growing and sharing their knowledge freely in Asia."
The Borderless Competition is the first time ASA has held an Asean-wide competition.
The competition is sponsored by the Association of Siamese Architects Under Royal Patronage and is being held in conjunction with the Architect Expo 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In addition to the competition and awards, there will be an exhibition, a lecture programme and print and digital publications for this year's Architect Expo 2013. The competition closes on March 30 and the Expo will be from April 30 to May 5, 2013.