The photo contest "Capture Your City" receives record number of entries

Capture Your City. Credit: Morten de Fine Olivarius

From Residential Blocks in Riga to Urban Spaces in Denmark, to Turin's Blue Mountains. Danish Architecture Center’s (DAC) photo contest, "Capture Your City 2024," in collaboration with the EU project Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society, has achieved historic high participation with over 8,000 submitted photos from cities across Europe. This record number of 8,015 entries from 26 countries demonstrates the contest's growing popularity and Europe’s commitment to architecture and urban development.

Text: DAC - published 8 May 2024

With the theme "A New Beauty," participants from 50 European cities, both large and small, have explored and interpreted their local environments. This year's theme is derived from the EU project Desire – Irresistible Circular Society, which experiments with making sustainable choices attractive. The European collaboration has resulted in a diverse spectrum of photographic works.

The international jury faced a significant challenge in judging the thousands of submitted photos before selecting the final images for the exhibition. The judging took place at a meeting in Copenhagen on Tuesday, May 7. The final images, including the winning photos, will be announced when the exhibition "Capture Your City 2024 – A New Beauty" opens on June 6 at Bryghuspladsen.

"Although all participating European cities have beautiful, old city centres, they were not the focus of Capture Your City this year. Instead, this year's theme ‘A New Beauty’ led photographers across Europe to capture train stations, industrial ports, construction cranes, and other places where contrasts meet in the cities. 

Another recurring motif we've seen in the submitted photos is the intersection between nature and urban environments. Weeds sprouting up, the wild garden next to the tamed, climbing plants overtaking building facades, the mountains and the city, etc. It has been inspiring to get an 'insider' look into 50 European cities that are not just the traditional tourist photos," says Kika Krista Kjærside, Program Manager at the Danish Architecture Center.

The jury

The jury includes Julie Quottrup Silberman, Director of CHART; Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, director of the Copenhagen Photofestival; and Kika Krista Kjærside, Program manager at DAC. Last year's winner of Capture Your City 2023, Natascha Lhea Narvaez Nielsen, is also part of this year's jury.

Additionally, there are representatives from DAC's international partners: Femke Gerritsma, Communications manager at Arcam (Amsterdam); Hana Čeferin, Curator at MAO (Ljubljana); Arnita Verza, Landscape architect at Riga municipality (Riga); Federica Tognon, Curator at Fabbrica del Vapore (Milan); and Monica Poggi, Photo historian at CAMERA (Turin).

The contest is organized by Danish Architecture Center, and this year, DAC has expanded its collaboration with municipalities and cultural institutions in Riga, Turin, Ljubljana, Milan, and Amsterdam to invite European residents to participate in the contest. This has been made possible in collaboration with the EU project Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society.

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Exhibition Period

The exhibition period for the images is from June 6 to October 1, 2024, at Bryghuspladsen in front of the Danish Architecture Center. The three winning photos will be announced and awarded at the exhibition opening on June 6, 2024. 

The exhibition will also be shown in Herlev, Høje-Taastrup, and Kalundborg, Denmark. 

Additionally, the exhibition will be displayed digitally and/or physically throughout Europe at international cultural institutions such as Arcam in the Netherlands and CAMERA in Italy.

The photo contest is supported by the philanthropic association Realdania and developed in collaboration with the New European Bauhaus project, Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. Desire is funded by the EU.

More facts about Capture Your City

  • The exhibition period for the photos is from June 6 to October 1, 2024, in front of Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen. Additionally, the exhibition will be shown digitally and/or physically across Europe.
  • An international jury will decide which photos are to be included in the exhibition and the three winning photos. The final winner will be announced and celebrated at the exhibition opening at Danish Architecture Center on June 6, 2024. The prize is an Inter-rail ticket around Europe.
  • This is the 9th consecutive year that the Capture Your City photo competition is taking place, but it is the first time ever that the competition is being held in multiple countries.
  • In 2024, Capture Your City is part of the New European Bauhaus project 'Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society,' funded by the EU. As part of this project, citizens in Riga, Milan, Turin, Amsterdam, and Ljubljana are invited to participate in Capture Your City.
  • Capture Your City runs from March 1 to May 1, 2024. Participation is free.

Partners in Capture Your City 2024

About Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish Architecture Center is an international cultural attraction that creates engaging experiences and debates about architecture and design. Here, you can explore exhibitions, join tours and events, shop for design products, and enjoy the spectacular view.

About Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society

Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society is a New European Bauhaus lighthouse project. Desire experiments with creating sustainable, attractive, and inclusive urban spaces which respect the limited resources of the planet.

The project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

About Arcam, Amsterdam, Holland

Arcam is the architecture centre in Amsterdam. They host exhibitions, talks, guided tours, and more, housed in a spectacularly shaped building designed by architect René van Zuuk. Arcam was founded in 1986, nearly simultaneously with DAC, and is the oldest and one of the largest architecture centres of the more than 40 architecture centres in the Netherlands.

About MAO, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) was founded in 1972 in Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana. It is located in an old 16th century castle and has a vast collection of works in architecture, urban planning, graphic design, and photography. MAO also hosts BIO – the Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, an international platform for new approaches to design and Europe's oldest design biennial.

About Fabbrica del Vapore and Milan Municipality, Milan, Italy

Fabbrica del Vapore is an intercultural centre located in an old tram factory and managed by Milan's municipality. It is a meeting place dedicated to contemporary art but also houses theatre, dance, film festivals, and more. The venue also includes an archive for architectural drawings.

About Riga Municipality, Riga, Latvia

In Riga, Capture Your City collaborates with Riga Municipality. Riga is a city with a history spanning over 800 years. The city boasts the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. However, 70% of the residents live in a completely different kind of building – the old Soviet residential blocks. How can these be renovated and transformed? And is it possible to find a new beauty in them?

About CAMERA - Italian Centre for Photography, Turin, Italy

CAMERA is located in Turin and serves as a central gathering place for conveying photography in Italy. CAMERA was started in 2015 and annually showcases 2-3 major, rotating exhibitions featuring both international and Italian photographers. Through exhibitions, debates, school programs, and courses, CAMERA works to increase understanding and create dialogue and curiosity about photography.