Awards & Competitions - International


Registration (rolling basis): loses on Feb. 1, 2018 11:59 PM EST

Submission : Dec. 4, 2017 11:59 PM EST – Feb. 1, 2018 11:59 PM EST

Finalist teams´s announcement: Late-February

Honorable Mentions and Winning Teams´s Announcement: Early-to-Mid March

Symposium: Mid-to-late April 2018 in New York City (To be announced)


Integrating Refugee Populations within Cities│A Design & Policy Competition

IDeA challenges innovative minds around the globe to propose design and policy solutions that provide opportunities and creative ways for refugees and local communities to expand access, participation and interaction in one of the cities of Nairobi (Kenya), Amman (Jordan) and Berlin (Germany).


Refugee livelihoods have become a crucial topic in contemporary geopolitical relations. One fundamental challenge within the current relief assistance model for refugee populations is the separation between inhabitants and local communities. IDeA invites innovative minds around the world to propose spatial design and programmatic solutions that provide opportunities for refugees and local communities to strengthen ties while enabling self-agency. This creative re-knitting of the city can rely on a shared organization and management of activities within co-constructed platforms that involve both refugees and the local community.

Solutions should focus on addressing the economic and social vulnerabilities that refugees face in urban environments and provide creative ways that expand access, participation, and interaction between refugees and their local communities.

The solution should include an operational plan for one of the urban sites below and should be able to run for long-term, i.e. 3-5 years, to benefit as many people as possible with a goal of permanent infrastructure. Your business plan should justify the overall budget limit for both construction and operation of the proposed project, and identify institutional partners and funding sources. Finalists have the opportunity to come to New York City to present at a symposium in April 2018.

2018 Sites

  • Amman, Jordan
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Nairobi, Kenya



  • 1 Overall Winning Team  $3,500 + 2 Round Trip Flight Tickets to NYC

One overall winning team of the 2018 Competition will be selected from the three winning teams to be awarded an additional $1,500.

  • 3 Winning Teams  $2,000 Per Team + 2 Round Trip Flight Tickets to NYC

One winning team per site will be awarded a cash prize of $2,000, and round trip flight tickets and accommodation in New York City (maximum 2 people per team). The three winning teams will present their proposals at the April symposium in New York City to policy makers, architects, urban planners, academics, NGOs, and philanthropists.

  • 6 Honorable Mentions  $1,000 Per Team

Two teams per site will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000.
* All awarded proposals will be presented to a group of related humanitarian organizations and philanthropies with credits to participants.


Registration (rolling basis): Nov. 13, 2017 11:59 PM EST – Feb. 1, 2018 11:59 PM EST

  • $50 Early Bird (Nov 13 – Dec 3, 2017)
  • $60 Regular (Dec 4 – Dec 31, 2017)
  • $70 Late (Jan 1 – Feb 1, 2018)

Submission : Dec. 4, 2017 11:59 PM EST – Feb. 1, 2018 11:59 PM EST

Finalist teams´s announcement: Late-February
Early-to-Mid March: Honorable Mentions and Winning Teams are announced.
Symposium: Mid-to-late April 2018 in New York City (To be announced)

2018 Jury

  • Nora Akawi│Architect, Curator, Researcher│Director of Studio-X Amman, Columbia University GSAPP
  • Alexander Aleinikoff│Director│Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School for Social Research
  • Nerea Amorós Elorduy│Architect, Researcher│The Bartlett School of Architecture
  • Sean Anderson│Curator, Department of Architecture and Design│Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • Marie Aquilino│Founder, Director & Professor│Haiti Water Atlas Consortium, Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture
  • Sera Bonds│Exeutive Director│Circle of Health International
  • Hiba Bou Akar│Assistant Professor│Columbia University GSAPP
  • Mark E Breeze│Director, Researcher, Architect│University of Cambridge, University of Oxford
  • Nasr Chamma│Founder│The Lab of Emergency & Sustainable Settlements (LESS)
  • Noah B. Chasin│Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture & Urban Design│Columbia University GSAPP
  • Filiep Decorte│Deputy Director│UN Habitat New York
  • Ashraf El Nour│Permanent Observer│International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • Katherine Faulkner│PrincipalNADAA (ENTRELAC at Amman Design Week)
  • Nabeel Hamdi│ProfessorOxford Brooks University, Harvard GSD
  • Kamyar Jarahzadeh│Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning ManagerRefugee Solidarity Network (RSN)
  • Irit Katz│Post-Doctoral Fellow, Affiliated LecturerUniversity of Pennsylvania, University of Cambridge
  • Bence Komlósi│Co-FounderArchitecture for Refugees
  • Kaja Kühl│Design Principal, Adjunct Associate Professoryouarethecity, Columbia GSAPP
  • Eunice Kwon│Field & Service Coordinator, Case Manager Tokyo Service Center, Liberty in North Korea (LiNK)
  • Fei Liu│Adjunct Lecturer, DesignerParsons School of Design, Public Science
  • Jorge Lobos│Founder & ArchitectEmergency Architecture & Human Rights
  • Erinn McGurn│Owner / PrincipalSCALEStudio, SCALEAfrica
  • Jessy Medernach│Co-FounderCUCULA
  • Sergio Palleroni│Architect, Senior FellowInstitute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University
  • Sara Pavanello│ResearcherOverseas Development Institute
  • Melissa Phillips│ChairUrban Refugees
  • Kazuki Sakamoto│Adjunct Assistant ProfessorColumbia University GSAPP
  • Samer Saliba│Urban Technical SpecialistInternational Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Jilly Traganou│Architect, Associate Professor in Spatial Design StudiesParsons School of Design
  • Muzabel Welongo│Founder, Executive DirectorSAVIC Africa


logo-idea-whiteEach year, International Development in Action (IDeA) hosts an interdisciplinary competition and works with a local NGO in tackling one of the world’s biggest challenges.


For further information

For further information about the Competition, visit the Official Website.


Should you wish to see the Winners of the last edition, click here. 

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