residential design competition

Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition

Submission: May 09, 2018
RegistrationMay 09, 2018
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open


AI (Artificial Intelligence), while still evolving, is accelerating fundamental changes to our environment and values in society. AI that utilizes deep learning can possess independent cognition and acquire imagination and creativity like that of human beings. We are already beginning to see experimentation in AI’s creative ability through visual and performance art as well as writing.

This raises questions for the field of architecture. While it may be premature, or perhaps even naïve or simplistic to predict the future of an AI society, we should not deny the potential of architecture to evolve with this new technological revolution.

This transitional moment is also a critical period that poses an opportunity to experiment and investigate, free from preconceived notions; to address important and consequential societal issues; and to collaborate with other fields. Because there are ambivalent feelings towards AI, it is an interesting moment for us as humans to think through the possibilities more radically, and with clarity, before AI begins to think and influence the realm of architecture in the near future.

For this Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition 2018, I would like participants to imagine a new world that utilizes AI and the possibilities of a house for, with or in an AI society. It has been 95 years since Le Corbusier declared, “A house is a machine for living in.” A house in an AI society may be an existence beyond a “machine” – an artifact with its own agency surpassing human expectations. Here lies the dilemma: we cannot hypothesize beyond what is known to us but perhaps what it means is that a house has the potential to evolve by itself, with a mind of its own.

Of course, for this brief, the most direct method would be to have AI itself engage in the design process, but since it would be difficult at this moment of time, the idea and proposed framework will be key for the design. For example: AI may reduce jobs and the concept of living space as an opposition to a work place will be dissolved; AI may allow greater control of cities and thus a house and city will merge into one entity; housing and mobility may be integrated; the vernacular house will be redefined as an extremely adaptive house specific to its environment, much like terroir culture in the world of cuisine; a house as we know it, an artificial and homogenous space, may become part of nature; or will the house no longer be for humans but for post-humans? There could possibly be a more audacious idea for this house.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize that this competition is open to architects and non-architects alike. When AI starts to think and process architecture, it will undoubtedly address a diverse range of issues across various fields. As such, we should welcome proposals from people from all disciplines. I will be open in judging and am looking forward to active participations and unconstrained expressions.

Registration and submission deadline

May 9, 2018 (Wed) 18:00, Japan standard time

Entry and Application

To enter the competition, please first register on this competition website. A registration number will be issued by email after the registration form is properly completed. Each applicant should keep a record of this registration number, as it will be needed for submitting your proposal. If there is any change in the registered personal information, re-registration is required. Also, if the applicant wishes to submit multiple proposals, it is necessary to obtain a registration number for each proposal.
• No inquiries regarding the registration number will be accepted once the number has been issued.
• Registration is only available through the competition website.
• Use of mobile phone email address is not recommended since there might be problems in receiving the registration number.

Submission Requirements *Only digital submissions accepted

Contents: Site plan, floor plan, elevation, section, perspective drawing and axonometric drawing at any scale. You are free to include photograph of a model, detailed drawing, other chart. Your submission should include a descriptive text of your design in no more than 250 words in English, or 600 characters in Japanese, which must be in 12 point type or larger. Paste this same text in your submission email. All drawings, illustrations, and texts should be laid out on two sheets of A2 (420×594 mm / 16.5×23.5 inches).
• File format: PDF
• File size should not exceed 10 MB (please combine two sheets in one file)
• The registration number must be used as the name of the PDF file of each design entry (e.g., skc0000.pdf).

Submission Procedure

Use your pre-registered email address and adhere to the format described below.
1) Email subject line should read: “0000 (your registration number) / Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition 2017”.
2) Attach your submission file. Be mindful of the file size. Files that do not meet the specified requirements will not be considered.
3) Your email should include the following information: the registration number / full name, age, and profession of all the team members / team leader’s home address, telephone number, fax number (if available), and email address / a descriptive text of the design in less than 250 words.
Note: The amount of emails right before the deadline may overwhelm our internet server, so please do not wait until the last minute to submit your entry. The competition hosts will take no responsibility for submissions that arrive late due to technical issues and will not judge such submissions.

Announcement of the Winner

Winner(s) will be announced in the 2018 Octorber issue of SHINKENCHIKU (published on Oct 1, 2018) and a+u (published on Sep 27, 2018) magazines, their digital issues and on the competition website.


The number of winners and the amount of prize (total: 1,000,000 Japanese yen) will be determined by the judge.

Go to the competition’s website