Call for Submissions: NOVA DESIGN AWARD 2018 - Future Living Space

Call for Submissions: NOVA DESIGN AWARD 2018 - Future Living Space

We live in a time of great change. As paradigmatic shifts in technology, social networks and the physical environment constantly reshape our way of living, we can foresee that the living space of the future in 10 or even 5 years will be drastically different from what it is today. 

How will we live in 2025 with updated basic needs and redefined living spaces? Perhaps, physical space and distance will further give way to digital connectivity, while inter-personal relationships will be complicated by our latest affair with artificial intelligence. Or, unsustainable urban development and the celebration of all things virtual will come to a halt and humans will engage in a renewed conversation with each other and the environment.

With a firm dedication to innovation, NOVA Property Investment Co. Ltd, a leading Chinese property investment and asset management platform, believes that these questions are worth investigating. In the past 3 years, NOVA has created novel business models as well as new physical spaces, and by initiating an annual design award program, NOVA hopes to further its mission in solving current problems and ushering in an era of positive change.

The inaugural NOVA Design Award invites applicants to imagine future living spaces in an urban setting, and intends to build a subsequent physical prototype to promote such creative thinking. It calls for new design proposals based on a single living unit, with a suggested gross floor area of no more than 50 square meters and a clear height not exceeding 6 meters, as part of a high-density context in a first-tier Chinese city.

NOVA hopes that this exercise will stimulate innovation and open unlimited possibilities. The future is now.

Free registeration opens now:


1. Competition procedure:
(1) The competition is open to the public and no prerequisite is required. Each participating team shall consist of no more than 5 members. Please provide detailed information of the team through the Confirmation on Team Information form.
(2) Each team shall appoint 1 contact person throughout the competition.
(3) Registration opens on June 1, 2018 and closes on July 1, 2018 at 11:59PM Beijing time (GMT +8:00); Registration is mandatory. Teams who don’t register will not be able to participate.
(4) Registration is through the website: After successful registration, the participant will receive a registration number and other information at their registered email address, including forms such as Confirmation on Team Information and Declaration of Originality.
(5) Entries shall be submitted digitally, including forms which should be completed, signed and scanned. Please package all files as one zipped package, upload it onto file-sharing sites such as Baidu Cloud or WeTransfer, and provide the download link to the competition organizing committee. Please ensure that the link will work for a week following the deadline.
(6) Please submit a link to download the submission package, along with the registration number, on; the Organizing Committee will confirm the receipt of the submissions within 24hrs via email.
(7)The deadline for submission is 11:59PM Beijing time (GMT +8:00) on July 31, 2018. Hard copy or late submissions will not be accepted.
(8) With the assistance of the competition organizing committee, the Jury will review the entries. Five finalists will be announced on August 6, 2018.
(9) NOVA DAY will be held in Shanghai as a one day event featuring a design forum and the awards ceremony, where the jury will announce the final awards after on-site presentations by the finalists.

2.List of required materials:
- Plan
- 2 or more section drawings
- 2 or more perspective drawings
- Name of the scheme and a “Manifesto on Future Living” as the design description (no less than 250 words)
- Completed competition forms
- Optional materials to sufficiently showcase the design scheme, including but not limited to: video (no more than 2 minutes long), analytical diagrams, isometric drawings, details or drawings describing the material and/or construction aspects of the scheme, photos of physical models, plans for physical constructions.
- Except for optional video and completed competition forms, all other materials shall be incorporated into the boards.

3. Submission Format:
- Submissions shall include boards, completed competition forms and other optional files, to be sent as one digital package. The total size should be under 20MB (exclusive of optional video file).
- Names of submitted files shall start with the team ID and note the type of the file, e.g. "NDA0001_boards.pdf", or "NDA0001_video.mp4".
- Boards shall be combined into one single PDF, including 2-4 boards in A2 size (420mm×594mm)and in landscape layout.
- Boards shall have a 3mm white margin all around, with the team ID noted on the upper-right corner as "ID-number", e.g. "NDA0001-1".

