Staying Alive - Competition Brief

This international one-stage competition invites professionals and students alike to develop and submit compelling design ideas that will make the world more resilient to pandemic outbreaks.



In generating these solutions the entrant is advised to analyse the current coronavirus situation, the measures being implemented, their success and/or failures and propose the future of pandemic preparedness, survival and recovery. To ensure the competition cuts across the major challenges three entries choices are established being urban design, transportation and architecture.

Register: APRIL/24/2020, Submit: June/05/2020, Eligibility: Everyone, professionals, students; individually, teams, Fee:30.00 USD, Awards: Grand Prize: 1,000 USD


At the beginning of 2020 the world is shutting down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, more cases are now being recorded outside of China, where the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan. As of March 19, at least 8,648 people worldwide have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. More than 207,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19. (Source: 2020. Coronavirus: All You Need To Know About Symptoms And Risks. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 19 March 2020]) 


In addition to the health challenge, the economic impact is also mounting, as the world grapples with the coronavirus, – with the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) warning the virus presents the biggest danger to the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis. UNCTAD, the UN trade agency, warned of a slowdown of global growth to under 2% this year, effectively wiping $1 trillion off the value of the world economy. Businesses are also dealing with lost revenue and disrupted supply chains due to China’s factory shutdowns. (Source: World Economic Forum. 2020. The Economic Effects Of The Coronavirus Around The World. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 19 March 2020]).


For thousands of years, humans have looked to physical space to treat and cure sickness. People have redesigned cities, infrastructure, architecture, and interiors all in the name of minimizing the risk of infectious disease. Meanwhile, enterprising businesspeople have capitalized on the fear of germs to sell products and services that supposedly stopped the rumored causes of illness. It’s only recently—with advancements in virology, bacteriology, epidemiology, and medicine mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries—that antibiotics and immunizations have been on the frontlines of infectious diseases. Now, with new diseases emerging, like COVID-19, and no vaccines or cures to fight them, one of the most effective solutions is to go back to the physical: social distancing, quarantine, isolation, and, perhaps, adaptations to our cities, neighborhoods, and homes. (Source: Curbed. 2020. Design In The Age Of Pandemics. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 March 2020]).


There’s something totally fascinating about that—that we can use the built environment as a way to control epidemic spread. Space, as it relates to infectious disease epidemics, is a design problem. If you look around most neighborhoods today—in cities and suburbs—you’ll see evidence of how humans have responded to infectious disease by redesigning or adapting our physical spaces. Recently, for example, Kigali installed hand washing stations at their bus parks. Modern planning and civil engineering were born out of the mid-19th century development of sanitation in response to the spread of malaria and cholera in cities.


With no medicine available to treat emerging infectious diseases, like the COVID-19 pandemic, using space as a way to address epidemics has renewed interest. Seemingly overnight, our way of life has changed as hospitals overflow, as cities go on lockdown, as schools close, and as working from home becomes more prevalent. Larger societal implications and how they’ll manifest through design is something we need to actively think about. How do we design spaces in the context of isolation but enhance social cohesion? How will technological advancements and available resources help in adapting to these new realities?


In this competition, we aim to challenge our day to day spaces in the wake of pandemics. How do we design safe personal and interpersonal spaces? And how can these principles be applied in our homes, our neighbourhoods and globally? Will it be a shift in materials, will it be technology or will we overhaul design completely as we know it today, if we need to be anywhere near ready for the next pandemic? We want to know your personal response and reactions.

Evaluation Criteria

  • We are looking for ideas that can be realised with currently-existing materials and technology. Part of the award will be the possibility for BuildX Studio to offer mentoring and support through our innovation department to give shape to those ideas.
  • We are interested in ideas that make local solutions of global value. We want to hear ideas that are tied to a particular context and respond to a particular set of needs. Our jury will evaluate the ability for the design to respond to those particular needs. 
  • We are looking into the future. Coronavirus will pass, but it won’t be long until another virus hits us in one way or another. This competition is looking at the resilience of our currently existing facilities, neighbourhoods and cities, to try and make them better prepared for the decades and centuries to come.
  • We are looking for ideas that are environmentally friendly and promote overall sustainability. 
  • We will be interested in the coherence and clarity of the ideas presented and not necessarily the quality of the presentation or media submitted.


