THE 2024 BRIEF

The theme of the 2024 Davidson Prize is: Rethinking Home – Adapt and Reuse.

Registration is now closed, but team submissions are open until Thursday 07 March 2024. To find an active team to join, comment on our Instagram or LinkedIn, or post tagging @TheDavidsonPrize and we will repost!

Headline sponsor: Total Synergy.

THE 2024 BRIEF

Once upon a time three little pigs built three detached homes from scratch – and the cleverest pig built their house out of bricks, rather than sticks or straw.

Times have changed – the ‘wolf’ is now global warming and biomaterials are being seen in a new light. Today, the two urgent imperatives of climate change and housing shortage are converging to demand an ambitious rethink of what an ideal home might be.

The dilemma is that while organisations such as Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) are pointing out that 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built, the sheer scale of housing shortage is becoming ever more apparent. In February 2023, the Centre for Cities calculated that in Britain alone there’s a backlog of 4.3 million homes – that’s equivalent to 14 medium-sized cities.

Adaptive reuse will inevitably be part of the solution – and to achieve net zero while bridging the gap between housing demand and supply, all eyes are on a groundswell of creative reinvention of existing infrastructure. But keeping the ‘ideal’ in homes created by recycling structures built for different purposes is a challenge that only good design can solve.

The Davidson Prize 2024 is asking multi-disciplinary creative teams to explore inventive and compelling design ideas to persuade renters and buyers that an ideal home might not be detached like those of the three little pigs – or surrounded by a white picket fence – but will be an exciting new product of upcycling, recycling, mining and creative reuse that reimagines traditional ideas of home and ways of living.

Because housing shortage is most keenly felt by generation rent – the eco-conscious Gen Z and Millennials priced out of the housing market – we’re asking you to engage particularly with the housing ideals of people in their early 20s to early 40s.

The good news is that the race for sustainable innovation means the exciting potential of sustainable building materials like hempcrete, mycelium and bamboo is already a reality. Meanwhile groundbreaking concepts for environmental retrofit, biomaterials and urban mining have already been investigated in bold projects like Lacaton & Vassal’s seminal Tour Bois-le-Prêtre housing of 2011, as well as the recent Le Magasin Électriquefrom Assemble and BC Architects’ and Resource Rows from Lendager.

You’re asked to choose any existing non-residential structure/s in the UK or Ireland – from a disused farm building to a high street, an office block to an oil rig – and to explore how it could be upcycled, retrofitted and/or mined to provide exemplary sustainable housing for a minimum of five homes. Submissions should demonstrate key organisational, structural and environmental principles while also zooming in on the experiential qualities of a typical home.

What will the adapted and recycled ideal home of tomorrow look and feel like? How will emerging sustainable materials affect the design and tectonics of our living environments and neighbourhoods?

Teams are asked to present their ideas in the form of a ‘marketing billboard’ selling the concept direct to target renters or buyers.

Key considerations include design that:

  • Creates new homes while reducing carbon impact
  • Reimagines living environments for a sustainable future
  • Integrates recycling, upcycling and/or biomaterials
  • Makes a compelling case for a new kind of ideal home

Entries must:

  • Clearly communicate how the proposed design employs upcycling, retrofit and/or sustainable materials
  • Demonstrate the benefits of multi-disciplinary collaboration (single company entries will not be considered)
  • Show awareness of viability, and how the project might engage with communities, social enterprises, local authorities, housebuilders and/or developers
  • Effectively communicate design ideas to lay audiences.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS:

  • Upcycling / adaptive reuse / creative reuse The process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, artistic or environmental value
  • Downcycling Converting materials and products into new materials, sometimes of lesser quality
  • Retrofit The addition of new technology or features to older systems – for example to increase building efficiency in use
  • Mining / harvesting Recovering and reusing waste building materials such as concrete, bricks, steel reinforcements, roofing, copper pipes or aluminium
  • Circular economy Model of production and consumption that involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.


See ‘Submission Requirements’ and ‘Judging’ below for further information.

Download the full brief as a pdf.

