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Making Room: Housing for a Changing America Student Design Competition


March 1, 2018

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation, HomeAdvisor and the National Building Museum announce the Making Room: Housing for a Changing America Student Design Competition. The competition, open for submissions through April 13, 2018, challenges students who attend colleges and universities in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. regions to design a living space for a retired couple that is flexible, employs universal design concepts and has a budget of $50,000 or less. The first, second and third place winners will receive scholarships and have their work featured at the National Building Museum.

“At ASID we believe that design impacts lives,” said Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, CEO, ASID. “As an association that represents the design industry among designers of all specialties and career stages, we are proud to support the Making Room: Housing for a Changing America Student Design Competition. The students who enter the competition represent the future of our profession and will need to employ universal design and evidence-based design principles as they enter the workforce. This is a great opportunity for students to practice real world design before graduation. ASID and the National Building Museum appreciate the generous support of HomeAdvisor in helping us to make this competition a reality.”

Making Room: Housing for a Changing America, an exhibition currently on view at the National Building Museum through September 2018, focuses on the mismatch between the diversity of our homes and the homogeneity of our housing. Unprecedented shifts in demographics and lifestyles have redefined American households, but housing options have not kept pace. Smart technology, environmental sustainability, and demands for healthy living are top requirements of the 21st century home.

The exhibition’s centerpiece, The Open House, features a hyper-efficient layout, movable walls and multifunctional furniture. The flexible space addresses the needs of three prototypical households: roommates, the multi-generational family and retirees looking to downsize.

The ASID Foundation, HomeAdvisor and the National Building Museum challenge students to create an affordable design solution for a retired couple or a retired couple and caretaker looking to remain in their 1,000-sq.-ft. home and age in place. The design should embrace the same goals of flexibility and seamless universal design—which inherently makes things easier, more usable or accessible for the greatest number of people, including older and younger individuals and people with and without disabilities—incorporated in The Open House.

“We’re excited to present even more options and ideas for how seniors can downsize at an affordable price point,” said Chrysanthe Broikos, architectural historian and curator of Making Room: Housing for a Changing America. “It is our hope that the submissions from our student competitors will provide inspiration and a new perspective on flexible, affordable housing alternatives for seniors.”

Because a visit to the Making Room exhibition will be crucial for entrants, the competition is limited to students studying at colleges or universities in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia only.

Scholarships of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners, and the finalists’ designs will be featured on a flat screen monitor within The Open House from June 1, 2018, until the exhibit closes in September 2018.

Learn more about the competition, download entry requirements and submit your design at asid.org.