The students - Charlie Caswell and Pete Jennings - took the runners-up position in the Urban-Open competition, for a new park and shelter in Chicago.
The brief demanded a design with 'intergenerational appeal' that enhanced the residents' daily quality of life, and which would stimulate cultural events in the deprived area.
The brief also set out an extremely tight budget, so the pair - who are currently with Stephenson Bell and Patel Taylor respectively - responded with 'a framework that would develop over time and grow with the community it served'.
'We responded by designing a three-dimensional landscape that integrated art, architecture and landscaping,' Caswell said. 'And that would appeal to people of all ages and allow a variety of activities to take place.
'Our proposal aimed to be a vehicle for change, involving the community from the outset by providing opportunities for community collaboration from the construction of a pavilion to the planting of growing walls,' he added.
The winner was Ryuichi Ashizawa of R-A Architects in Osaka, Japan.