Re-Defining Home: New competition wants designers to rethink home in an age of unaffordability

Re-Defining Home: New competition wants designers to rethink home in an age of unaffordability

Ennead Architects' Schermerhorn House in Boerum Hill connects good affordable architecture and community amenities. (Ennead Architects)
Ennead Architects’ Schermerhorn House in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn merges well-designed supportive housing with community amenities. (David Sundberg/Esto )

Home Matters, a national movement dedicated to raising awareness about the need for affordable housing, has launched a competition called “Re-defining Home: A Design Challenge.” As the name suggests, the competition (partnered with AIA chapters around the country, and funded in part by the  Wells Fargo Housing Foundation) seeks to re-define the home of the future, with a focus on solutions for affordability and a new conception of home,  beyond “four walls.”

Architects and designers are being asked to improve connections between housing and surrounding communities, considering how housing impacts health, education, individual success, public safety, and economic growth.

Calling itself the first competition to focus on affordable housing and its social implications on a national scale, Re-defining Home was structured with input from experts from affordable housing, architecture, cognitive science, medicine, and environmentalism. The Home Matters organization was launched in 2013 in an effort to “redefine the American Dream,” drawing attention to the nation’s housing crisis and the importance of home as part of a broader social fabric.

Awards totaling $18,000 will be given to three juried submissions. A multidisciplinary jury will be announced soon. The first place winner will be presented at a public exhibition—details forthcoming. Registration opened on December 2 and closes on May 1.

Koning Eizenberg’s 28th Street Apartments creates novel community space on a rooftop. (Staudenmaier photography)