Historically, Asia’s architecture has tended to be heterogeneous; each civilization – from the Persians to the Chinese, the Indians to the Ottomans – has contributed to the creation of an architectural cartography that established the spatial organization of cities such as Istanbul, Isfahan, Samarkand, Calcutta, Beijing, and Tokyo, and immensely influenced the architectural traditions of the western continents. Consequently, Eastern contributions to Western culture and architecture deserve significant scholarly investigation. Nineteenth and twentieth century modernism (as evidenced by the modern movement in architecture in the West) dominated the landscapes and cityscapes in Asia, with largely unpleasant results. With the vast urbanization that has taken place in the later part of the twentieth century, the number of megalopolises that have emerged marks a dominant trend around the world. By the end of the twenty-first century, Asia will have the largest number of megalopolises. Recently, architectural traditions and cultures on the continent of Asia have started to stray from modernism. Architects in Asia are now offering alternatives relevant to their specific geographies and cultures.
As part of its expanding activities 2A is now organizing the 2A Asia Architecture Award. This event takes place annually to highlight and celebrate regional and Asian achievements in architecture which will feature awards and exhibitions as well as debates by the participants on the influences and methods. 2A Continental Architectural Award is a critical effort to recognize and acknowledge architects who have engaged in creating and designing buildings and cities in Asia originating from their specific cultural and geographical localities and possess specific quality and characteristics attributable to their local origins. This continent-wide annual award is an attempt to offer long overdue recognition to a whole new class of architects. A specific theme will be determined and announced every year, and the award’s content will be adjusted accordingly.
2ACAA brings up and discusses the following aspects of the contemporary practice of architecture in the world:
• Theoretical visions of culture, customs, politics, economics, history, and other social elements
• Ideas regarding various origins
• Artistic and aesthetic criteria
• Modern life and technology