The Royal Fine Art Commission (RFAC) Trust has launched an ideas contest with a top prize of £4,000 seeking conceptual ideas to improve people’s quality of life
The ‘Turn Your Small Change into Big Money’ competition seeks simple game-changing ideas in the fields of urban design, architecture and highways which promise to revolutionise society.
Submissions will be judged on the joint principles of Occam’s Razor – preferring simple solutions to the overly complex – and Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism – promoting the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
According to the brief: ‘We’re looking for simple practical design changes in any of the three fields of urban design, architecture and highways/traffic management that would measurably improve quality of life. What small interventions could relatively easily be adopted and have a beneficial effect on daily life?
‘Recent examples might be the selective removal of road markings and traffic lights to improve safety – a measure at once simple and counterintuitive. Or roundabouts, a simple British invention but one of our most successful design exports, not least because they control traffic flow without dependence on a power supply.’
The RFAC Trust was set up in 1987 to support the RFAC in its role as government advisor on matters affecting public amenity and aesthetics in England and Wales. The RFAC was superseded by CABE in 1999 and today the RFAC Trust focusses on research, educational initiatives and awards.
Participants in the competition may consider the demographic changes of an ageing and urbanising population in their proposals, the shrinking size of modern living spaces or any other issue which sparks their interest.
Submissions should include a brief written summary alongside images showing a detailed design and practical demonstration.
Judges include property developer Peter Palumbo, designer Terence Conran, design critic Stephen Bayley, educationalist Christopher Frayling and astrophysicist Martin Rees.
The overall winner – set to be announced on 29 March – will receive a £4,000 prize while a second place prize of £1,000 and two £500 third place prizes will also be awarded.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 10 March.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information