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Welcome to the Fentress Global Challenge (FGC), an international student design competition that has been pushing the boundaries of architectural innovation since its launch in 2011. Founded by the visionary architect Curtis Fentress, the FGC has evolved into a prestigious platform that attracts talent from across the globe, with well over a thousand entries pouring in from student teams in more than 160 countries.

Over the years, the FGC has witnessed a remarkable surge in both the quantity and quality of submissions, reflecting the growing enthusiasm and commitment of emerging designers to redefine the future of architecture. The competition serves as a unique investigation into the realm of public architecture, with a particular focus on airports, especially terminal buildings.


Participants in the Fentress Global Challenge are challenged to select an existing airport and envision how its terminals will evolve in a distant future year. This task involves a careful consideration of local context, technological trends, project feasibility, and the crucial aspect of enhancing passenger experience. The competition has become a catalyst for advancing the pursuit of innovative design in the aviation sector.


Curtis Fentress, the driving force behind FGC, has a distinguished career marked by a deep passion for architecture and a commitment to bringing humanism to civic buildings. His journey from a tobacco farm in North Carolina to designing iconic structures such as Denver International Airport and Incheon International Airport is evidence of his determination and innovative spirit.


Fentress Architects, under Curtis Fentress's leadership, has earned acclaim for its distinctive designs, including Incheon International Airport in South Korea. Voted the "World’s Best Airport" by Skytrax’s World Airport Awards in 2009 and recognized as such for five consecutive years by 200,000 world travelers polled by Airports Council International. 


The firm's commitment to public architecture is evident in its "Patient Search" approach, a meticulous process that combines context and community influences to realize a balance of art and function in timeless architecture.


Guided by the 8 Touchstones of Design, Fentress Architects' design studio adheres to a set of principles that address both the practical and aspirational aspects of creating public architecture. These touchstones reflect a commitment to creating timeless design that unifies people through the power of cultural references.


As we continue to shape the future of architecture through the Fentress Global Challenge, we invite students and emerging designers from around the world to join us in this journey of exploration and innovation. Together, let's push the boundaries of what's possible and redefine the landscape of public architecture for generations to come.

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