  • This competition is open to all professionals or students with or without design backgrounds. Each team may be composed of 1 upto 5 members and may include multidisciplinary members.

    Jury members or those involved in the preparation of this competition may not participate.

    All participants are required to fill a downloadable registration form, complete payment prior to registration deadline and mail the duly completed registration to  for their competition to be reviewed and evaluated .

    The registration process can be completed in 4 simple steps.

    1. Registration form.

    Download the registration from The form is downloadable once payment has been done.

    1. Payment

    Select one of the following options; PayPal or Bank transfers.*

    1. Registration Code

    The participants should email the duly filled registration form with a copy of the payment transaction to as proof of payment. The email subject must include the name of the team leader e.g. Staying Alive – Jane Doe

    Once the filled registration form and payment is complete and received by BuildX Studio, the team leader will receive a Registration Code by email within 48 hours (2 business days) confirming registration in the competition. This code must be included in the bottom left corner of each submitted panel.

    *Payment Methods.


    Is a secure, fast and easy method for making international online payments. PayPal accepts debit cards and all major credit cards. (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, etc.). Upon completing the payment, the participant should email a copy of the transaction receipt to as proof of payment. The email subject must include the name of the team leader.

    Bank transfer 

    An alternative payment method can be made by bank transfer to the account listed below. Upon completing the payment, the participant should email a copy of the transaction receipt to as proof of payment. The email subject must include the name of the team leader.

    Orkidstudio Ltd.

    Bank: Investments & Mortgages Limited.

    Branch: XXXXXX




    • Any bank fees related to the bank transfer are the sole responsibility of those who are registering for the competition;
    • Keep in mind the registration period deadline established by the competition schedule prior to making the payment.


  • Competition opening: March 23, 2020


    FAQ questions deadline: April 03, 2020

    FAQ answers posted:  April 10, 2020


    Registration period: April 10 – April 24, 2020


    Submission Deadline: June 05, 2020


    Jury Evaluation: June 19 – July 03, 2020

    Competition Results: August 14, 2020



    All deadlines are established @ 23:59 hrs (UTC + 3)


  • Any questions related to the information found in this brief and the competition may be addressed by sending the questions to the email address:


    Questions will be answered and published via email to all entrants on the date stated in the competition schedule. Questions related to this competition brief that are received after the FAQ deadline will not be addressed nor answered.


  • There will be three prizes awarded by the jury and five honourable mentions.


    1st Prize: 1000 $ (One thousand US dollars) for each category

    2nd Prize: 500 $ (Five hundred US dollars) for each category

    3rd Prize: 300 $ (Three hundred US dollars) for each category


    5 Honourable Mentions



    All reasonable efforts will be made to publish and promote the winners in architectural magazines and blogs worldwide; however, such results will rely on agreements and arrangements made between the publication entities and BuildX Studio.



    Honourable Mention citations will not include a cash prize.

    Depending on which country, award prizes might be subject to tax withholdings.

Jury Members

  • We need suggestions here so we can contact them


  • Submission Deadline: May 08, 2020 @ 23:59 hrs (UTC +3 hours:)


    The competition submission will consist of a single digital file and should comply with the following requirements:


    File Format:

    • Preferably 2no. A1 sized panels (84.1 cm x 59.4 cm), Landscape layout 


    • Not more than 10 pages report or Presentation slides in A4 sized paper (29.7 cm × 21.0 cm), Landscape layout  
    • Registration Code must be located in the upper right-hand corner of the submitted panel or as a footer on the report or slides.


