LIVING upon the PLAY April 2020- January 2021

LIVING upon the PLAY April 2020- January 2021

LIVING upon the PLAY


Living upon the PLAY

"Play" meaning in various ways, including playing like an infant, having fun with friends, indulging in drinks or gambling, taking breaks between work and study, having leeway to things, seeking beauty in literature and art isolated from the secular world, and giving space to machinery part connection.


In any case, it is like a source to life, an act full of humanity contrary to pursuing functionality and rationality.

In Homo Ludens, written by Johan Huizinga, “Culture has occurred and developed as play in play,” “play has a significant meaning in life, and that it has an inevitable mission,” “nature has given us play with tension, joy, and fun.”

Think of living in "Play" which may said to be the essence of human activities.

"Play" could expand the possibilities in our lives and may give us hints on future life.

We look forward to your proposals.


Judge Comments

To think more and more about play, strange feeling occurs that it underlies deeply in us human beings. Focusing on play in the modern society may be good or may be well to thinking of the unchanging play mankind has been doing for decades. Looking forward to seeing proposals of architecture or space approaching to the essence of play.

― Ryue Nishizawa

The boundaries between work and play are becoming limitlessly ambiguous. If more and more technology releases humanity from routine work, it will likely become so more. When there is not a definite purpose, how does the conscious increase concentration toward happiness, pleasure, or anything fully interesting. What kind of space can be created by the mysterious attraction of play?

― Akihisa Hirata

"Play" has the aspect of freedom, but on the other hand there are also "Play" that cannot be established without rules, such as baseball or soccer.

R. Caillois called the ambiguous nature of Play as Pidia (freedom) and Rudus (rule) and also found four “forms”, Mimicry (mimesis), Ilinx (vertigo), Agon (competition) and Alea (chance).

If you find the vague word "Play" difficult to handle, you can maybe refer to the analysis of such predecessors. Awaiting to see strict and serious “Play”.

― Yasutaka Yoshimura

In Homo Ludens Huizinga describes play as the turning of seriousness. But today, every play is seemed to be crafted into something subtly useful, and it seems to be occupied by play-like seriousness. Regarding play, Huizinga seems to focus on real human activity instead of fantasy and now when all is filled with seriousness, what seems to be needed to defeat it is a “Shatter Seriousness”.

― Tatsuya Hatori

In 1988, a car advertisement which said “Ku-Neru-Asobu.” became popular in Japan. It was said that “Asobu” (Play) was added to the traditional Japanese rakugo story “KU-NERU-TOKORO-NI-SUMU-TOKORO” (places to eat, sleep and places to live). At the time while the Emperor Showa was worried about his illness and health condition, and the mood of self-restraint, TV commercials with lines were considered inappropriate and the sound was erased while only the subtitles remained. It may be an opportunity to doubt easy empathy to think about "Play" in a society that is again in the mood of voluntary self-restraint.

― Ryuji Fujimura

In the Analects of Confucius, "Aspire to the path of duty, follow the virtue, play in arts.” Since ancient times, enjoying the culture of Rikugei (Six Arts) has been a taste of true personality. While the development of civilization, the concept of "Play" in "Six arts", has also changed. Creative ideas seem to be born with “Play” in peace of mind. Expecting to see creative interpretation of "Play" in the modern times.

― Yukihiro Sohdai



First Prize

Ai FukudomeYokohama National University / iii architects

Second Prize

Ryohei KikuchiFreelance

Tomoya KobayashiFreelance

Third Priz


Merit Prize

Eri ShiraishiShiratori Architectural Design Office

Kazunori YamaguchiFreelance

Merit Prize

Ryuhei IchikuraMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Merit Prize



Merit Prize

Masayoshi WakuWaseda University

Mari TakahashiStudio Mark Randel

Merit Prize





NADYA WINAGAdua studio

Merit Prize

Showta SugiyamaShinshu University

Masato SakouShinshu University

Merit Prize

Tetsuya NakataniGo A do

Merit Prize

HASEEF RAFIEIVeritas Architects

Winners Exhibition

Place AIJ l Gallery
Address AIJ building 1F, 26-20, Shiba 5-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014
Feb.15th 2021 (Mon) 12:00am~7:30pm
Feb.16th 2021 (Tue) 9:00am~7:30pm
Feb.17th 2021 (Wed) 9:00am~7:30pm
Feb.18th 2021 (Thu) 9:00am~5:00pm


