Improving Livability for Small Houses


Submission Deadline

Architecture November 30, 2018

Please note that this competition has expired and is for reference only. See our active listings for competitions.

A design competition for the Professional Designers and Students of Design Faculties wanting to contribute ideas and suggest approaches for public housing agencies and private builders, who construct thousands of affordable houses/apartments in Indian cities, for designs that ensure:

  • More livable and usable space for the cramped, small houses within the given area for the resident families.
  • Better social interaction and community life among them.
  • Sustainable delivery of services such as water, electricity and solid waste disposal etc.
  • Greater aesthetic sensitivity in buildings that shape the new urban landscape.

These apartments or houses and buildings must get better and the architects and other designers have a role in that happening. Your design interventions could change the way these families live, their children grow, minimize their waste and their cities appear and develop Small, yet Better Designed, Better Functioning, Better Looking and Socially and psychologically better evolved houses and buildings


  • Architects and Engineers
  • Interior and Furniture designers
  • Planners
  • Senior Students of above Faculties
  • Non-governmental organizations in the settlement development field
  • Non-governmental organizations in the settlement development field.

To participate in a pan-India “Improving Livability for Small Houses” Competition:

CREATE Awareness among designers–especially architects, interior and furniture designers-about the challenges in designing small houses, low-cost housing projects and the potential of this market segment.

INTRODUCE Design students to the challenges, especially the needs and compulsions of the low-income clients and low-cost projects.

PRODUCE Design solutions that improve “livability” of small houses for the low income- and often large- families that occupy them.

MAKE The designers see and apply themselves to the psychological, sociological and cultural factors in house design , cluster design and site planning that emphasizes the “people” aspect of the design engagement.

HIGHLIGHT Role of the affordable housing in shaping the built form and physical landscape of the city—seeing it in the wider urban form context.

DEMONSTRATE Cost consciousness and sustainability principles in the affordable housing projects.

SENSITIZE Designers and planners about people/community centeredness and design appropriateness of slum redevelopment/rehabilitation

In the backdrop of general affordable housing scenario in cities, this competition seeks to establish:

  • Low-income housing should not automatically mean low quality housing. ‘Vertical slums’ are not inevitable.
  • The principle of incremental growth can also be adopted in multi floor buildings.
  • Smaller spaces conditioned by affordability constraints could be made reasonably bigger through creative design.
  • Design for sustainability—water, energy, waste management—must not escape affordable housing projects. These aspects—optimum use, minimum waste, maximum recycling, easy and low-cost maintenance — must weigh more, not less in such projects.

Also,  The “People” centeredness of the design:

  • Not only families, also neighbors.
  • Not only individual apartment, also community space.
  • Not only an individual, also the collective.
  • Not only a place for living, also for occasional livelihood activity.
  • Public space for family assets: for cycle, scooter, car, hand cart, etc.

Visit the Competition website for more information.