    Graphic layout:

    • Graphic layout includes text, sketches, drawings and renderings to be determined by each team; 


    File type I size I name:

    • PDF with 5 Megabytes (maximum). The PDF file may be compressed to a ZIP file format.
    • File name should only include the Registration Code. For example: STAC00000.pdf


    The competition panel must be submitted only once using the online file-transferring platform as a single file (PDF file may be compressed to a ZIP file format) and addressed to Any submission made by other methods will not be downloaded.


    The competition panel should be sent prior to the deadline established on the competition schedule. Competitors are responsible for the arrival of their proposals within the corresponding deadline; therefore, time should be allowed for uploading the files via No proposal will be evaluated if received after the submission deadline.


    Participants who submitted panels should receive an automatic confirmation email from WeTransfer. A second confirmation email will be sent from BuildX Studio within 72 hours (3 business days) after the submission deadline.


  • The official language of the competition is English.


    This is an international, anonymous, single-stage design competition open to all professionals and laymen alike.

    Each team may be composed of 1 up to 5 team members and may include multidisciplinary It is not mandatory to be registered with professional bodies.

    All competition submissions are to remain anonymous throughout the competition phase and will only be identified using a unique registration code assigned by BuildX Studio during the registration process (refer to the submission requirements).

    No entry will be reviewed or evaluated that contains any mark, logo or other indication of the identity of the team members located on the competition panel. The identification of the 3 winners for each category and honourable mentions awarded competition panels will only be revealed after the jury evaluation phase and at the time the competition results are published on the BuildX Studio website.


    Full ownership and copyrights of all submissions in connection to this competition are retained by the author of the work; however, BuildX Studio retains the rights to publish (printed or online) and promote the submitted material at their own discretion regarding formats, sizes and composition layouts. All submissions will subsequently become part of the BuildX Studio digital archive.


    If any participant wishes to publish, exhibit or promote their competition submission on any website, publications or social media, after the competition results are made public, they are granted the rights to do so, as long as the title of this competition together with BuildX Studio are properly referenced and credited as the competition organiser.


    Under no circumstances will registration fees be refunded.


    All awarded teams will be notified by email.


    Competition submissions will be disqualified if:

    •   any attempt of any form of communication regarding this competition is made with the jury members or those involved with the preparation and organisation of this competition;
    •   any competition submission is received after the deadline as stated on the competition schedule;
    •   any competition submission contains any mark, logo or other indication of the identity the author/s;
    •   any competition submission does not abide by the online submission requirements and rules as stated in this competition brief.


    By submitting a proposal for this competition, each team member agrees and accepts the requirements, rules and conditions as listed in this competition brief, as well as final decision of the jury;


    BuildX Studio reserves the right to cancel or suspend or alter the competition brief and schedule at any time during the competition, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of its control. Any such changes will be made public on the website and via email to entrants;


    This is strictly an ideas competition, an academic exercise and may or may not be built. BuildX Studio or any other organisations do not have intention to award contracts for design services as a result of this competition. Awarded proposals should consider their award as recognition of excellent work in this competition;


    Awarded competition participants may be asked for proof of their eligibility;

    Urban planning and building regulations will not be applied to the design proposal. The competition is organized by BuildX Studio as an academic exercise to promote debate and reflection, encouraging new perspectives and innovative strategies of intervention within pandemic resilience;


    The jury members reserve the right to award any competition submission that reinterprets the parameters of the competition’s objectives, when it is justified by the originality and quality of the proposal’s design;


    Participants shall have no claim nor legal action against BuildX Studio in respect to this competition or any alteration made to this competition brief or the documentation provided to develop the competition proposal.


  • For general questions please contact us at the email address: or fill out our hello contact form on the website. Any question related to this competition brief should be emailed prior to the FAQ deadline. (see competition schedule). Any questions regarding the registration process and/or payment methods can be made until the Registration Deadline.

    On behalf of the BuildX Studio team, we welcome you and wish all the participants the very best of luck in the competition.

    BuildX Studio 

    All rights reserved

    No part of this competition brief may be reproduced in any form, by print, photocopy,

    or any other means, without the written permission of BuildX Studio.