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RIBA launches international search for post-pandemic design ideas

The Royal Institute of British Architects has today launched an international search for post-pandemic design ideas.

12 May 2020

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (12 May 2020) launched ‘RETHINK: 2025’ - a design competition in search of big ideas for our post-pandemic world. 

With lives across the globe transformed, the RIBA is asking architects and students to consider what life in our new, post-pandemic world could look like by 2025. How will the pandemic have modified the way humans interact with space and one another, and how can design mitigate its worst effects?

The RIBA invites architects and designers to submit positive responses to one or any of the following areas, the future of; healthcare spaces, remote learning, high density living, public transport, high streets vs online shopping, international travel and the use of technology to monitor and control populations.

RIBA CEO, Alan Vallance said: “Now more than ever, we need to design spaces and buildings that contribute to the health and wellbeing of everyone. Architects have a vital role to play in adapting and redefining our environments in a post-pandemic world. We are looking forward to seeing a range of creative responses to the challenges presented by this unprecedented global situation.”

The competition judging panel includes design leaders and radical thinkers, including Francine Houben (Creative Director and Founding Partner at Mecanoo), Matt Jones (Principal Designer at Google AI and RIBA Trustee), Sarah Castle (Director and Co-Founder at IF_DO), Ed Clarke (Director of Structural Engineering at Arup), Joanne Averley (London Mayor Design Advocate) and will be chaired by RIBA Journal Editor Hugh Pearman. 

The first prize of £5000 will be sponsored by Arup. There will be a £2000 second prize and £1000 third prize. All winners will be published in the August 2020 issue of the RIBA Journal. 

RIBA Journal Editor Hugh Pearman says: "RETHINK: 2025 challenges the architecture community to look five years ahead and to design, realistically and optimistically, for a different and better world to live, work, and socialise in. We know that all the talent and will is out there to achieve this. We want to be exhilarated by your ideas!"

This competition is open to RIBA Members (including Students). For the full brief including details of submission requirements, please visit:

Closing date: Friday 12 June 2020, 14.00.


Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact +44 (0)20 7496 8349
  2. Press images can be downloaded here.
  3. The first prize (£5000) of this competition is sponsored by Arup.
  4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates. 

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