The Young Architects Forum and the Committee on Design announced the winners of their first annual Ideas Competition, selecting a woven shelter designed by Jiyoun Kim of Seoul and a lightweight structure made of prefabricated modules designed by Gene Kaufman of New York City to share first place. Eric Polite took third place with his design of a portable dwelling unit fabricated from recycled plastics and polymers. The competition challenged participants to devise a scheme for post-disaster housing on the site of Houston's Astrodome.
Kim's design uses donut-shaped fabric panels that unskilled workers on-site can fill with sand, mud, straw, or refuse and then weave together. Once filled and connected, the fabric panels serve as both skin and structure. The building system can be used to create small dwelling units of different shapes that can function either as temporary or permanent housing.
Kaufman designed a system of prefabricated modules that nest within each other for shipping, then slide out and expand on site. Pivoting solar panels and wind turbines attached to the roofs provide power, while rain is collected for drinking and gray water. As a result, the houses can operate even when a city's power grid has collapsed.
Polite also used prefabrication in his scheme, devising a system of portable and stackable residences made from vacu-formed units delivered to the site by truck.
Serving on the jury for the competition were Barton Phelps, FAIA, Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, and Mehrdad Yazdani, AIA.