Competition announcement 2018

By 09/07/2018News @en



Utopia has failed, we should aim for protopia”

Venice, 26th of May 2018

On the afternoon of the day devoted to the vernissage of the 16thBiennale – International architecture exhibition at Widmann Palace, in the framework of the fifth edition of the initiative “Architects meet in Fuoribiennale” organized by AIAC – The Italian Association of Architecture and Criticism, the 8thedition of the PIDA Prize was officially presented by architect Giovannangelo De Angelis, president of the PIDA Association.

In the tenth year of activity of the association (started in September 2008), the International Ischia Architecture Prize  is experiencing a comeback with ambitious goals and a rich programme of exhibitions, conferences and debates starting with the month of July and ending in the week between the 10thand the 15thof September. The main aims of the competition were effectively highlighted: to become thearchitecture and design prize for the most beautiful Hotels and SPAs in the world and, via the local planning workshop, to foster change in the stagnating building context of the island of Ischia.

For the 2018 edition the title chosen is “Protopia Maio”. This slogan was inspired by an article published on Italian daily newspaper Repubblica, where a thought by Michael Shermer (editor of Skepticas well as contributor to Scientific American) is quoted. In an article on Quarzwith the title “Utopia is a dangerous ideal. We should aim for protopiahe asks himself: “In the light of the failure of utopias during the history of the last century, what can replace the idea of utopia? One answer can be found in another neologism: protopia – incremental progress in steps toward improvement, not perfection”. As the futurist Kevin Kelly describes his coinage: “Protopia is a state that is better today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much much harder to visualize (as opposed to utopia). Because a protopia contains as many new problems as new benefits”. “Protopian progress best describes the monumental moral achievements of the past several centuries: the attenuation of war, the abolishment of slavery, the end of torture and the death penalty, universal suffrage, civil rights and liberties, same-sex marriage and animal rights. These are all examples of protopian progress in the sense that they happened one small step at a time. A protopic future is realisable.” The search for a protopic result is common to both the PIDA Competition and the PIDA Workshop.



The International Ischia Architecture Prize PIDA is awarded   to realized and documentable architecture works referring to the two macro-sections “PIDA Hotel” (hotels, holiday farms, pensions) and “PIDA SPA” (SPAs, thermal centers, beauty farms, beauty parlors).

The works can concern the realization of new architecture or the refurbishing, requalification or enlargement of existing buildings, provided that an explicit and autonomous dialogue with contemporaneity is clearly visible.

This year two further sections have been added: “PIDA Sisma” (Earthquake) and “PIDA Sisma Recupero” (Post-quake Recovery), i.e. awards for both public and private works realized ex novo or in the framework of an improved earthquake engineering for the reclaiming of buildings located in seismic areas realized starting with the 2009 Aquila earthquake.

The subscription fee is 60.00 Euros. The competition notice can be downloaded  from the website www.pida.itstarting from the 31stof May 2018 and the subscription period ends on the 31stof July 2018. On the 26thof August the shortlist with the first three winners for each section will be published. The awarding ceremonies will take place between the 14thand 15thof September 2018. The total value of the prizes amounts to 5,000 Euros. The Jury will be chaired by Prof. Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi and the names of the other jury members (outstanding and illustrious architects and architecture critics) will be communicated on the 31st of July.



Every year the Jury awards several special prizes (not open for competition).

PIDA international

– it rewards an architect standing out at an international level for the realization of quality works;

PIDA career

– it rewards an architect standing out for the quality in realizing Hotels and SPAs.

PIDA journalism

– it rewards a journalist or author who greatly contributed to the promotion of architecture;

PIDA photography

– it rewards an architecture photographer whose images have narrated and highlighted the work of architects;

special PIDA reconstruction prize

– it rewards an architect who created one or more projects in post-quake reconstruction areas in Italy.

The names of the other special prize winners will be communicated before the event.



The mortal wound inflicted on the territory by a 4.0 magnitude with its epicentre in the hamlet of Maio in the municipality of Casamicciola Terme on the 21stof August 2018  calls for an exercise of reflection in civil society, in particular among architects, to play a key role in planning and guiding the necessary change In order to reclaim those areas in the shortest time possible, by transforming a tragedy into a resource. This is the topic of this year’s planning workshop, i.e. the reconstruction of the areas most severely hit by the earthquake, for which the buildings need to be demolished and reconstructed (a core of approx. 2 hectares in the so-called “red zone” in the Maio area in Casamicciola). The workshop, promoted and supported by the Rotary Club Island of Ischia – District 2100, will be attended by 3 groups of University senior students selected and guided by the DiARCH, the Architecture Department of the University Federico II of Naples, along with INGV geologists, ANIAI engineers experts in the post-quake reconstruction and bio-climate technicians of the CasaClima network. The workshop will lead to the drafting of three projects to be submitted as proposals to the community.

The workshop will be held at Piromallo Castle in the municipality of Forio (island of Ischia) between the 10thand the 15thof September.



The first initiative of the season for the architects of the PIDA Association will be a partnership with e municipality of Ischia for the St. Anna Palio festival in realizing one of the allegorical floats that will take part in the parade in the 26thof July in the enchanted bay opposite the Aragonese Castle.

Within the framework of the second initiative, the members of the association will realize, during summer, a bus shelter prototype to be placed on the territory of the Island of Ischia.

The third and main activity will be held in the evenings of the 14thand 15thof September:

  • Friday 14th(location tbc): opening of the exhibition with the finalist projects and exhibition of the architecture photography special prize winner, awarding ceremony for the Special Jury Prizes and Lectio Magistralis by the special Career prize winner;
  • Saturday 15th(Piromallo Castle – Forio): gala dinner; presentation of the Workshop results; awarding of the Competition winners;


All actions planned for the 2018 editions in chronological order:

  • Creation of a boat for the “Palio di S. Anna” festival on July 26th;
  • Realization of a pilot project for bus shelters;
  • 8thinternational prize concerning the architecture of the most beautiful Hotels and SPAs in the world;
  • 1stnational competition for post-quake reconstruction architecture;
  • 6thplanning workshop: reconstruction in areas hit by the recent earthquake on the island of Ischia (on the 21stof August 2017);
  • The special jury prizes that are awarded every year to architects, designers, photographers, journalists and architecture critics;
  • The exhibitions, conferences and debates that will be organized in the evenings of the 14thand 15thof September at the most prestigious locations of the island of Ischia;


In the past editions, many important figures in the world of architecture took part in the event:Peter Bohlin, Bernard Cywinski, Mario Bellini, Matteo Thun, Boris Podrecca, Nathaniel Kahn, Mimmo Jodice, Hani Rashid, Bjoy Jain, Patricia Viel, Mario Cucinella, Paolo e Michela Baldessari, Italo Rota, Studio Archea, Feld 72, Enrico Arosio, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Piergiorgio Semerano, Christine Dalnoky, Stefano Casciani, Cesare Casati, Francesca Molteni, Davide Pizzigoni, Matteo Piazza, Riccardo Dalisi, Filippo Cannata, King Roselli, Orazio La Monaca, Laura Squillaci, Benedetto Gravagnuolo, Raffaele Sirica, Susanna Tradati, Bruno Garofalo, Giuppi Pietromarchi, Giancarlo Allen, Francesco Conversano, Moreno Maggi, Giorgio Santilli and many others.