International Architecture competition “rise in the city” seeks mentors and sponsors to push the boundaries of design

International architecture competition, rise in the city 2018, has unveiled a renowned line up of high profile International judges who will be coming together to seek the ‘big idea’, that could change the future of Africa’s housing crisis. With an unprecedented number of applications from students and recent graduates from 39 different countries rushing to take part, the competition has clearly captured the imagination and passions of the architecture community. It is hoped it will push the boundaries of design, to find an affordable and sustainable solution for Africa’s rapidly growing population.

“I am delighted be on the rise panel to help shine the light on how the program is addressing local needs and contributing towards genuine economic development in Africa,” says Samuel Oboh, one of the judges on the panel and Principal Architect & VP of AECOM Canada, and continues, “The competition provides a platform to unleash a sizeable dose of creativity, diligence, dedication and discipline needed to give pride of place to the beauty, simplicity and elegance inherent in African architecture.”

The unique competition will see Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho, split into 100 blocks, each of which will be shared between a competition entry, a mentor and a sponsor. Between them, they will enjoy networking opportunities as well as the kudos that comes with international exposure.

The high profile jury will choose 10 shortlisted entries to be exhibited at a series of International events in 2019. From that list, one International winner and one Lesotho winner will have the accolade of seeing their design exhibited in Lesotho and potentially built in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government (subject to funding). It is hoped this will inspire the local population to build more of their own homes from sustainable, locally sourced and affordable materials.

“As designers, we are facing the challenge of our lifetime. Populations are exploding, climate change is threatening our livelihood, and resources are becoming more and more scarce for those who are the most in need,” comments Nicolas Medrano, Associate Director at SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill), “We are honored to participate in rise in the city, because it will have a real impact on individual families in Lesotho, and potentially be the beginning of a greater movement of positive change.”

Some of the world’s most distinguished architecture firms such as EYP Architecture and Engineering, Grimshaw, Perkins+Will, Perkins Eastman, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Woods Bagot Architects to name but a few, have stepped in as mentors and global companies such as MAPEI, dormakaba and Johns Manville will be benefitting from networking opportunities by taking up strategic sponsorship of a city block of their choice. There is no charge for mentors to get involved, and 100% of the proceeds go towards a live design and build training program for unemployed youths in Lesotho who are constructing a residential centre and entrepreneurship hub for vulnerable adolescents residing at GLC orphanage.

The competition is being organised by BOND Events and rise International, a social enterprise dedicated to working with communities to build relationships that inspire social enterprise.

There are just 25 places left for mentors to get involved by October 31. Sponsorship opportunities are still available until December 15.



Design Competition


Lesotho Blues


Construction update

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