Breaking New Ground: Designing Affordable Housing for the Coachella Valley Workforce

Sponsor: The California Endowment

Location: Coachella Valley, California

Type: International, 1 stage (student round), 2 stage (open round)


Open Division – The goal of the Open Division is to produce an implementable proposal for a housing community that can and will be realized.

Individuals, firms, or teams from around the world comprised of architects and professionals from allied fields. Teams may also include students and faculty from architecture and other disciplines.

Student Division – The goal of the Student Division is to produce comprehensive proposals that address the full scope of competition issues with a greater emphasis on creativity and less emphasis on short-term implementation.

The Student Division is open to high school or college students and faculty from around the world who are currently registered in an educational institution. Faculty may participate only as part of a student-led team.

Entry fees:

Open Division – $175
Student division – free

Awards: A total of $350,000 USD in prize money will be awarded to winning entries, finalists, and awards of merit.

Submission Deadline: December 2014

Design Challenge: Breaking New Ground is an international design and ideas competition addressing the urgent affordable housing needs of farmworker and service worker families in the Coachella Valley. Efforts to improve living conditions suffer from a lack of funding and coordination. The competition seeks to address this by harnessing the power of design to envision new precedents, mechanisms, and policies for affordable housing implementation and development, with implications for California and the nation.

For more information, go to: