About the Competition

The University of Notre Dame’s project Open Sourcing the Design of Civil Infrastructure initiative invites you to submit a proposal to the Shelters For All Competition.  This Competition seeks innovative solutions to the urban housing crisis in the developing world. Individuals or teams are invited to develop and submit conceptual designs for homes that address the needs and constraints of the over 1 billion people that live in urban slums worldwide. Winning designs will be awarded over $15,000 (USD) in prizes, and those designs have the opportunity to be implemented in ongoing development projects through the University of Notre Dame. Contributions will also help explore how the wisdom of crowds can be leveraged to solve societal grand challenges.

Today those who live in urban slums suffer from numerous vulnerabilities. Limited natural resources make it difficult to produce quality construction materials. Weak regulation, building codes and enforcement hinder community planning.  Moreover, urban unstructured settlements often lie in some of the most hazard-prone parts of the world and are subject to  hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones, earthquakes, and heavy rains/flooding.  Meeting the challenge to create resilient, feasible, sustainable, viable and scalable housing solutions for the urban poor in developing countries will require considerable innovation.  That is why we are soliciting the global community to develop creative solutions that are mindful of the environmental conditions, historical context and cultural preferences of communities where the housing will be built.  While preference is given to innovative designs that may be applied broadly throughout the developing world, we also accept designs that target a specific country or region.

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