Discover the winning project and the highly commended ones.


World Architecture Festival and PechaKucha, the fast-growing storytelling platform used by millions of people across the globe, join forces to launch a virtual 2020 ideas competition. ‘Isolation Transformed’ asks architects, designers, and engineers to reimagine post- virus environments that would mitigate, improve, or offset current community distancing and isolation.

Given today’s necessary social distancing requirements for individuals, families, and communities, the question for the design community now is: how do we use design to alleviate or improve physical and psychological contexts in which we live, work, and play? How can we mitigate effects of future pandemics through design? A new focus is needed to address the collective spaces we inhabit and use in our everyday life.

World Architecture Festival and PechaKucha invite international architects, designers, engineers, and students to submit ideas that address the topic of social distancing at all scales in respect of geography, social context, and temporary or permanent conditions.

Ideas can range from mitigation to transformation and include product design, interior design, housing designs, transport facilities, workplace architecture, open-space design, and urban initiatives including landscape interventions. Entries are judged on strength of concept, delivery, universality of application, and economy.

Paul Finch, director and founder of World Architecture Festival, comments: ‘Creative design has been used to address a huge variety of social and environmental problems for many decades. We are inviting that creative imagination to be applied to the problems deriving from Covid-19, and other potential pandemics, which affect our ability to behave as social beings. This is a moment to rise to a challenge rather than sink into despondency.

Entrants are asked to present their ideas via PK Create using the PechaKucha format20 slides, with 20 seconds of commentary per slide.

Mark Dytham, of Klein Dytham architecture, a two-time category winner at WAF and co-founder of PechaKucha, says, “The PechaKucha 20X20 format helps creatives get to the point visually and in less than seven minutes. PK Create allows people to create, voice, and share their submission from anywhere in the world. This function is relevant and needed at this time of social distancing.”

Isolation Transformed

Passenger Clearance Building –  RSHP + Aedas – Completed Buildings Transport 2019 Shortlist

All entrants are judged by a panel of esteemed experts including previous RIBA president and architect, Sunand Prasad; designer and creative director of INSIDE, Nigel Coates; CEO of Maggie’s Centres, Dame Laura Lee; Co-Founder of Architecture Is Fun and President-elect of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Peter Exley; and previous WAF health category winners, Ralph Johnson and Sharon Davis.

Shortlisted designers will be invited to present their ideas at the World Architecture Festival 2020, 2 to 4 December 2020, in Lisbon, with contribution to travel and accommodation. The winner will receive up to £1,000 towards travel costs, two nights’ accommodation in Lisbon, and a trophy presented at the WAF Gala Awards Dinner on the evening of Friday 4 December.

Complete rules and details are found here. To enter, complete the form.
All entries must be completed by 31 August 2020.



Cover image credits: JCA Living Lab, J.C. Architecture – INSIDE World Interior of the Year 2019