Announcing the Results of the EUI Design Competition, 2021

Designing for Health and Equity: Supporting Vulnerable Communities in the Post-Pandemic Age

In summer 2021, the EUI organized a design competition to create a venue to promote collaboration across global and disciplinary networks and by bringing together students, academics, and practitioners from across the world to imagine design solutions that center health, equity, and social justice in a range of different typologies and that foster resilience in anticipation of future outbreaks of epidemic illnesses and other natural disasters.


The EUI thanks CRGA Design for their generous support of this design competition.


Summary of participation

For this design competition we received 52 submissions from 27 countries in four categories: senior housing, community clinics, neighborhood schools, and public parks. Each submission explicitly sought to:

  • Deliberately center health, equity, and social justice in a range of different typologies and
  • Foster resilience in anticipation of future outbreaks of epidemic illnesses and other natural disasters.

Each design category was reviewed by four jurors consisting of faculty and professionals from different countries and disciplines. Essential to the goals of this competition was the public convening and sharing of juror and commentator feedback to not only celebrate the strengths and resonances of shortlisted projects, but to also illuminate broader insights for practice. 

See the full call for participation here:


Winning projects and juror feedback

Below, we announce the shortlisted and winning projects in each category–Senior Housing, Community Clinics, Neighborhood Schools, and Public Parks— and link to the design review meetings held virtually in October 2021.

Senior Housing: Aging Resiliently in Community – October 8, 2021

In this meeting, shortlisted projects in the Senior Housing category were discussed by the jury and guest commentators:

  • Lead: Katarina Andjelkovic (Serbia)
  • Jurors: Lynne Dearborn (USA), Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss (USA), Ruzica Bozovic-Stamenovic (Singapore)
  • Commentator: Debajyoti Pati (USA)

Shortlisted projects: 

  • “Reconnection” by Lê Van Long (Hanoi, Vietnam) – first prize
  • “Orcasur Inhabited Market” by Elisa Pozo Menéndez and Asociación Mesa de Mayores de Usera (Madrid, Spain) – honorable mention
  • “Burgeon” by Kendall Place, Anna Utter, and Tylor Kerpan (Arizona, USA) – honorable mention

Jury summary (by Katarina Andjelkovic): With the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, vulnerable communities were disproportionately affected, deepening the pre-existing social inequalities, worsening of existing living conditions and access to medical care. By focusing on places of vulnerability and exposure as well as on resources for health, promotion and intervention, the competition work has taught us about how to utilize a site in a meaningful way and how to define needs and resources in a community. When the jury met for the first time, it became clear that the projects we preferred were concerned with the strong sense of the community- those that respond to local needs while addressing crisis-based health issues. These projects did not make us dream away with their strong visionary approach, but encouraged us to believe in sustainable and affordable senior housing models which, at the same time, contribute to creating conditions for improving the quality of life of the vulnerable elderly. These projects testified to a willingness to promote health across multiple scales in an innovative way. Addressing these issues had led the majority of authors to deal with the complex interaction and intersection of cultural and natural systems, re-examining how cities and nature are inextricably woven together. These projects have reminded us once again to reread history through, for example Linda Nash’s critical historical examinations, which have taught us that deep research on how the histories of disease and the environment intersect can contribute to broadening and transforming our understanding of these categories. In a broader perspective, the shift in how we frame the humanities scholarship on cities and nature offers a vital opportunity for us to develop a broader and more inclusive approach to the ways that we study architectural and urban design problems, as well as the global urban and environmental issues.

See a summary of all three projects, juror feedback, and commentator responses to this design category here:


Community Clinics: Increasing Healthcare Access for Underserved Communities –  October 9, 2021

In this meeting, shortlisted projects in the Community Clinics category were discussed by the jury and guest commentators:

  • Lead: Louisa Iarocci (USA)
  • Jurors: Rolf Haarstad (USA), Andrea Möhn (The Netherlands), Lusi Morhayim (UK)
  • Commentator: Thomas Fisher (USA)

Shortlisted projects:: 

  • “Tlhaho Clinic” by Ida Breed, Marianne de Klerk, Werner Stander, Lue-Shane Cloete, and Charlotte Swart (South Africa) – first prize
  • “Space for PTSD Survivors of Conflict, Kashmir” by Haaris Zafar Khan (India) – honorable mention
  • “I-Bolide Modular Community Healthcare Centre” by Aigul Sadrtdinova, Anna Guseva, Adelina Gubaidullina, Ilnar Akhtiamov, Rezeda Akhtiamova (Russia) – honorable mention

Jury summary (by Louisa Iarocci): As a community-based and patient-directed organization, the Community Health Center type is a uniquely important design problem today due to its critical role of providing access to a range of health and social needs of underserved communities. The entrants to the Community Clinic category of the Epidemic Urbanism Initiative 2021 envisioned projects at a wide range of scales and locations from urban to rural that were deeply rooted in the local contexts and people they served. The jury found that the shortlisted projects were particularly successful in balancing a sensitivity to program and an innovative approach to design. The designers often took a holistic approach by including a variety of uses that addressed both the physical and mental well-being of their users, such as community gardens, staff rest zones and traumatic memory displays. At the same time, the designs were innovative in the creation of architectural space, exploring the relationship between exterior and interior space and featuring the use of site and landscape in the healing process. The projects demonstrated how simple, modest approaches in design can provide the framework for people to thrive, in some cases through adaptive reuse or in others, taking a modular approach to structure but individuated approach to space. The representation of the short-listed projects was generally successful in balancing visual and textual information in a clear, direct way that communicated a real connection to the place and the people, by making the invisible effects of disease and trauma visible and offering the promise of a restorative architecture.

