Winner; Garden of Delight by Nick Hannes
The rapid transformation of Dubai from a regional trade centre in the 1960s to the ultramodern metropolis of today is a fascinating case study in market-driven urbanisation. Dubai’s excessive entertainment industry has a big impact on Emirati society. Traditional Islamic values are being challenged by an imported Western lifestyle. Dubai is a clear example of the phenomenon of ‘capsularisation’, the way that the globalised world is creating a dual society characterised by separation and exclusion. The first world is an archipelago of shielded islands or ‘capsules’ where it’s pleasant to live; the second world is all the rest, an ocean of poverty and chaos. In a capsular society, public space becomes privatised; capsular architecture—such as gated communities and malls—simulates public space on privately owned land. This new urbanity, characterised by artificial inner spaces, runs like a thread through this series, raising questions about authenticity and sustainability.