The Free Republic of Liberland is a micronation that was proclaimed in 2015 by Vít Jedlička, a libertarian politician and activist from Czech Republic. It is located on an uninhabited part of the western bank of the Danube, a disputed spot between Croatia and Serbia. The Liberland Design Competition is designed to bring together the best architectural and design minds from around the world to compete and build the most efficient version of the Free Republic of Liberland, in a way that is realistic and liveable.
The idea five years ago was to create the Free Republic of Liberland as a libertarian nation, a utopia in micro form. It was founded on the principles of libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism and has seen great interest from day one. There were over 200,000 people attempting to register for citizenship in the first week after proclamation of the youngest micronation on the planet. Since then there have been over 600,000 citizenship applications.
The challenge with such a small micronation, which is made up of just 7 square kilometres of land along the bank of the Danube, is that the founder and President mentioned that “The citizenship is only limited to 120,000 people. it’s pretty dense to consider 120,000 citizens living there.”
The correct, innovative design and architecture must be secured to ensure that the use of this small piece of land is as effective as possible. Every single piece of the land must be maximised if a real, sustainable nation can be created with real citizens living there in an enjoyable way.
This is where the idea of the Liberland Design Competition 2020 came about. It will be curated by ArchAgenda LLC, a research-based computational design and architecture lab that pushes the boundaries of innovative architecture agendas. The competition aims to bring in design and architectural talent from all corners of the earth, with a plan for create the succinct, innovative and functional architectural future of the micronation. The ideas should be put forward with the aim of providing a sustainable framework in Liberland that encourages individual and collective freedom, autonomy, voluntarism and charity, fair free markets, diplomatic goodwill, ecological responsibility, innovation at every turn, and very little governance from above.
This needs to be created and distributed through a transparent peer-to-peer blockchain network, with competitors tasked with translating the potential of distributed computational networks into urban design in a way that delivers the fluidity of design in urban environments through systems that are forged in the style of nature. It is a challenge but one that the founder of Liberland believes is possible when utilising the brightest minds in design and architecture.
There are a few challenges alongside this on a practical level. The lack of space and the proximity to the Danube bring with it the need for flood-protection devices and systems, whilst remaining a sustainable project. It will be extremely interesting to see how the brightest minds solve such a complex puzzle whilst maintaining an enjoyable, utopian-sense of goodwill for the future citizens of Liberland.