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Anonymity goes wrong thanks to Hong Kong comp blunder

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Another international design competition has descended into a shambles after the accidental disclosure of the names of those wanting to enter the anonymous contest.


Last week the organisers running the hugely popular contest to design the new Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) campus mistakenly released a list of practices interested in taking part in an email.



The error by staff at the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council (HKVTC) has thrown the integrity of the competition into doubt. However, this is not the first time anonymity rules have been breached in a major contest.



The Hong Kong howler follows in the wake of the Giant’s Causeway debacle, where an unfortunate official revealed the identities of all the contest hopefuls - some 480 practices (AJ 21/07/05) by unintentionally copying in the entrants on a round-robin email.



Among the biggest names on the HKDI wannabe list was French-star Dominique Perrault. British-based practice Adrian Fowler Architects was just one of the UK talents also considering entering.



After the AJ raised the issue, the HKVTC promised that no further inadvertent disclosures will be made and that all submission materials will be kept anonymous from now on.



A spokesman for the HKVTC said: ‘The unintentional disclosure has been rectified immediately by our IT unit and therefore no such occurrence will happen again.



‘It is the intention of HKVTC- to foster the spirit of architectural competitions and to promote excellence in architecture and the built environment through open and fair competitions.’



The eventual winner of the contest will get the chance to create a new campus for a population of 4,000 full-time students on the Tiu Keng Leng site.



by Richard Waite

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