World Architecture Festival and PechaKucha Launch Global Design Competition

Competition Invites Architects, Designers, and Engineers to Re-Imagine New, Post-Pandemic Homes, Workplaces, and Neighbourhoods

[LONDON] Today, World Architecture Festival and PechaKucha ( join forces to launch a virtual 2020 ideas competition. ‘Isolation Transformed’ asks architects, designers, and engineers to reimagine post-virus environments that would mitigate, improve, or offset current community distancing and isolation. 

Given today’s necessary social distancing requirements for individuals, families, and communities, the question for the design community now is: how do we use design to alleviate or improve physical and psychological contexts in which we live, work, and play? How can we mitigate effects of future pandemics through design? A new focus is needed to address the collective spaces we inhabit and use in our everyday life.
World Architecture Festival and PechaKucha invite international architects, designers, engineers, and students to submit ideas that address the topic of social distancing at all scales in respect of geography, social context, and temporary or permanent conditions. Ideas can range from mitigation to transformation and include product design, interior design, housing designs, transport facilities, workplace architecture, open-space design, and urban initiatives including landscape interventions. Entries are judged on strength of concept, delivery, universality of application, and economy.

Paul Finch, director and founder of World Architecture Festival, comments: ‘Creative design has been used to address a huge variety of social and environmental problems for many decades. We are inviting that creative imagination to be applied to the problems deriving from Covid-19, and other potential pandemics, which affect our ability to behave as social beings. This is a moment to rise to a challenge rather than sink into despondency.’
Entrants are asked to present their ideas via PK Create using the PechaKucha format – 20 slides, with 20 seconds of commentary per slide. 
Mark Dytham, of Klein Dytham architecture, a two-time category winner at WAF and co-founder of PechaKucha, says, “The PechaKucha 20X20 format helps creatives get to the point visually and in less than seven minutes. PK Create allows people to create, voice, and share their submission from anywhere in the world. This function is relevant and needed at this time of social distancing.”

All entrants are judged by a panel of esteemed experts including previous RIBA president and architect, Sunand Prasad; designer and creative director of INSIDE, Nigel Coates; CEO of Maggie’s Centres, Dame Laura Lee; Co-Founder of Architecture Is Fun and President-elect of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Peter Exley; and previous WAF health category winners, Ralph Johnson and Sharon Davis. 
Shortlisted designers will be invited to present their ideas at the World Architecture Festival 2020, 2 to 4 December 2020, in Lisbon, with contribution to travel and accommodation. The winner will receive up to £1,000 towards travel costs, two nights’ accommodation in Lisbon, and a trophy presented at the WAF Gala Awards Dinner on the evening of Friday 4 December. 
Complete rules and details are found  here.To enter, complete the form. All entries must be completed by 31 August 2020. 

For further details on the World Architecture Festival please visit:


About World Architecture Festival (WAF)
WAF is where the world architecture community meets to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired. 

WAF is the world’s largest annual, international, live architectural event. It includes the biggest international architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries. 

The 2020 World Architecture Festival (WAF) comprises: 

- A thematic conference programme (this year based on the theme ‘green’)
- Electronic gallery of all Award entries 
- Exhibition area 
- Live judging of finalists ‘projects
- Architectural tour programme
- Networking and social events including partner fringe events
- Gala Awards Dinner

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors runs alongside WAF, with its own awards and conference programme. Delegates have access to both events.

WAF and INSIDE are organised by EMAP, publishers of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal. 
About PechaKucha
PechaKucha is the fast-growing storytelling platform used by millions of people across the globe. Today, PechaKucha Nights are live events held in more than 1,200 cities in 140 countries. Schools, businesses, and government agencies worldwide license PechaKucha’s ‘20 images x 20 seconds’ brand format and software, PK Create, to easily and quickly share information and present concepts. PechaKucha, which means “chit chat” in Japanese, is based in Chicago and Tokyo. To gain inspiration from 50,000+ PechaKucha stories, visit

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