Design Competition: Living in Isolation

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Design Competition: Living in Isolation

April 14, 2020 - May 25, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with unprecedented challenges and is impacting our daily lives by restricting our personal movements radically. It almost goes without saying that this month has continued to see extraordinary, rapid and previously unthinkable
changes to public and private spaces. As the virus continues to spread, countries around the globe have ordered citizens to retreat to their homes – and stay there. Social distancing measures drastically scaled down our personal range of movement to our ‘own four walls’.

These drastic changes caught us, and our living environments, off guard. As we shelter in our own homes, the rooms where we once spent few waking hours now encapsulate our entire existence. However, our personal living space cannot absorb all facets of ‘living’, ‘working’, and ‘leisure’ activities.

The new reality has to be looked at from a political and a spatial development angle, but more importantly it has to be seen in a sociological perspective which invites us to look at our familiar surroundings in a fresh way. It encourages us to take a new look at the world we have always taken for granted and to examine our very personal spatial environment with the same curiosity that we might bring to an exotic foreign culture.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic change our homes – and what does ‘shelter’ mean in the new normal?

(City-)dwellers never had to endure over months in their homes without contact to the ‘outside’.

Our personal living space never had to meet all those additional needs that come with new architectural demands and requirements.

People have never been so tied to their ‘own four walls’.


In the light of the spatial restrictions that came into our lives within just a few weeks, and with the aim to rethink and to make spaces more functional and fluid in their purposes, Atelier Kopfhoch have launched an ideas-competition.

The basic challenge is to identify and explore essential design principles of an inner city multifamily dwelling, whose inhabitants may not leave for a period of several months. Work will be done from home, food will be delivered from shops and restaurants, and social contacts behind the ‘own four walls’ are being forced to move away from physical spaces.

Faced with the current new reality, how can fiction compete?

The Atlier Kopfhoch competition seeks for utopian residential design concepts in a world that is facing unprecedented challenges.

Start of Registration: 14.4.2020

End of Registration: 22.5.2020  23:59

Deadline for Submissions: 25.5.2020

Announcement of Results1.6.2020


April 14, 2020
May 25, 2020
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