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Design Competitions for Engineers

My last post got some negative reaction because of my shameless pandering for “likes”. Hey I wanted to win! (Actually I just wanted to be accepted as a legitimate competitor.)

But I think the larger issue is the lack of engineers entering design competitions. Competitions are part of the job for architects, especially young architects. Entering competitions allows your creative mojo to flow and raise your profile in the community. Engineers are taught not to compete in any way. (I believe it is actually part of our professional code not to compete with other engineers, at least in terms of money.)

I enjoy the wide open kind of competition where anyone can throw an idea into the mix. (I am not a big fan of the huge team competitions because it limits participation to the big boys.) In fact I enjoy competing with architects, on bridge design, even though my ideas are probably more conservative (and lousy).

Dreaming up a new concept is hard. Putting your entry together and promoting it is hard. Losing all the time is hard. But I think the alternative of not entering is harder yet. If you don’t put yourself out there, you will never grow as a designer.

What do you think about engineers entering design competitions?