STEP ONE: REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

The Davidson Prize is open to multi-disciplinary creative teams. Each team must include an architect registered with ARB (UK) or RIAI (Eire).
Registrations have now closed but submissions are open until Thursday 07 March 2024, to find an active team to join, comment on Instagram or LinkedIn, or post tagging @TheDavidsonPrize and we will repost!

Teams are asked to provide the following details:

  1. Your team’s nominated main contact (name / email / contact no.)
  2. Name of your team’s architect (if different to main contact)
  3. ARB or RIAI registration no. of your team’s architect
  4. Names of additional team members (if known – NB if you have not created a team when registering your interest you can provide these details at the Stage 1 submission).

If you have not received a confirmation of registration by Friday 02 February please contact us at hello@thedavidsonprize.com. We recommend registering as early as possible, so you have longer to work on your Stage 1 submission with your team.

KEY DATES & PROCESS

Following registration, the competition is organised in TWO STAGES leading to the announcement of a winner. You have until Thursday 29 February to work on your Stage 1 submission. Please send your submission folder via downloadable link (WeTransfer / Dropbox etc.) to hello@thedavidsonprize.com.

STAGE 1:

  • The deadline for Stage 1 submissions has been extended by one week and is now 18:00 GMT on Thursday 07 March 2024
  • All submissions will be reviewed by the 2024 Davidson Prize jury leading to the selection of a longlist.

STAGE 2

  • A Stage 2 shortlist of three finalist teams will be selected by the 2024 Davidson Prize jury panel in April 2024
  • Each finalist team will then be awarded an honorarium of £5,000 to develop their design ideas
  • The Stage 2 submission deadline is 18:00 BST on Thursday 23 May 2024
  • After submitting their developed concepts, the teams will be invited to present to the jury
  • Stage 2 interviews will take place on 29 May 2024, AM.

The winner of the £10,000 Davidson Prize will be announced in June 2024.

The Davidson Prize will also be running a People’s Choice Prize. The public will be invited to vote for its favourite project from the 2024 longlist. Details on how to vote will be announced once the longlist is published.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Stage 1 submissions should include:

  • A landscape ‘marketing billboard’ poster selling your design concept. Your poster should speak for itself, using minimal wording in the form of captions and titles (3600x1800 pixels | PNG format)
  • 3 square-format images showcasing aspects of your design (1080x1080 pixels)
  • A completed submission form (this will be sent to you upon registration) providing full details of your team including the ARB or RIAI number of one registered architect plus a 250-word statement explaining how your concept addresses the 2024 theme
  • 3 short bullets indicating how you would develop your proposal at Stage 2.

The above will be used for shortlisting and may be used for exhibition and publicity purposes, including social media.

At Stage 2, the three shortlisted teams will each receive an honorarium of £5,000 to work on their next stage and will be asked to submit the following for judging, exhibition and publicity purposes:

  • A two-minute promotional film selling your concept – content might include drawings, models, animation, talking heads, VR, or other media to communicate your design ideas (provide a version with and without subtitles)
  • 3 x landscape-format hero images exploring your concept (3600x1800 pixels | PNG format) NB these should be original, high-quality images – not stills from your film (however the images can be included in your film)
  • A 15-second Instagram teaser film of your promotional film.

Each of the three finalists will then be invited to give a 10-minute presentation to the jury panel followed by a Q&A.

JUDGING AND JUDGES

The 2024 Davidson Prize jury panel comprises:

  • Amandeep Singh Kalra, Associate Director at Be First (Chair of 2024 Jury)
  • Duncan Campbell, Director at Atelier Ten
  • Alice Finney, Design Editor at Elle Decoration UK
  • Miles Mitchell, Commercial Lead for Total Synergy (headline sponsor of the 2024 Davidson Prize)
  • Annalie Riches, Co-founder at Mikhail Riches
  • Alex Turner, Co-founder of Studio MUTT (winner of the 2023 Davidson Prize)

All judging sessions will be attended by representative(s) of the Alan Davidson Foundation.

Please note that visual material that has previously been paid for by any party may not form part of your submission.

Stage 1 submissions will be reviewed by the 2024 Davidson Prize jury, leading to a longlist.

Stage 2 submissions will be reviewed by the 2024 Davidson Prize jury panel.

Please note that the committee and jury panel’s decisions are final.

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