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The MICROHOME 2020 challenge was part of a series of design competitions aimed at highlighting the big impact that small-scale architecture can have on the housing crisis. For this competition, participants were challenged to design an off-grid, modular structure, no more than 25m² in size that could accommodate a young professional couple.

First prize was awarded to Giovanni Cavaglion, Pu Wang and Emanuele Cavaglion from Italy. Their Horror Vacui project explored the concept that nature abhors an empty space. This beautifully-rendered project was for a transformative housing unit that functions like a machine, with retractable ceiling and floor modules controlled via an app. The jury were incredibly impressed with how the project integrated digital into the physical space, making it flexible and adaptable to the user.

Second prize went to Georgia (xiaojin) Huang, Andrew Kurniawan and Leonardo Vincent from Australia for their Bricoleur River-House Initiative project which looked to upcycle the polluted and crowded slums of cities like Jakarta, Indonesia. It proposed a micro-housing unit that combines the reuse of building materials from slums, with 3D-printed plastic waste recycled from rivers.

Third prize and our student award went to Jinlong Li, Sen Yan, Xibao Ren and Huichao Luo from the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia. Their Anonymous Watchman project proposes a rectangular block form with articulated pocket windows, a circular rooftop water collection tank, and a single curved corner - in much the same vein as MUJI, IKEA, Toyota, and a host of other recent companies offering well-designed prefab housing units for off-grid living.

To see more information, including high resolution images, full jury comments and details of our Green Award winning project from Ali Bugra Cebeci and Oguz Kemal Basar from Italy, visit

1st prize

2nd prize

3rd and Student prize