SOUR Co-curates Manhattan Wildscraper competition with Non-architecture

May 12, 2021

Non Architecture launched “Into the Wild”, a compilation of design competitions aiming to approach the element of nature from different perspectives. Three unconventional design competitions to discover new synergies between natural ecosystems and human:

1. Remote Work Cabin

2. Manhattan Wildscraper - co-curated by SOUR

3. Re-Nature Rome

Manhattan Wildscraper - Competition

SOUR teamed up with Non Architecture to co-curate the Manhattan Wildscraper competition. In this competition, we encourage participants to come up with visionary concepts for a green skyscraper  to bring biodiversity back to New York City, more specifically to Midtown Manhattan. 

It is no news that the global pandemic hit New York City hard. Compared to 2019, in 2020 there was 487% growth in the number of outgoing movers that left Manhattan. Midtown Manhattan is one of the areas that is hit hardest in NYC. Once the prestigious place to be for corporate headquarters, high-end residentials and retail, today is struggling with the growing vacancy in rentals, offices moving to smaller and more affordable spaces, and retail suffering from the lowered foot traffic. Articles cover how to score a “COVID Discount” in midtown, with home prices dropping 11-12%

Why the move? The city that never sleeps went into a coma: the exhilarating street and event life vanished in early 2020, and the already expensive city became incredibly overpriced for what it has to offer. Work from home life became a sharp awakening of how the homes aren’t necessarily all liveable. New Yorkers, and especially Manhattan dwellers, remembered the importance of sunlight in the apartment, liveable spaces that can offer flexibility and perhaps most importantly, proximity to nature.

As designers, how might we bring biodiversity into architecture through new technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations? Manhattan Wildscraper aims to explore design solutions by imagining a world where nature and people coexist as much as possible. It’s up to the participant to come to a very high degree of interaction between these two entities in many possible ways.

You can find the full brief here: 


  • Gain experience and recognition, request a participation certificate, and post it on your Linkedin or CV!
  • Design a new puzzle piece to be added to your Portfolio or Behance page, keep developing your assets!
  • Give space to your creativity by solving a given challenge, it is satisfying!
  • Get to know your team or your own design-thinking skills, it is fun!

Non Architecture

Non Architecture wants to reinvent spatial design by questioning the base, fundaments and conventions of an architect’s work. With an international team and a design community of thousands of people, Non Architecture develops initiatives, mediums, and projects to explore innovative design solutions and experimental collaboration models. Non Architecture is everything that is not architecture, yet.

It’s a non-discipline, a space for freedom and adventure, a place for broken rules and willing mistakes. Non Architecture is collective intelligence, it’s an anti-star system, it’s the 98% of world architects addressed by Frank Gehry with a middle finger in 2014. Also, Non Architecture is concrete. Today it’s a portal for design contests, an open-source online journal, an independent publisher and a remote design studio.

Non Architecture Competitions aims to find unconventional and unexplored design solutions in the field of architecture. From 2016 to 2019, Non Architecture organized a series of 10 competitions pointed at reinventing functional architectural typologies. In 2020, they entered a new phase structured around nine themes, building a Research Ecosystem with the purpose of exploring each theme from different perspectives and multiple competitions. They will all have their focus on tackling the big issues of tomorrow, by seeking non-traditional approaches in the architect’s work.


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