Illustation of a person standing against columns and patterned background

Re-imagining the Artefact

Enter our student design competition - deadline for entries 1 November 2021.

The 2021 AHRA conference will question what ‘region’ and ‘regional’ mean for architectural cultures past and present, and will speculate on the different forms and formulations they might take in the future.

In addition to the academic debate, this year we are excited to announce a student design competition for provocative and speculative design proposals that reimagine a regional artefact into an architectural proposition.

Reimagining Rio’s Lost Heritage - a spherical illustration
Reimagining Rio’s Lost Heritage, Will Garner

We invite undergraduate and postgraduate students to analyse their regional identity and its complexities. You have the opportunity to consider any regional artefact that you may relate to your understanding of ‘region’ – we encourage critical, creative and reflective readings and translations.

We accept ‘artefact’ in the broadest sense: it might be man-made or natural…an object, setting, memory, dream, story, poem, drawing, conflict or border. Your response should address four key questions:

  1. How do you critically define the meaning of ‘region’?
  2. How is that definition/perspective embodied in a regional artefact?
  3. How can you deconstruct, translate and reimagine this regional artefact into a spatial environment?
  4. What new purpose will your reconstructed artefact serve?

Your final design proposition may be abstract or literal and take the form of an occupiable space at the human, building or urban scale. We would like you to be rebellious and challenge the physicality of the constructed meaning of your regional artefact and think creatively about architecture as a tool to rescale / recompose / relocate / reimagine / rewrite its presence and meaning.


1st place: £500, 2nd place: £250, 3rd place: £100. The results and the winners will also be exhibited through social media and REGION AHRA 2021 website.

Submission requirements

1 or 2 A1 boards: these should include a visual reply to the four key questions and a 100-200 word written statement describing not only the meaning of region as you conceive it, but also the embodiment of that meaning in your selected artefact and the re-imagined translation of your design proposal.

Submit your boards in PDF format to by 12:00 (GMT) on Monday November 1st. In the email subject line: ‘Re-imagining the Artefact’. In the main body of your message: the title of your piece, name and contacts of participants, and affiliated university.

Submit your entry


The Re-imagining the Artefact competition welcomes all university-registered students from across the world who are interested in architecture, design, ethnography, anthropology, heritage and art. You may submit your piece individually or as a team.