© Tiny Homes Competition
© Tiny Homes Competition

According to the 2015 Chicago Homeless Count and Survey conducted by the City of Chicago,  31% of the unsheltered homeless population and 19% of those that are sheltered are between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. Though these numbers are startling, many of the city’s homeless young adults are actively working to improve their quality of life—working toward their GEDs, holding jobs or taking courses in college.

Yet, even when sheltered, these young people are burdened by impermanence: many are forced out of shelters during the day with no place to store their belongings during work or interviews; they have no privacy for studying, let alone space for self-care. Transience means they often lack stable communities for support. Tiny houses can provide solutions for these young individuals seeking stability, support, safety and community.

This competition invites teams from across the country to submit their ideas for a small community of tiny homes in Chicago. Though speculative, the partners involved in launching this competition believe that good design can contribute to innovative solutions, and by engaging the design community in this competition, we are taking steps toward turning these solutions into reality.


 This Design Competition is open to all with the following exclusions:

  • Entries shall not have been previously published in any competition publication, whether printed, online or otherwise.
  • Entries shall not have been selected as finalists, winner, honorable mention, etc. in any other competition.


The jury will review the submission and select the finalists based on these criteria:

  • Compliance with all submission requirements
  • Adherence to the design parameters
  • Believable constructability within identified budget parameters
  • Suitability of design for intended use
  • Aesthetic merit
  • Responsiveness to neighborhood and site context


_ Online registration form

_One presentation board (24”x36”) landscape oriented at 150 dpi in PDF format and saved as a single PDF file less than 10MB in size. To ensure legibility in jurying and publication, all fonts must be 12 point or larger.

_ If the design is submitted by a team of people, ALL team members must be identified on the application.

The presentation board must contain the following:

_ Narrative of the design (250 words or less)

_ Site Plan 1/16 ” = 1’-0”

_ Housing Module Plan ¼” = 1’-0”

_ (2) Building Sections ¼” = 1’-0”

_ (2) Building Elevations ¼” = 1’-0”

_ High-resolution rendering

_ Cost of Materials List

_Names of contestant individuals or organizations MUST NOT be visible on the presentation board.


_ Winner will receive $5,000 award and opportunity to construct a full-size demonstration unit.

_ Winner will receive an additional $5,000 fee to develop construction drawings. If the winner is not a licensed architect in the state of Illinois, winner must team up with a licensed architect in Illinois to produce the construction drawings.


_ Competition opens             26  November 2015

_ Submission Deadline         30 January 2016

_ Results Announced             February 2016

_ Construction                         March 2016

_ Tiny Homes Summit          April 2016


Registration Fee : Free

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