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    Norwich University Architecture + Design Competition

    Thursday, September 30, 2021 until Sunday, November 7, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

    Norwich University is proud to announce the 2021
    High School Archit
    ecture Design Competition: Pocket Place

    Architecture is about solving problems for people through the composition of light, space, and material.  It is about embracing the way space can be sculpted to improve how we live.

    Many standards of normalcy have changed considerably over the last two years, especially with regard to how we gather for learning, dining, and performing.  While outdoor gathering spaces are not a wholly new idea, they have become essential in our current situation.  With this design competition we are seeking your solutions for making dynamic, thoughtful, and functional outdoor spaces for gathering.  We ask you to carve out public space in your town or city to accommodate public activity in fresh air.  This space could be a parklet for restaurant outdoor dining, an outdoor internet lounge, or an outdoor Tik Tok performance space.

    Competing students and teams will submit an innovative and unique design for an outdoor Pocket Place no later than midnight on November 7, 2021.  All entries will receive feedback from the faculty of the Norwich University School of Architecture + Art, who will also be available to provide advice and guidance to registered competitors during the competition. 

    Eligibility: Open to all high school students.  Students may register and compete either as individuals or as teams.


    First Prize: $8,000 scholarship to Norwich University ($2,000 per year for four years)
    Second Prize: $4,000 scholarship to Norwich University ($1,000 per year for four years)
    Complete Entry Submission: $2,000 scholarship to Norwich University ($500 per year for four years)

    Scholarships and other gift aid awarded by Norwich University may pay for tuition, fees, room and board, as well as other Norwich University expenses. Norwich scholarships and awards are not transferable to other institutions. This scholarship may be combined with some, but not all, other Norwich scholarship offers.  Find more information on this and other Norwich scholarships here

    If competing as a team (up to 4 team members), all members of the team will receive the same scholarship award based on their final placement.

    Design Parameters:

    A successful Pocket Place, or outdoor gathering space, should be an effective place to foster community, learning, thinking, sharing, and experimentation.  By moving a gathering space outdoors, consider that you are doing more than shifting activity from indoors to outdoors.  A major change in the shell and surroundings creates new opportunities for interacting with a space.  How many ways does gathering outdoors change how you interact?  What is easier?  What may be more challenging? The community may use the Pocket Place as a public library, an outdoor café, a performance space, an internet hub…. 

    Size: The Pocket Place should be no bigger than 2 combined parking spaces, 9' wide x 36' deep x 15’ tall or no bigger than a 325 square foot footprint up to 15’ tall.

    Site: The site is your choice, but the Pocket Place should be specific to a location in your city or town.



    • Space for at least 8 people to gather

    • Some shelter from rain and/or snow

    • Some shelter from the wind

    • Solar lighting for evening gatherings

    • At least one specific portal or view to the scenery

    • A place where at least 4 people can sit at one time

    Submission Requirements:

    A) At least 4 critical views of your design

    Provide at least 4 illustrations of your design.  Your submission can include drawings, sketches, photographs of a physical model and/or renderings of a digital model.  You can work by hand, with digital design software, or a combination.  We are most interested in the quality of your ideas and the way you use the tools at your disposal.  A thoughtful sketch can communicate as much as a digital model.

    B) A narrative description of your Pocket Place.  (No more than 500 words.)

    All material must be submitted in pdf format.

    Competitors will receive a link to submit their entry along with contact information for the Norwich University School of Architecture + Art for questions or guidance.

    Questions?  Please contact Tolya Stonorov, Associate Director of Architecture + Art, 

    Ready to compete?  Fill out the registration form below.

    Winners will be announced before Thanksgiving as part of a live webinar!  More Details will be sent via email once registration is complete.

    Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.