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Shelters For All Competition

08/12/2011 by architectural competitions

The University of Notre Dame’s project Open Sourcing the Design of Civil Infrastructure invites you to submit a design to the Shelters For All Competition ( This Competition seeks innovative solutions to the urban housing crisis in the developing world. You are invited to develop and submit conceptual designs for homes that address the needs and constraints of the over 1 billion people living in urban slums worldwide. Realizing that people often prefer to work in teams, we have created a Team Tool that you can use to form teams through our website. Winning designs will be awarded over $15,000 (USD) in prizes and the opportunity to be implemented in ongoing development projects through the University of Notre Dame. $600 in awards will be given to the three people who refer the most people who go on to submit designs. Contributions will also help us learn about the generation of novel ideas that can be used to solve societal grand challenges.

We created this competition in order to provide a way that designers can be involved in solving the urban housing crisis in the developing world. A growing population of individuals who live in urban slums suffers from serious vulnerabilities. Limited natural resources make it difficult to produce quality construction materials. Weak regulation, building codes and enforcement hinder community planning. Moreover, urban unstructured settlements often lie in some of the most hazard-prone parts of the world and are subject to hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, earthquakes, as well as heavy rains and flooding. Meeting the challenge to create resilient, feasible, sustainable, viable and scalable housing solutions for the urban poor in developing countries will require considerable innovation. That is the reason we are soliciting the global community to develop creative solutions that are mindful of the environmental conditions, historical context and cultural preferences of communities where the housing will be built. While preference is given to innovative designs that may be applied broadly throughout the developing world, we also accept designs that target a specific country or region.

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2012


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