Editorial Feature

What are the RTF Design Awards?

The RTF Awards are hosted by Rethinking The Future, an industry-leading platform that promotes excellence in global architecture and gives architects and designers the recognition they deserve.

Image Credit: Boat Rungchamrussopa/Shutterstock.com

RTF | Rethinking The Future

A one-stop platform for architects, RTF aims to foster innovation and help professionals working in the design and architecture fields seek criticism, development, and inspiration. Rethinking The Future hosts a plethora of awards, academic dialogues, and events to help professionals share knowledge.

The platform recognizes the unique peculiarities of the architectural field, which is not only practical, but artistic, political, and even philosophical. RTF aims to encourage a system-wide approach to architecture that connects it to its political and social roots.

RTF has established itself as an autonomous media platform that celebrates the best of global architecture and encourages meaningful discourse and critical analysis of current and emerging projects and design innovations. The platform has over a million views a month, making it the fifth-ranked architecture platform worldwide.

The RTF Awards

The awards have been hosted by RTF for over a decade. An international panel of judges is chosen by RTF. Eminent scholars, press professionals, entrepreneurs, and creative design experts vote on all entries.

Jury members for the 2023 awards include Ann Lau, the director of Hayball, Afonso Padro, Director of Education and Principal at HKS London, Benjee Mendoza, founding partner of BAADSTUDIO Philippines, Elena Grigoryeva, Editor-in-Chief of Project Baikal Russia, and Oscar Hernández, Co-Director at STVX Architects in Mexico City.

Previous jury members have included Alireza Razavi, Director of Studio Razavi, Arturo Sanchez and Lauren Engel, founders of Opposite Office Germany, and Dr. Ferdinand Oswald, architect at the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning.

RTF recognizes projects across disciplines and scale, meaning that whether the design is for a multi-dwelling neighborhood or a bespoke design feature such as a lamp, it will be considered for an award. RTF aims to recognize innovation and excellence, giving designers the opportunity to assess their design’s worth.

The awards comprise 150+ awards in over fifty categories, including exhibition, interior design, product design, landscape design, urban design, and both concept and built architectural categories. Winners of the 2023 awards will be announced on March 15th.

Notable Previous Winners

The RTF Architecture & Design Awards have recognized many innovative designs, designers, and companies over the past decade, increasing their standing in the international design and architecture communities and allowing them to demonstrate why clients should be confident in their work.

Winners have included Perkins Eastman, AHR, UNStudio, Bjarke Ingels Group & Dialog, BIOME, Christopher Charles Benninger Architects, and IDOM UK Ltd. Many other innovative designs from forward-thinking designers and companies have received honorable mentions.

Concepts and projects which have won or been honorably mentioned include sustainable urban and landscape regeneration, environmentally-friendly waste transfer stations, the HUJA lamp, a plan for organic highways, and the Masdar Phase 2 master plan.

2014 Urban Design (Concept) Winners: Floating Responsive Agriculture

Population growth and food demand are two key topics of concern in the 21st century. This is presenting significant challenges to ensure that populations have enough food to eat over the coming decades.

2014’s awards recognized innovative concepts by Indian designers, inspired by floating fish farms in Singapore. Floating food production would be achieved using vertical, loop-shaped structures which ensure maximum sunlight for crop growth, with rotating racks further improving food production.

It was envisioned that the project would be installed in Singapore, a city that faces food security and population growth challenges, reducing the sovereign city state’s reliance on food imports. The concept is low-impact, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

2016 Residence (Concept) Winners: Miami Tower | Bluarch

In 2016, RTF recognized the innovative Miami Tower concept from Bluarch Architecture, which aimed to design a residential skyscraper of the future which could scrub atmospheric CO2. A key feature of the design is a large space in the middle of the tower which enhances wind flow and therefore CO2 removal.

The concept includes “artificial tree” technology which utilizes a series of resin columns on available surfaces, trapping carbon and compressing it, storing it as liquid carbon dioxide. Cross-ventilation is enhanced by gaps between slabs in the tower.

2022 Winner: In Memory of Kandinsky | Aleksandra Lavrukhina

The 2022 winner of the Private Landscape (Concept) award was a garden inspired by Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky’s painting “Composition II.”

The concept takes Kandinsky’s artistic masterpiece and uses modern materials to realize it in the three-dimensional space, linking art and architecture in a thoroughly contemporary, modern concept.

2022 Winner: THE CUBE

In the pop-ups and Temporary (Built) category, Quality Innovation United’s THE CUBE installation was recognized by RTF. THE CUBE was installed at Pier No. 9 in Kaohsiung City in Taiwan in 2021, and conveys a container’s essence, with bright, hierarchical spaces and a framework of alternative materials piquing the observer’s curiosity.

The Cube · Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Video Credit: Quality Innovation United / Youtube.com

Through clever use of space and material, THE CUBE appears at once earthly and otherworldly, encouraging reflection and a connection with the universe and the observer’s place within it. Pulsating light rhythms call to mind the rhythms of night and day and the pulse of life itself.

In Summary

Architecture is more than just a field that provides practical solutions for the world population: it has key social, aesthetic, and political benefits that make the world a better place for everyone, meeting the challenges of the modern world and overcoming issues such as sustainability and our impact upon the natural world.

The RTF awards are internationally recognized, rewarding innovation and creativity in design and architecture. Going strong for over a decade, the awards celebrate the best of architecture. It will doubtless continue to champion the forward-thinking designers who consistently push boundaries in the field.

More from AZoBuild: Featuring Projects From the 2022 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award

Further Reading and More Information


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Reginald Davey

Written by

Reginald Davey

Reg Davey is a freelance copywriter and editor based in Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Writing for AZoNetwork represents the coming together of various interests and fields he has been interested and involved in over the years, including Microbiology, Biomedical Sciences, and Environmental Science.


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