March 9, 2017

The AIAS has partnered with Shelter Global to put on the 2017 Dencity Competition. Each year, the Dencity competition has brought about revolutionary ideas on how to better handle slums. Uniquely, Shelter Global also helps bring competition entries to life.

Shelter Global has partnered with the AIAS along with Architectural Record, Building Trust, Bustler, Canadian Architect, Design Book, e-architect, Impact Design Hub, Dwell Magazine, Next City, Architecture in Development, Archdaily, and Archello. The competition is open to architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world.

A shift from rural to urban environments is forming more slums and informal settlements than ever before. It’s time to empower the people living in these settlements through cooperation and awareness.

The world’s population is rapidly growing and places all over the world are having to adapt with an unprecedented increase in urbanization. Towns are quickly growing into cities, and some of the densest places in the world are comprised of makeshift homes, otherwise referred to as slums. Right now, well over 1 billion people around the world live in slums. This number is rapidly growing and it is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030.

Design has always played a tremendous role in generating new ideas for the future. Now, more than ever, we need to turn our focus to cities and play a central role in the development of substandard neighborhoods. Slums effect much more than just housing; they affect almost all living conditions and communities as a whole.

The intent of this competition is to foster new conceptual ideas about how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities. Contestants should consider how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future.

For this year’s competition, the focus will be on improving living conditions in urban settings. There are no restrictions in regards to site, program, or size. Projects can be based on a specific urban location or a general concept. The object is to limit constraints and give participants the freedom to think in the most creative way possible. Submissions do not need to be created exclusively for the Dencity Competition, but should not have been submitted or published elsewhere.

This year’s entries will be reviewed by some of the most influential authorities in architecture, design, storytelling, and business. The jury includes our very own President and Vice President, Sarah Wahlgren and Rachel Law, amongst others: Jo Ashbridge (Founder, AzuKo), Jhono Bennett (South African Architectural Urbanist), Bryan Bell (Founder of Design Corps), Oscar Carracedo (Professor of the National University of Signapore), Garrett Jacobs (Executive Director, Open Architecture Collaborative), Petra Kempf (Professor, Columbia University), Liz Ogbu (Founder, Studio O), and Sheela Patel (Founding Director, SPARC).

Participants can register for a $25 Discount until Monday, March 13. Following that, Late Registration ($80) will run until the Submission Deadline on April 24, 2017.

To register for Dencity 2017 and for more detailed information, please visit:


REGULAR REGISTRATION: Until March 13, 2017 ($55)

LATE REGISTRATION: Until Submission Deadline ($80)

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 11:59 pm EST on April 24, 2017



1ST PRIZE: $3,000 USD Prize

2ND PRIZE: $1,500 USD Prize

3RD PRIZE: $750 USD Prize

SPECIAL MENTIONS: The jury will select up to 6 special mentions.

AIAS PRIZE: Awarded to top entry from an AIAS member

PUBLICATION: Winners and special mentions will be published in several international online magazines as well as the Shelter website.

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