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WISE: International CAA Student Design Competition

International level design competition
Eligible students
Deadline for submission
11 Jan 2013
Event Location
Architecture students from around the world are invited to design forward thinking environments for our aging populations. Individual and team entries are welcome and multidisciplinary collaborations are encouraged. An international jury will award prizes totalling up to 4,600 GBP. Judging has been timed to allow winning entrants to be celebrated at the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh in February 2013. Winning entries will be published in the Architectural Review so read through the attached brief and participate in this exciting and relevant international competition
The Design Brief
As part of the competition, entrants will propose a design scenario. The jury is interested in your strategies for connecting the elderly within the broader context of family and/or community considering relationships between different age groups rather than focusing on either gated retirement communities or nursing home facilities. The jury will be looking for proposals that respond to a deep understanding of the social and physical contexts within your selected site location. The size of the design proposition is not important in itself, but the design should be distinctive and compelling, with cultural value.

You can choose to expand of the following scenarios or develop another.
  • a house for an extended family;
  • a multi-generational precinct;
  • an agile planning strategy accommodating changing family structures from cradle to grave;
  • housing for unusual demographic mixes or
  • another well-considered option.
The jury will be particularly interested in innovative solutions providing good value for money. Strategies should be developed that reflect the climate, culture and context of the design. Competitors are encouraged to contemplate the use of recycled and local materials. Re-use and remodelling of an existing building would be acceptable. In many communities the aged are cared for by families while in others, aged care is self-funded or supported by government, industry and private benefactors.
Event Details - I
The competition is open to all architecture students, worldwide, who at the time of preparing their submission are registered at a Higher Education Institution. It is not limited to those studying in Commonwealth Countries. Individual and group entries are acceptable. Postgraduate research students and higher degree students are not eligible to take part but CAA welcomes undergraduate students and postgraduate coursework students working towards a professional architecture degree qualification. Entrants are encouraged to build a team with other students including students from other disciplines.

The Jury Criteria:
As part of the competition, you are asked to explain the people and context you are designing for in a 300 word scenario brief along with a further 300 word explanation of your design approach.
The jury will select the winning schemes based on the following:
  • Design sensibility and originality
  • Culturally, functionally and economically appropriate for the selected context
  • Design resolution for local context in terms of climate and materials
  • Incorporates best practices for sustainable design to suit the context
  • Clarity of ideas and communication

Key dates:
Registration opens June 2012
Questions close November 9 2012
Final answers November 16 2012
Submissions open November 23 2012
Submissions close January 11 2013 – Friday Midnight GMT
Event Details - II
Questions and Answers
Any questions concerning the brief and arrangements for the competition may, until November 9 2012 be sent to the Competition Registrar Questions and Answers relevant to all entrants will be regularly updated on the website until November 16 2012. Further questions can only relate to the submission process

  • First Prize: £2500
  • Second Prize: £1000
  • Third Prize: £600
A bonus of £250 will be awarded to the best prize-winning, multi-disciplinary group entry (i.e. a submission from a team registered as two or more people from different disciplines that is placed first, second or third). All students are eligible for first, second and third prizes. An additional £250 has been reserved for the best submission from a student (or team of students) in the first or second year of academic study at the time of the entry being made, where the entry has not been awarded one of the principal prizes. Any prize awarded for a group submission will be divided equally among members of the group. In addition, honourable mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the jury.


Online registration will be available mid-year, 2012. A one-off registration fee for each entry (individual or team) will be 50 GBP. This registration fee will contribute to the costs of printing, exhibition and judging.

Submission process
Upload all documents to the competition website before January 11 2013 – Friday Midnight GMT. New documents can be uploaded to override the old until the close of submissions. You will receive confirmation that documents have been successfully uploaded within 24 hours. Email the Competition Registrar if you have any questions.
Other details
Registration and participation in the competition implies a complete acceptance of all entrants regarding the competition terms and conditions.

Entries will be judged anonymously. The name of the entrant(s) and school should appear only on the registration form and not on the drawing sheets. Entries revealing authorship to the jury may be disqualified.

The copyright of a submission will remain with the author(s) but the CAA reserves the right to keep entries for exhibition and publication.
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