Inclusive Living

Inclusive Living

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Design and develop a proposal for inclusive living that challenges the current way we design our homes.

Challenge and scope

This brief asks you to design and develop a proposal for inclusive living that responds to changing social structures and family circumstances, fosters positive intergenerational connections and challenges the current way we design our homes.

Last year’s Inclusive Cities brief asked for a broad response to how to achieve an inclusive environment. This year, the brief looks specifically at inclusive living. You are asked to propose a concept, plan, strategy, or building form that can work for people of all ages and abilities, paying particular attention to personal, social and economic changes in people’s lives over time. The aim is to foster more inclusive intergenerational communities.

The built environment can be a challenging place for all of us, at every age and stage in our lives – whether as a child, adult, disabled, non-disabled, as part of our ageing population. We are seeing the concept of truly inclusive living being challenged by changes in social structures, affordability, mobility and by changing political and economic times.

How the home is affected as lifestyle and social/economic structures change through a life cycle is still a big challenge with the range of housing currently available, which tends to be either ‘mainstream’ or ‘specialist’. How can we develop new inclusive housing proposals that bridge this gap?

One recent example is a new typology called ‘the multi-generation house’ in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London (which is developing into one of the most accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods in the UK. The multi-generation house is designed to be inclusive for all, and can accommodate varied and changing life styles over time.

You may also want to consider the design’s ability to be adapted quickly in response to a sudden and life-changing disability, such as a spinal injury.

Inclusive design goes well beyond simply satisfying the requirements of government legislation or regulations. It’s about understanding people – their needs, their concerns, and what they really want from a building – and engaging the more social aspects of the built environment that others overlook.

Inclusion is more than meeting ‘Part M’ of the building regulations or ticking a box against minimum technical access standards. With an ageing population and over 12 million disabled people in the UK who, with their friends and families, have a spending power of over £200bn, the demand for easy and independent access to work, leisure and housing, continues to increase.

Students and graduates of all built environment disciplines are encouraged to tackle this brief. You could be studying architecture, architectural technology, urban design, landscape design, town planning, highway or transport planning, civil structural or building services engineering, building surveying, facilities management or any of the other related disciplines that impact on the built environment.

In approaching this brief you may wish to think about the following:

  • what is inclusive living?
  • how life changes from child to adult to old age affect the way we live
  • the impact of a sudden and life-changing impairment or health condition
  • how the cost and choice of education is affected
  • the political and socio-economic side of living
  • affordability of the proposal
  • a clear business case for inclusive living

Entrants are urged to think creatively and innovatively about how applying the principles of inclusive design and the concept of inclusive living at the outset of a project can result in a more accessible and inclusive building, place or space that is useable throughout changes in lifestyle, family make up, social changes and affordability.

Your submission could be a design, a concept, a plan or a strategy. It could be a place or space or building in which to live.

For the purposes of illustration, the following would all be viable responses:

  • the design of new residential buildings or building form
  • an inclusive regeneration plan
  • the redesign of an existing residential building or part of an existing residential building
  • the design or redesign of the spaces between and around a residential area
  • a concept that addresses the use of space throughout our cycle of life

... and many others are possible.


There are two awards available for this brief.

ODI Award of £1000Paid Placement at PRP Architects

Remuneration: £2650 (London Living Wage)

Duration: 8 weeks

Location: London

The judging panel may decide on more than one winner and will allocate the awards accordingly. In addition, the judging panel may award commendations.

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With Additional Support from


Judging criteria

There are six criteria that your entry will be measured against – make sure that your submission materials demonstrate that your solution meets these criteria:

  1. Social and environmental benefit – how does your design benefit society and/or the environment?
  2. Research and insights – how did you investigate this issue? What were your key insights?
  3. Design thinking – how did your research and insights inform your solution? How did you develop, test, iterate and refine your concept? Demonstrate the journey you’ve been through to the end result
  4. Commercial awareness – does your journey make sense from a financial point of view? What is the competitive environment your solution would sit within?
  5. Execution – we are looking for a design that is pleasing and looks and feels well-resolved.
  6. Magic – we are looking for a bit of ‘magic’ – a surprising or lateral design solution that delights

Submission requirements

All entries must be submitted through our online entry system.

As you prepare your submission, please ensure that: 

  • you do NOT include your name, university/ college or other identifying marks anywhere on your submission 
  • none of your submission files exceed 10MB – this is the maximum size for each individual file / board when you submit online 

The submission requirements are: 

  • 1 x A3 PDF Hero image with 1 sentence description A singular ‘poster image’ that conveys the essence of your project, plus a 1 sentence strapline or description 
  • 1 x A3 PDF Big Idea Summary A single A3 PDF page describing your ‘Big Idea’ in less than 250 words. This should clearly explain what your solution is, the specific area of need it addresses, and how you arrived at the solution
  • 4 x A3 PDF Boards Outlining Your Proposal 4 pages describing your proposal and demonstrating that you have met the six judging criteria. Each board should include a heading. Number each board in the top right hand corner, in the order they should be viewed by the judges 
  • 10 x A3 PDF Pages of Supporting Material Up to 10 A3 PDFs of additional material illustrating your development process – this could include scanned pages of your sketchbook or computer modelling/sketches (if applicable) 
  • Optional YouTube / Vimeo + website links Please note that we cannot guarantee supporting films and websites will be viewed at the shortlisting stage. If you have created digital materials, we recommend referencing them (for example by including labelled film stills or website screen grabs) in your 4 main PDF boards 

Eligibility + entry infomation

Download entry guidelinesDownload this brief

18 January 2017

Competition opens for entries

8 Febuary 2017

4pm GMT
£25 early bird deadline

8 March 2017

4pm GMT
£35 final entry deadline

20 March 2017

2-stage judging process begins

1 June 2017

2016/17 winners announced