Register: DEC/15/2018, Submit: JAN/31/2019, Eligibility: Architects, designers, students, those invested in urban development; participants must include a licensed architect (the winner must include an architect licensed in Illinois), Fee: Free, Awards: 5 participants: 10,000 USD each (stipends for phase 3); Winner: additionally 20,000 USD
Disruptive Design is a three-part design competition that seeks to address the challenges associated with designing and building affordable, owner-occupied housing. Architects, designers, students, and those invested in urban development are invited to submit their speculative ideas for an owner-occupied single-family home incorporating a flexible architectural solution that encourages wealth-building through homeownership and entrepreneurship. The competition will conclude with an occupant/buyer-ready prototype of the winning design. Submitters will be asked to design for two distinct Chicago neighborhoods: Bronzeville and West Humboldt Park. Cities across the country are observing a rapid decline in affordable homeownership options for first-time buyers and working families – defined here as buyers earning around 100% AMI.
This represents a household of three earning about $75,000 in Chicago, or $61,000 nationally. In Chicago, the desire for affordable and accessible housing, with opportunities for flexibility and aging in place, is present in both gentrifying and underserved Chicago neighborhoods. In gentrifying areas, land values rise with desirability; in underserved areas, depreciated property and land values produce an appraisal gap that prohibits new development.
Further, the construction of new affordable, owner-occupied housing is expensive and only becoming costlier. As the cost of construction and labor increases and incomes do not grow at pace, the affordability gap between what young professionals, small families, or first-time homebuyers can afford and the cost of construction becomes apparent to both developers and buyers-it is no longer advantageous to build starter homes. Subsidies, while helpful, cannot be the only long-term solution to this issue.
Finally, recognizing that developing new housing in communities experiencing poverty can create economic stratification and gentrification, affordable housing solutions of the future must address how to build wealth and create healthy mixed-income communities.
Architects must innovate for affordability, utilizing new construction materials and methods, and providing single-family homes with opportunities for live-work situations, growing families, aging in place, accessibility for people with disabilities, and a new focus on the “gig” economy.
This competition seeks solutions to the affordable housing gap that would allow for the development of sustainable, affordable, replicable, dynamic and multi-faceted housing solutions that build wealth and opportunities for homeowners across Chicago. Submissions will yield a new housing typology infused with equity and possibility.
Home designs submitted in this competition may not exceed a $250,000 sales price.
There will be multiple sites located in 2 competition neighborhoods: West Humboldt Park and Bronzeville. The sites are representative of typical Chicago lots – 25’ wide x 125’ long with minimum zoning of RT4. Competition entries should address the context of both of these neighborhoods. The City of Chicago Zoning Code should be followed for required front and rear setbacks.