The design of the house for HERE+NOW should reflect an innovative, creative, environmentally responsible, and culturally sensitive approach to issues of domesticity. The proposal should take a strong conceptual position about housing and designing within a specific context.

There is no maximum or minimum square footage requirement for any program area or the combined programs of the house. Students are encouraged to explore creative / innovative approaches to programmatic arrangement and distribution. Space allocation should be appropriate to the design proposal and the needs of the client.

Interior Program Spaces

  • Sleeping areas - minimum of 2
  • Bathroom facilities - minimum of 1 (toilet, lavatory, bath or shower)
  • Kitchen area for food preparation
  • Living area for relaxation / socialization

Exterior Program Spaces
Consideration should be given to the relationship between interior and exterior spaces of the home and what role (if any) exterior space should play in the design of the home. Transportation and connectivity should be addressed as an integral component of the overall design strategy. Appropriate space should be allocated for issues such as vehicle parking (bike / car / other) where required.

Design proposals should reflect a clear conceptual strategy which is resolved in built form at a detailed level. There are no restrictions or limitations in the use of materials or building systems. However, projects should be developed with an integrated approach to materials and systems and should reflect an understanding of the characteristics, advantages, and limitations of the materials selected. CRAN is committed to promoting the value of design irrespective of style. Residential architects tend to work in a variety of styles based on input from clients, local building traditions, and regulatory requirements. As in professional practice, design proposals should responsibly address the needs of the client, context, climate, and culture of the area. Design proposals should be informed by historic precedent, but should represent contemporary ideas of domesticity and building science. Through renderings and elevations, the proposals should demonstrate qualities such as materials, texture, and color. Equal consideration should be given to the arrangement and articulation of exterior form and interior spaces.

Refer to the International Residential Code and local zoning ordinances for information on height restrictions, setbacks, easements, flood, and life safety requirements. Consideration should be given to issues of Accessibility and the principles of Universal Design. For guidelines, refer to ANSI 117.1 (2009).

Submissions must clearly address the requirements of the program. In addressing the specific issues of the design challenge, submissions must demonstrate the proposals response to the following requirements:

  • A strong conceptual strategy resolved in a coherent, integrated design proposal
  • An understanding of the physical characteristics of the site and the local climate
  • A compelling response to the physical, emotional, and cultural needs of the inhabitants
  • A clear understanding and resolution of tectonic issues
  • An informed position on vernacular and historic precedent

Submissions must include, but are not limited to, the following required drawings:

  • Three-dimensional representations in the form of axonometrics, perspectives, montages and/or physical model photographs which illustrate the character of the project
  • Site Plan showing proposal in context with surrounding buildings or natural elements (as appropriate) that illustrate details of access and circulation
  • Building / Site sections which illustrate key aspects of site, context, and major spatial or programmatic elements
  • Floor Plans to show the interior spatial arrangement and program elements
  • Elevations demonstrating qualities such as materials, texture, and color
  • Large scale drawing(s), either orthographic or three-dimensional, that illustrate innovative details or integrated aspects of design

Submissions must include:

  • Completed online registration, by a faculty sponsor
  • Four (4) digital boards at 20” x 20”
  • A design essay or abstract (500 words max) containing site selection, client description, and design concept.

Incomplete or undocumented submissions will be disqualified. All drawings should be presented at a scale appropriate to the design solution and include a graphic scale for reference. The site plan should include a north arrow.


The proposal is to be a 1 or 2 family dwelling on a site of your or your faculty sponsors choosing. Sites may be real or conceptual, but must be identified within the following parameters:

  • Sites must be identified within the (6) Climate Zones as outlined in the International Energy Conservation Code
  • Sites must further be identified as Rural, Suburban, or Urban

One of the critical components of practicing as a residential architect is client interaction. Unlike many commercial buildings, residential clients typically are the owners and occupants of the home. This personal connection to the work often leads to a very collaborative design process between the architect and the client. For the purposes of this competition, entrants may assume an individual or multi-occupant scenario based on the design concept and site constraints. Entrants may choose to further develop their client profile based on research into local demographics and population trends to better inform the design. Entrants must outline the client selection and rationale in the Design Essay.


Summer 2016 
  Competition Launch

March 29, 2017 
  Registration DEADLINE

May 15, 2017 
  Submission DEADLINE

Summer 2017 
  Winners Announced