  • 1st PRIZE[one]
  • 1,000,000yen
  • 2nd PRIZE[one]
  • 500,000yen
  • 3rd PRIZE[one]
  • 300,000yen
  • Merit PRIZE[eight]
  • 100,000yen   each

Total prizes amount : 2,600,000 yen. All above prize money includes income tax.

  • The results will be informed to the winners and will be announced in the January 2021 issue of SHINKENCHIKU.
  • Exhibition will be held at AIJ building in Tokyo Japan: Feb. 15th(Mon)-Feb. 18th(Thur), 2021

Display in local time 

Registration Start
Beginning of Submission Entry
Registration End
End of Submission
Submission must arrive competition office by the time stated
Winners have been informed of the results sucessfully
Dec 02 2020 Award ceremony
Jan 2021   Public announcement will be made in the 2021 January issue of "SHINKENCHIKU"


Expand All


A registration number and applicaion form will be issued by email after the registration is properly completed.

One registration number is only valid for one submission. For multiple submissions, register multiple times to receive individual registration number for each submission.

The Competition office cannot make any changes on the application form for the participants, if any changes or mistakes in registration occur, re-registration is required.


Use one sheet of thick drawing paper (like Kent paper) of A2-Size (420mm x 594mm).

Thin paper such as imitation vellum-paper should not be used since easy to break when opening the envelope.

Paper mounted onto a panel or frame will not be accepted.


All works should represent the theme just by drawings or pictures.
Explanation in words should be kept to a minimum.

Drawings can be block plan, floor plan, elevation view, cross-section view, perspective view, model photo, etc.

You may use blue print, pencil, ink, color, photos, print etc. at your discretion.

Registration number & Application form

How to submit?

Send your submission to the address below.

Nisshin Kogyo Co., Ltd.
Attn. : Design Competition Office
2F, 2-23-4 Senju-Azuma, Adachi-ku, Tokyo, 120-0025, Japan
Phone : +81-3-3882-2613

Submissions will be accepted only through mail delivery. UPS, EMS, DHL or any other overseas mailing service will be accepted.

Submissions can be packed in any form, though preferred to be sent flat to avoid rolling or damage.

All costs for submission such as shipping, delivery, tax, insurance etc. will be borne by the entrant.

If any charges or payment occurs when arriving at the competition office, the submission will be returned to the sender or to be held at the shipping company by sender’s expense.

Competition office will not be responsible for any lost submission while shipping. Confirmation for submission arrival will not be answered by the competition office.

Additional information

  • The sponsors will not answer any questions about the theme.
  • All entries should not have been published or shown to public before in whole or in part including social media.
  • Entries should not be submitted simultaneously to any other competitions. Entries submitted to other competitions will be disqualified.
  • Competition entries must not infringe the copyright of any other works either in whole or in part. For example do not use images from magazines, books or websites.
  • If suspicion of infringement is found, the winning prize will be revoked by the sponsors.
  • If infringement or any other problem is found after announcement of the winning prizes, all the relevant responsibilities must be assumed by the entrants.
  • Change of application contents by the entrant after winning announcement will not be accepted.
  • Do not publish your submission in any form in whole or in part including social media until after the winners are announced on the competition web site.
  • The winners must not publish the winning works in anyway including social media until public announcement is made in the SHINKENCHIKU magazine.
  • Copyrights on the entries will remain to the property of the entrants, but the sponsors will reserve the right to publish the winning entries in magazines and other media.
  • Competition entries will not be returned. Travel expenses for attending the award ceremony is borne by the entrant. Any other questions not listed in this competition page will be answered by e-mail only.


Ryue Nishizawa


Akihisa Hirata


Yasutaka Yoshimura


Tatsuya Hatori


Ryuji Fujimura


Yukihiro Sohdai


Media Partners

  • architecture quote