The shortlist has been revealed for the inaugural Davidson Prize, showcasing 18 ideas for how people will live and work in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A multifunctional wardrobe, a community co-working pavilion and a “tea tower” are among the shortlisted proposals for the £10,000 prize, which asked entrants to respond to the theme Home/Work – A New Future.
The contest responds to the significant rise in home-working over the past year, as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Architects and designers were asked to propose ideas for how homes, neighbourhoods and communities can better support home-working in the future.
Common themes in the proposals include biophilic design, community collaboration, adaptive reuse and flexible furniture elements.
Highlights include a flat-pack window pod workspace, a vertically retractable home office, a strategy to create local infrastructure within a 20-minute commute of every home, and a vision for community-focused streetscapes.
“The universality of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the subject matter of the prize, Home/Work – A New Future, was something we all experienced over the past year,” said architect Alison Brooks, who is one of the competition judges.
“As a result, submissions in a lot of cases were more autobiographical than what these designers and thinkers might have produced under ‘the old normal’,” she continued.
“The shortlisted entries cover a spectrum of solutions, from adapting the home, to rethinking how we inhabit our streets, to digital tools. It will be fantastic to see all these ideas evolve at the next stage.”
The Davidson Prize is an annual prize that will explore different aspects of the home through the lens of design. It was set up by the Alan Davidson Foundation, the charity founded by the architectural visualisation pioneer before his death from motor neurone disease in 2018.
The judging panel for the inaugural contest also includes designer Thomas Heatherwick, writer and television presenter Michelle Ogundehin, Foster + Partners senior partner Narinder Sagoo, and Museum of the Home director Sonia Solicari.
This panel will select three finalists from this shortlist, who will each be given £5,000 to develop their ideas further. The overall winner will be announced in June and will receive a £10,000 prize.
Details about all 18 proposals can be found on the Davidson Prize website. Here’s the shortlist in full:
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