4. Language and Units
The official language of the competition is English. Submissions should use metric units.


- The Jury will select 5 finalist teams, who will be invited to attend NOVA DAY - the culmination of the competition including a design forum and the awards ceremony. Teams will also be asked to pitch their entries to the Jury at the ceremony, where the final awards will be determined. 
- All finalist teams will receive a cash award and a NOVA Design Award certificate. Finalist entries will be published on acclaimed media platforms. NOVA welcomes all members of the finalist teams to the events, but will be responsible for travel and lodging expenses for only 1 representative from each finalist team. 
- Winning entries may result in a physical prototype by NOVA in 2019. 

Final awards:1 First prize: 6000 USD; 1 Second prize: 3,000 USD; 3 Honorable Mentions:1,500 USD each
Total cash awards: 13,500 USD
*The amount of the awards are exclusive of Chinese domestic tax and fees and that of the country of the participant.


June 1, 2018: Free Registration opens
July 1, 2018: Registration closes at 11:59PM, Beijing Time (GMT +8:00)
July 31, 2018: Submission deadline at 11:59PM, Beijing Time (GMT +8:00)
August 6, 2018: Announcement of finalists
August 25, 2018: NOVA DAY (finalist presentations, design forum and awards ceremony)


Qian Wang, Co-founder, Chairman, Co-CEO of NOVA Property Investment Co., Ltd.
Carlo Ratti, Director, MIT Senseable City Lab, Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati 
Anouk Legendre, Architect, Co-founder of XTU
Oke Hauser, Creative Lead for MINI LIVING
Maggie Peng, Architect, former Design Lead and Environments Designer at IDEO, Shanghai
Becky Quintal, Head of Content, ArchDaily
Han Zhang, the Country manager and Executive editor of ArchDaily China


1. Innovation
2. Relationship with Technology
3. Sustainability (not limited to environmental performance)
4. Prototype Feasibility
*Criteria above are for reference only and arranged in no specific order. The competition is open to all creative ideas.


1. Individuals or groups who sign up for the competition shall be deemed to agree and comply with the Rules & Regulations; the organizer has the final right to interpret the Rules & Regulations.
2. All boards submitted by participants shall remain anonymous. Boards may not contain words or patterns in relation to designer identity, name, institution or company. Participants who do not comply with the regulations will be disqualified.
3. Each team or individual shall only submit one entry. The same entry may not be submitted twice. Creative works that have been built, realized, awarded in other competitions (honorable mention included) or published in public or in public media are not allowed to participate in this competition. Participants who do not meet requirements will be disqualified.
4. The intellectual property of participants’ work will be assigned to NOVA on the day of submission, participants only have publication right, the right of authorship, right of modification, right of integrity and other personal right. NOVA is entitled to use the design idea or partial scheme on this project, to reproduce, publish, exhibit, compile and disseminate to information networks the works, and to introduce, display and evaluate the works through media, books, newspapers, advertisements and the Internet, without obtaining consent of the author or any payment.
5. Participants assure that all material, drawings and work results submitted during the competition do not infringe on any third party's patent right, copyright, trademark right or any other legitimate rights and interests. Participants shall bear all responsibilities and expenses raised by any disputes, claims and proceedings arising from any third party related thereto, and compensate for all loss to NOVA (including but not limited to legal cost, attorney fees, investigation fees and damages to third party paid by NOVA).
6. The jury shall not participate in the competition or guide any students participating in the competition. Any team receiving guidance from a jury member will be disqualified.


