Home Industry ICON launches Architectural Competition for Affordable Houses

ICON launches Architectural Competition for Affordable Houses

The US company ICON, which specializes in 3D printing houses, has launched the “Initiative 99” competition. The goal is to find designs for affordable homes that can be built for under $99,000. Architects from around the world are invited to submit concepts.

So far, participants from 57 different countries have registered, highlighting the universal need for new, disruptive approaches to affordable housing.

“We need a moonshot for affordable housing, and I believe Initiative 99 will be the most important architectural competition in history,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO ICON. “The current affordable housing landscape seems to have been designed and built without taking beauty, aesthetics, comfort, sustainability, and resiliency as serious requirements. It’s time we attack this problem just as energetically as we’ve addressed other human challenges in the past.”

The notion of housing costing under $99,000 has been around for decades, yet significant barriers to realizing such affordable housing models at scale remain. Over 1.2 billion people worldwide lack adequate housing.

Ballard continued, “With Initiative 99, we are changing the way that we talk about affordable housing. When we talk about affordable housing, the conversation is often depressing and so are the results. Our goal is that Initiative 99 would in turn create the conditions for affordable housing to be something hopeful, optimistic and exciting, and furthermore catalyzes the building of some really incredible affordable homes that just years ago would not have even been possible. The future could be a wonder, but we have to all work together to make it so.”

Initiative 99’s jury is made up of experts in the architecture industry, university leaders, policymakers and non-profit organizations. They include notables such as Michelle Addington of the University of Texas, Lucia Athens of Austin, Bjarke Ingels, founder of Bjarke Ingels Group, and many more.

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