Social Distancing Housing Block: Meet the Winners and the Honourable Mentions!

WINNER: The Camping Hill

team pic blue

by Irena Fonseca and Jose Daniel Picado

Irena Fonseca (1995-) and Jose Daniel Picado (1995-) are MALAFORMA, a design collective based in San José, Costa Rica.
MALAFORMA is a multidisciplinary collective, which aims to question, reimagine and reestablish the possible limits of architecture, as well as its fields of action and their relationship with other disciplines related to contemporary art and design. It emerged in 2017, and since it has been working in design and curatorship processes.

“For us, this project was an opportunity to meditate regarding two main topics: Firstly the new conditions of domestic spaces, both private and public, where we tried to question the conditions given by the new social distance, seeing the space not related to its limitations, but its new possibilities, trying to break down visual limits and playing with the relations between outside and inside spaces. The other main topic was related to the representation of an idea -an architectural/design idea in this case- where we worked with the narrative aspects of the images, seeing the images also as a working space.
In sum, this experience was about playing with architectural space, its representation, and it’s endless opportunities.”


WINNER: The Hygenic Promenade


by Albert Comas Salas, Clara González Grau and Isaac Colin Ramió

“We are Isaac Colin, Clara González and Albert Comas, three architecture students from Barcelona. We met each other during our year abroad while studying in Switzerland, that’s when all started.
The participation wasn’t common at all, the idea of joining the competition was born from an online meeting, and we managed to keep it like that during the work process. For our surprise, we managed to keep a good workflow and a good communication, through constant calls, and that made us realize the good and the bad side of teleworking, at least, this experience influenced us strongly in our way to design and transfer ideas.”


HONOURABLE MENTION: Atlantis Dwellings

Lena Ma_blue

by Lena Ma

“Hello! My name is Lena Ma and I am a 4th-year student at Ryerson University’s Architectural Science program in Canada. I am curious about the world and love dreaming about whimsical fantasies in my designs. When I am not in the design studio, I love drinking bubble tea, gazing at turtles, and reading philosophies.
The Social Distancing Housing Block competition was completed with the guidance of Professor Vincent Hui at Ryerson University. The open nature of the guidelines allowed for a design spirit that was innovative and fun to work on while addressing the urgent problems we have during the pandemic. In conjunction with another competition by Non Architecture, the Healing Alternative Designs for Quarantine Cities, it allowed me to create a universe of housing blocks and recreational and service buildings that were designed as an oasis for the most susceptible during this time, immunocompromised individuals. The love of radical and beautiful designs for these competitions creates an energized learning experience for those involved. I hope the future of the world is as accepting in my pursuit to become an architect.”




by Lucia Song and Gizem Karagoz

Lucia Song
Lucia Song is a Master of Architecture candidate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She is interested in issues of affordable housing, especially as they relate to social, racial, and economic equity, as well as environmental justice. Lucia also aims to explore tools and methods of representation in architecture. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Gensler Boston as a junior interior designer focusing on workplace conditions. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Design + Environmental Analysis from Cornell University, with a concentration in Interior Design.

Gizem Karagoz
Gizem Karagoz is a graduate student at Columbia University GSAPP pursuing a Masters of Architecture and Masters of Science in Urban Planning. Her work explores questions of equity and resiliency in the built environment, with a focus on developing participatory design and planning strategies. Her previous research includes a climate change vulnerability analysis of New York City based on environmental and social risk factors. She has contributed to a UN-Habitat publication aimed to assist municipal governments with developing city-wide public space strategies. Prior to graduate school, Gizem worked with several New York based architecture practices including Bernard Tschumi Architects and GRO Architects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Environmental Science from Barnard College, and currently serves as a United Nations Youth Representative for the Consortium of Sustainable Urbanization.

“Exploring social distancing housing through this competition challenged us to think critically about what we take for granted as models of dwellings, and flip these preconceived notions on their heads. We also enjoyed coming up with solutions to housing problems that we ourselves were experiencing in real-time, given that we were spending more and more time in our home environments. The site-less nature of the project allowed us, as non-European competition entrants, to really place these questions of housing in our own local communities; however, we wonder if designating a competition site would inspire very interesting, specific responses to the brief. Overall, we enjoyed the competition!”



Team NOMA(N)DS'LAND_blue

by Sophie Koenig, Faustine Horgnies, Morgane Courrier, Elodie Paraire and Coralie Terryn

” We are actually in a Master degree in Architecture and Landscape School of Lille, in the North of France.
We liked to question our own experience of living during quarantine. The rigidity of spaces during that time brings us to integrate flexibility and movement in our design. The most challenging part was the uncertain evolution of the building depending of the health of inhabitants: dealing with the need for intimacy and collective life while taking in consideration social distancing.
We are used to working together. The cohesion in our team helped us to make grown the project easily. ”




by Gabriyel Dari

” I am Gabriyel Dari(24), an architect in-between bachelor and master studies from Germany. Currently I am working at Kuehn Malvezzi in Berlin to gain some practical experience. Next to my daily work I try to participate in smaller competitions and share my designs on my Instagram page known as „annonce13“. Soon you will find additional drawings and images to the housing block competition too.
It was great fun to participate once again in one of your competitions! In particular, the housing issue triggered me the most to take part this time. Thank you nonarchitecture!”




by Xu Wanting, Zhai Yaqiang, Chen Shiyu and Hu Miao

“Here are the four sweet team members who created the Sweet Factory Home! We are students from the Academy of Arts & Design of Tsinghua University and majored in Environmental Design.
The participation of this competition was an enjoyable and challenging experience. It is also meaningful to discuss the theme of “social-distancing” during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it is an unprecedented situation to the entire human race.

All in all, as for the very first international competition we have ever taken part in, it has been very fruitful. Here, we also want to give special thanks to our TA. Without his pushing, we would have been defeated by the procrastination.

Finally, thank the Non-Architecture, and look forward to another marvellous competition.”


HONOURABLE MENTION: The Ritual of Cleansing

The Ritual of Cleansing_picture_blue

by Yee Foo (Vincent) + Lai

“Under the design collective of Temporary Office, Yee Foo and Douglas, sometimes in collaboration with their friends and colleagues, have worked on several competitions crossing the boundaries of architecture, public space and preservation. With a strong focus on historic research and precedence, we seek to constructively respond to the ever-changing needs of our environment in a rational yet playful way.

Living in isolation during this pandemic has led us to introspect on our daily working and living rituals. The competition scale given by Non Architecture to speculate on new architectural possibilities is just perfect to explore a living typology without the cumbersome site context. As this pandemic is novel so should the philosophy and thinking about our living space. Hence, we thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to present our ideas on social distancing living with Aon Architecture.”

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