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    Norwich University Architecture + Design Competition

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 until Sunday, December 13, 2020 Eastern Standard Time UTC -05:00

    Norwich University is proud to announce the 2020
    Architecture Design Competition: Learning Spaces

    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 year, especially regarding how we gather for teaching and learning. While outdoor learning spaces are not a wholly new idea, they have become all the more important in our current situation. With this design competition we are seeking your thoughtful solutions to making effective, thoughtful, and functional outdoor spaces for learning.

    Competing students and teams will submit an innovative and unique design for an outdoor classroom no later than December 13, 2020. 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, Norwich scholarship offers. Find more information on this and other Norwich scholarships here.  

    If competing as a team (no more than 4 team members), all members of the team will receive the same scholarship award based on their final placement. 

    Design Parameters:

    A successful outdoor classroom should be an effective place to foster learning, thinking, sharing, and experimentation. By moving a class 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 learning outdoors change what you can do in a class? What is easier? What may be more challenging? Students and teachers might use an Outdoor Classroom as a treehouse, a space for innovation, a space for guided play, or a space for quiet contemplation.  

    Size: The Classroom should be no bigger than 20' wide x20' deep x20' tall or no bigger than a 400sf footprint x 20’ tall. 

    Site: The site is your choice, but the outdoor classroom should be specific to the grounds of a school in your town. 

    • Space for at least 9 students and at least 1 teacher
    • Some shelter from rain and/or snow
    • Some shelter from the wind
    • At least one specific portal or view to the scenery
    • A place where at least 5 students 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 Outdoor Classroom. (No more than 500 words.)

    C) All material must be submitted in pdf format, no larger than 30 MB.

    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 and submit your entry no later than December 13th. 


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