1. Is there a registration fee associated with the competition?
No, the competition is completely free to participate.
2. Who can participate? I am not a designer, can I participate?
Anyone can participate, so long as the team has no more than 5 members. NOVA encourages multi-disciplinary teams.
3. Can I submit a scheme that was created for a different purpose, such as a class or another project?
Please see Rules & Regulations point no.3. Valid schemes shall not have been built, realized, received any other awards (honorable mention included), or have been previously published.
4. Will adding a video or other drawings increase the chance of winning?
Judging will be based on the design scheme, so any representation methods that can best showcase the scheme will increase the chance of winning. It is up for the designer to determine the type of optional deliverables.
5. Does the submission have to be in Chinese?
No, English submission will suffice.

1. Why 2025?
The timeframe of a near future ensures that the assumptions and predictions from the schemes are relevant, and the schemes themselves can have a meaningful impact on the status quo. It is up for the designer to imagine the state of living space in 2025. 
2. Does the scheme have to fit in 50 sqm? Is it one floor?
There is no strict area requirement. However, the designer may take into account that the intended physical prototype will have a gross floor area of max. 50 square meters and a clear height of max. 6 meters (measured from the top of the bottom structure to the bottom of the top structure), for considerations of feasibility. 
3. What is the high-density context that the unit is part of?
The designer can determine the specifics of the context if it helps the design.
4. Which first-tier Chinese city is the space in?
The designer can determine the city if it helps the design.
5. Who is the occupant of the designed living space? How many occupants?
Up for the designer to decide.
6. Will adding a video or other drawings increase the chance of winning?
Judging will be based on the design scheme, so any representation methods that can best showcase the scheme will increase the chance of winning. With the anticipated level of participation, designers are advised to go beyond the minimum required list of drawings to best illustrate the schemes.

Any other questions, please write to:
To ensure fairness, NOVA will compile all submitted questions and answers and publish them on the website. Please pay attention to website updates.


NDA organizing committee
Phone: +86 21 6268 0000
Address: 3F, 528 Qinzhou Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China


NOVA Property Investment Co., Ltd. (NOVA) was founded in 2015 by Mr. Wang Qian and strategic investor Warburg Pincus. In 2016, NOVA completed the equity acquisition of Yicheng Creative, a real estate renovation and value-add service provider, and in doing so integrated its professional experience into the NOVA model acquisition, renovation, operation and asset management. In 2018, The Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) and NOVA officially signed Shareholders Agreement.

With its strong capital and operational capabilities, NOVA has rapidly developed its portfolio of assets in China’s first-tier cities. NOVA’s focus is to invest in assets in prime locations and then tailor the renovation of the apartments, offices and retail to suit the local landscape. When completed, the properties are internally operated and asset managed. An expertise in product innovation and multi-format operations is one of the core competencies that set NOVA apart from its peers.

Currently, there are 41 projects operating or under constructing with a total investment value of nearly RMB 12 billion and a project area of 400,000 square meters. The projects are in the first-tier cities of Shanghai and Beijing. NOVA’s operating brands include BASE, N² Creative and Yixi. NOVA’s aim is to build brand alliances to meet the diverse needs of different markets and targets.

NOVA now has more than 180 employees. Its main partners include Vanke, Infrared NF Greater China Real Estate Fund, Sino-Ocean Real Estate, China Jingu International Trust Co., Ltd., TIANTONG CHINA, SUNAC, and the Gold Bund Group. In November 2017, NOVA and the BMW Group’s MINI brand collaborated to create the world's first MINI shared urban space - MINI LIVING.

  • Title

    Call for Submissions: NOVA DESIGN AWARD 2018 - Future Living Space
  • Type

    Call for Submissions
  • Organizers

  • Registration Deadline

    July 01, 2018 11:59 AM
  • Submission Deadline

    July 31, 2018 11:59 AM
  • Venue

    528 Qinzhou Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China
  • Price


This call for submissions was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you'd like to submit a competition, call for submissions or other architectural 'opportunity' please use our "Submit a Call for Submissions" form. The views expressed in announcements submitted by ArchDaily users do not necessarily reflect the views of ArchDaily.

Cite: "Call for Submissions: NOVA DESIGN AWARD 2018 - Future Living Space" 04 Jun 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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