CODE – COmpetitions for DEsigners ​and  Università degli Studi di Genova launch “Future Library”, a competition of ideas for the design of a learning space for the University of Genoa. Designers will have the opportunity to interpret and shape the future of places dedicated to learning and knowledge. A cash prize of € 15,000 will be awarded to winners selected by a well-renowned jury made of Giancarlo Mazzanti (El Equipo Mazzanti), Aser Giménez Ortega (MVRDV), Fedele Canosa (Mecanoo Architecten), Christian Hämmerle ( Snøhetta ), Emanuele Magi (Università degli Studi di Genova).


Libraries are one of the most fascinating architectural examples of the history of mankind. As the library of Alexandria and the more recent masterpieces of contemporary architecture, the library has always been the center of collection of collective memory. It has always been the place where human experiences could be preserved, crystalized, made eternal. They could be passed on from ancient to new generations.

In a way, the library has to do with eternity. It connects thoughts and experiences beyond space and time. It does so because it is a place, which human beings build in order to draw from the experience of their predecessors. It also does so because first of all the library is a great information collector.

Up to date, history has been passing on such information through the union of paper and ink: books. Books used to need a specific archiving and consultation space. However, in the era of dematerialization, of virtuality and of the 4.0 world, information has become an impalpable sequence of codes. They are intangible sequences that any device can consult and decode in any moment and any place.

Consequently, on one hand the virtual space is expanding. On the other hand, the physical space is losing ground. Now, including all the places that used to be constant elements of humankind over the centuries have to change connotations and features. The library is not a place of preservation and consultation anymore. This is because now the access to information goes beyond books.

Therefore, what is the future for libraries? What is the library of the future?

On the basis of these questions, the University of Genoa is delighted to launch Future Library. This is the design competition that invites young people from all over the world to think about the future of places dedicated to learning and knowledge. Through architecture, they will design a completely new model of learning space.

Currently, the virtual universe offers unprecedented opportunities to have access to information. However, it entails uncertainties too. The speed and efficiency of research and archiving spaces conflict with the reliability and soundness of the sources. This is the never-ending dispute between tradition and innovation. While new and ancient compete for the heart of culture, designers have the opportunity to interpret this change. They will have the chance to originate a new architectural model aiming to orient the international debate about the evolution of cultural spaces.


  • Giancarlo Mazzanti (El Equipo Mazzanti)
  • Aser Giménez Ortega (MVRDV)
  • Fedele Canosa (Mecanoo Architecten)
  • Emanuele Magi (Università degli Studi di Genova)
  • Christian Hämmerle ( Snøhetta )


1st   PRIZE 7.000 €

2nd  PRIZE 5.000 €

3rd  PRIZE  3.000 €




14/01/2019 “early bird” registration – start

10/02/2019 (h 11.59 pm GMT) “early bird” registration – end


11/02/2019  “standard” registration – start

10/03/2019  (h 11.59 pm GMT) “standard” registration – end


11/03/2019  “late” registration – start

07/04/2019  (h 11.59 pm GMT) “late” registration – end

10/04/2019 (h 12.00 pm – midday – GMT) material submission deadline


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