See a summary of all three projects, juror feedback, and commentator responses to this design category here:


Neighborhood Schools: Building Community Among Diverse Groups – October 15, 2021

In this meeting, shortlisted projects in the Neighborhood Schools category were discussed by the jury and guest commentators:

  • Lead: Irene Hwang (USA)
  • Jury members: Melinda Silverman (South Africa), Stefanie Eberding (Germany), Claire Latané (USA)
  • Commentator: John Clinton (USA)

Shortlisted projects: 

  • “Learning (Eco)tone” by Shajjad Hossain, Ahammad-Al Muhaymin, Kishwar Habib, LabibaNazeen, Masud Jui, Rafia Rukhsat Tohfa, SadequlArefin Saif, Saimum Kabir, Sumaya Akter, TansenAlam Sangit, Noshin Tuba – first prize
  • “Archipelago” by Masha Lepina (Russia) and Maria Stoykoska (North Macedonia) – honorable mention
  • “Thuto Sanctuary” by Ida Breed, Marianne de Klerk, Werner Stander, Lue-Shane Cloete, and Charlotte Swart (South Africa) – honorable mention

Jury summary (by Irene Hwang):Schools are deeply important as a category of design because they are not only the place for educating our next generation, but they are also the site where many social and community infrastructures converge. In the submissions received for this category, the plurality of functions and communities that a school can support is vividly illustrated through the architectural proposals. In Puerto Rico, the school can provide shelter for hurricane disaster relief; in rural Africa, schools are the root to graft on new agriculture infrastructures and sustainable construction methods, or the hub for local community activities; in Korea the school introduces new notions of connectivity, directly countering the isolation that became acute during the onset of the Covid epidemic, and endures today; finally we saw proposals that suggested the school could be the seed to activate an uninhabited area of a village in rural Russia, and also serve as a social combine to strengthen and bolster resilience between disparate communities in Bangladesh. All together, the submission and the subsequent review and discussion, provided the platform for touching upon the impact and power that decisions about our built environment hold over the shape and functions of society. And, moreover, that grappling with the shaping of our built environment is both a long and short-term matter; it is immediate and ongoing and takes on an infinite number of directions.

See a summary of all three projects, juror feedback, and commentator responses to this design category here:


Public Parks: Promoting Equitable Access to Shared, Open Spaces – October 16, 2021

In this meeting, shortlisted projects in the Neighborhood Schools category were discussed by the jury and guest commentators:

  • Lead: Bud Shenefelt (USA)
  • Jurors: Renelle Sarjeant (Trinidad and Tobago), Anna Grichting (Switzerland), Johann Sagan (Norway) 
  • Commentator: Naomi Sachs (USA)

Shortlisted projects: 

  • “Community (E)scape” – Saimum Kabir, Ahammad-Al-Muhayim, Asraful Alam Nasim, Dipentu Saha, Kishwar Habib, LabibaNazeen, Masud Jui, Md. Rashed Hasan, Noshin Tuba, Ramisa Tasnim, Ritsuree Modok Sathi, Shah Md. Mozaffor Hossain, Shajjad Hossain, Sumaya Akter, Tanvin Mahtub Fariha, Tarannum Yousuf Elma – first prize
  • “Tarkhanovo Park: Aesthetics of Non-Interference” – ZARF architectural bureau (Kazan), Aldebaran Architectural Design Laboratory (Yoshkar-Ola), and ARKHDVOR studio (St. Petersburg), Karpov Konstantin, Shafigullin Raushan, Khaziakhmetova Elizaveta, Davletianova Karina, Karpova Evgeniya, Davletshin Grigory, Khaziakhmetov Artem, Nikolaenkov Anton, Levchenko Maria, Markushev Sergey, Nurislamova Dilyara and Malinin Pavel – honorable mention
  • “The Future of Lifestyle Rehabilitation” – Loo Zi Ling, Nathaniel Ng, Huo Yujia, Jaslynn Ho (Singapore) – honorable mention

Jury summary (by Bud Shenefelt): Public parks play an essential role in community health and wellbeing and have the capacity to bring people together. The ongoing pandemic prompted parks to become safe and healthy outlets for time outside the home and create socially distanced opportunities for social interaction. Parks became classrooms, outdoor dining rooms, and offices. Overwhelmingly, the Public Parks submissions focused on the importance of shared open space with neighboring communities and as a place to foster meaningful connections to the local flora and fauna. The proposals received in this category addressed the health of the individual but also focused on community wellness through physical activity, social interaction, agriculture, culture, and heritage. In Russia, a team focused on the diversity of uses within its design, seasonal considerations, and an aesthetic strategy of non-interference, promoting outdoor space as a way to alleviate the isolation and uncertainty of pandemic time. In Bangladesh, a design proposal considered the value and meaning of public space at the citywide scale, the scale of the neighborhood, and the scale of the park site. And in Singapore, a prototype was proposed for introducing new technologies into the landscape to provide a physical rehabilitation program within the public park. Parks were relevant prior to COVID; the pandemic provides an opportunity to reconsider these public, democratic spaces as a means to address health disparity. It is apparent from the Public Park submissions and subsequent discussion that inclusive access to public spaces can play an essential role in providing community social support and physical and mental wellbeing.

See a summary of all three projects, juror feedback, and commentator responses to this design category here:


Update: “Design for Health: Insights from the Epidemic Urbanism Initiative Design Competition,” presented at the June 2022 Environmental Design Research Association Conference in Greenville, SC. See a recording here.

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