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Competition: Isolation Transformed

Image by barry dale gilfry
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World Architecture Festival (WAF) and PechaKucha have launched an ideas contest to imagine future post-coronavirus homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods

The free-to-enter international competition invites architects, designers, engineers and students to draw up imaginative concepts to combat the effects of isolation on individuals, families, communities and cities. About a third of all people globally are currently facing restrictions on their mobility to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, with many workplaces closed, forcing staff to work from home if they can.

Submissions may focus on any site in the world and could deal with issues arising from isolation in any social context and at any scale – such as product design, interior design, house plans, housing estate layouts, transport facilities, workplace architecture, open-space design, and city-wide initiatives including landscape interventions

According to the brief: ‘The Covid-19 crisis has focused attention on the living and collective spaces we inhabit and use in our everyday life. Given the necessary isolation for individuals, families, communities and cities, how can we use design to alleviate or improve the physical and psychological contexts in which we live, work and play?

‘World Architecture Festival and PechaKucha are inviting architects, designers and engineers to suggest ideas, both big and small, which show how we could mitigate the effects of future pandemics through design. We will show and discuss a selection of ideas at WAF 2020, which takes place in Lisbon from 2 to 4 December this year.’

Huge numbers of people across the world are currently working from home as part of measures to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. Many employees and employers are embracing full-time home-working for the first time, prompting a new awareness of its benefits and challenges – including child care and healthy exercise.

Almost all of Europe, North America and Asia are preparing for many months of isolation and social distancing with close to 4 billion people now under lockdown. People are being encouraged to keep a distance from each other in shops and other public spaces and reduce their outings from the home as much as possible.

The Isolation Transformed competition aims to promote debate around possible solutions for post-virus environments that would mitigate, improve, or offset current community distancing and isolation. The contest aims to identify a range of concepts which could be used to alleviate or improve the physical and psychological contexts in which we live, work, and play, and help to mitigate effects of future pandemics through design.

Submissions should be in the form of a PechaKucha presentation and feature 20 images with a voiceover. PechaKucha, meaning ‘chit-chat’ in Japanese, is a rapidly growing storytelling platform and presentational style used around the world to communicate innovative concepts, particularly in architecture.

Submissions will be judged on their strength of concept, potential for delivery, universality of application, and economy of means. Judges will include INSIDE creative director Nigel Coates; Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s Centres; Sunand Prasad, architect and past-president of RIBA; and Peter Exley, co-founder of Architecture is Fun.

The overall winner will receive a trophy at the WAF Gala Awards Dinner in Lisbon on 4 December. Selected submissions will be exhibited and discussed at WAF and selected entrants will receive free delegate passes and be invited to present their concepts to attendees.

The deadline for applications is 31 August.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: info@worldarchitecturefestival.com

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