Southeast Europe Atrium European Union

Atrium contest for prototypes

European contest for the creation and modern re-interpretation of Italian and European art production of the 20th century totalitarian regimes.

From the wounds of an inconvenience and terrible past, the architectural traces of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century could become an important source for local development if managed and valued through a transnational cultural route (in accordance with the requisites established by the Council of Europe, resolution 12/07), supported by specific tourist and cultural products.

ATRIUM has been designed to take this opportunity, which has not been fully explored yet. New services, hence new job opportunities, could be created all around this new cultural route (hotel receptions, tourist guides, restoration projects, etc.), mainly for young people and women.

For more information on the project:

We highlight the availability of photographic references at this address:

The aim of this document is to promote a European creative path that can produce important results on the involved territories to develop during the period from July to December 2013 and that is based on a reflection on creativity during the 20th century totalitarian regimes in Europe through a contest and creation of a portfolio of projects potentially marketable with the brand “Atrium”. The projects will be presented in a travelling exhibit.

1. The promoters and the contest

Romagna Creative District (RCD) and the Municipality of Forlì about the project “Atrium – Architetture of Totalitarian Regimes of the 20th Century in Urban Management” are the promoters of the present contest. RCD is an Italian cultural association engaged in supporting creative talents living and working in Romagna, Bologna and nearby (designers, graphic designers, architects, illustrators, photographers, musicians, etc. that are called as “creative talents” under this document).

The European project “ATRIUM” has led to the creation of a transnational association, owner of the candidacy to Cultural Route of European Council. The European contest is aimed to promote a reflection on the creativity and design of the 20th century totalitarian regimes in Italy and Eastern Europe and their consequent modern reinterpretation.

2. Eligible subjects

Creative talents living and working in EU countries or in candidate or potential candidate countries are considered as eligible subjects.

Non-eligible subjects are the following:

  1. All members of the Evaluation Commission, their spouses and relatives and anyone who has a continued working relationship with said members.
  2. Those who have worked on the design of the present context and on its organisation;
  3. Those who are employed by public authorities, institutions or administrations unless they have a specific authorisation.

3. Project proposals and characteristics of the products proposed

Any project or product proposed under the present contest must be inspired or the result of the analysis of a creative production of Design (interior design objects and furniture, Fashion (jewellery, accessories, clothing), Graphics (fonts and typographic styles) originated during the times of the totalitarian and authoritarian European regimes of the 20th century. Just to give an idea, here is a list of the types of products that may be designed and realized (a prototype) for the travelling exhibition. The list is not binding to talents' creativity:

  1. Graphics and paper industry items (notebooks, notepads, writing material, cards, magnets, bookmarks, prints and posters, engravings);
  2. Small interior design complements in different materials such as glass, resin, wood, bronze, ceramic, Perspex (vases, bottles, office accessories)
  3. Clothing items and accessories (cases, bags, foulards, hats)
  4. Furnishing items (chairs, writing tables, sofas, armchairs, lighting items)
  5. Fashion jewellery (gold is not accepted)
  6. Board games (e.g. puzzles, card games, etc.);

In order to allow as much freedom of expression as possible to creative talents, there is no restriction in terms of shape, geometry, structural solutions and construction material. In the event that the object presented is going to be produced and marketed, its cost to the public may not exceed 70 EUR per piece.

4. How to apply

Projects must be submitted in a closed parcel, duly sealed and quoting the following: “This parcel contains the project for the contest “Sign Invention – futuring the past”. The parcel must be delivered via registered mail within 30 September 2013 at 12.00 a.m. to the following address:

Association RCD
Piazzale della Vittoria 1
47121 - FORLI' Italy

The delivery of the parcel within the above deadline is at the sender’s own risk. Only the parcels received by the Association RCD within the above deadline will be evaluated. Time and date of the expedition will not be of any value. The parcel must contain the following documents written either in Italian or in English as the official languages of the present contest:

  1. Application letter including name of the applicant/s and personal details (address, phone number/s, email address).
  2. When possible, indicate registration number, VAT, website, and profession (designer, graphic designer, architect, etc.);
  3. A copy of the present document signed by the applicant/s as a confirmation of acceptance of the rules of the present contest;
  4. A short report describing the characteristics of the products proposed, type of manufacturing and construction materials;
  5. CD containing 2 PDF charts, high definition (300 dpi) in A2 format illustrating the project (inspiring, photos, drawings and perspective drawings of the designs proposed or any additional detail that can help to illustrate the designed project and its relationship with the historical period considered). The PDF charts must not bear any indications on the designer/s and any text must be written in regular Arial a/b body 13. The projects will be exhibited on panels that will be the outfitting for the show scheduled for the autumn-winter 2013, at the new ATRIUM association headquarter located in Forlì. The exhibit will be proposed for an international exhibition trail.

5. Selection of the winner projects

The projects will be evaluated by an inter-disciplinary Evaluation Commission, nominated by Romagna Creative District and by the representatives of the “ATRIUM” project. The Evaluation Commission will evaluate the aesthetical, functional, technical and creative characteristics of the submitted projects and their coherence with the objectives of the present contest.

6. Classification

The classification will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Coherence with the present requirements of the present document
  2. Design and creativity
  3. Originality/innovation of the idea

In case no object or proposal meets with the above-mentioned criteria, the Commission reserves the right not to approve and select any submitted item.

7. Publication of the results of the contest

The winners of the selection will be informed via fax or email address, within 7 days after the completion of the commission's works. The results of the contest will be published on the websites: and, as well as on the main on-line social networks.

8. Prizes

The Evaluation Commision will award the three best projects in terms of characteristics, quality, originality and choerence with the contest theme. Each of the three winners will receive 100 issues of a catalogue of achieved project, and will attend the opening ceremony of the travelling exhibition. Travel and full board and lodging for two nights in Italy will be at the organiser's expense.

9. Royalties

The intellectual property of the projects remains at the applicant/creative talent. As concerns any selected project, the applicant/creative talent allows its photographic circulation and reproduction in order to promote the exhibition and its eventual display in Italy or abroad. The eventual production of selected proposals will be subject to a second stage of the competition the details of which will be defined later.

10. Promotion of the contest

The present contest is available on line in both Italian and English, as the official languages of the contest, on the websites and and on the main web communication portals.

11. Responsibility of the applicants/creative talents

The applicants/creative talents undertake any responsibility concerning the paternity and originality of the products submitted; they declare to release Romagna Creative District Association and ATRIUM partners from liability regarding any judicial or extrajudicial action started by third parties with respect to the products/projects.

12. Portfolio, catalogue and exhibition

A paper catalogue in both Italian and English including all projects submitted will be produced and published on line with all artist contact information. All participants at the contest will receive a copy. More significant projects will be shown at the new headquarter of Atrium Association on autumn - winter 2013.

13. Information

Any information and / or clarification on the contest may be requested by e-mail at the following address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by quoting "Sign Invention – futuring the past" in the object section.


Official web page of the South-East Europe Programme

Official web page of Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism

Official web page of Ministry of the environment and spatial planning of Republic of Slovenia

Italian contact point for the South East Europe Programme