Design competitions in 2015: From Chicago to Dakar

“seeking new ideas and ways of creating solutions in cities, from homeless shelters to kiosks to outdoor cinemas”

While Cape Town’s reign as World Design Capital has been passed on to Taipei, there is no reason to stop designing. From Chicago to Dakar, organisations and institutions are encouraging students and urbanists from around the world to tackle relevant and pressing issues. From designing a homeless shelter, to the lakefront kiosk competition as part of the first Chicago Architecture Biennale, 2015 presents many reasons and ways to get your ideas onto a global stage.


The American Institute of Architects’ Small Project Practitioners invites architects and architecture students to submit design ideas to the 2015 SPP Small Project Design Competition – POP-UP 2015.

Homelessness is an issue across this country. Walk through any city, look down the alleys, around the hidden corners and into the dark recessed doorways and you will find people struggling to survive, simply needing a roof over their heads for the night. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing, or lack of fixed regular, and adequate nighttime residence. In this unique design competition, submitters are asked to design a discreet, compact and efficient shelter for the homeless.

Full competition details here


In 2014 the Chicago Architecture Biennial announced the Lakefront Kiosk Competition, organized in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago. The competition calls for the inventive design of a new kiosk that will be installed on Chicago’s lakefront, one of the city’s most vibrant public spaces. The winning competition entry will be part of a broader initiative, envisioned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District, to enhance cultural life on the lakefront.

Full competition details here

Credit: Jeff Attaway


Today, downtown Dakar, a city of 2.5 million people, has almost no films theatres with many of the old theatre if not all closing their doors in the last decade. The aim of this International Competition is to design a Temporary Cinema within the city of Dakar in Senegal. This competition hopes to achieve the following:

  • Encourage and reward design excellence which integrates function, structure and details.
  • Analyse how the thoughtful development of the cinema within the surrounding neighborhood helps to create a livable community.
  • Research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing a temporary structure.
  • Build knowledge of design principles related to cultural development within an urban area.
  • Encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.

Full competition details here

eVolo Magazine is pleased to invite architects, students, engineers, designers, and artists from around the globe to take part in the eVolo 2015 Skyscraper Competition. Established in 2006, the annual Skyscraper Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious awards for high-rise architecture. It recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine skyscraper design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution.

Full competition details here