2016 Activate Year in Review

ACTIVATE North Carolina

In September 2015, the AIANC Board of Directors made a major long-term commitment to public engagement and architecture, through the funding of local grants with the ACTIVATE North Carolina program. Our local components jumped at the opportunity to create public outreach events that highlighted the value of design in our communities. 

This 2016 end of year report is a documentation and celebration of ACTIVATE events that occurred throughout the year in each component. Please enjoy having a look at the success of an incredible ACTIVATE 2016. We look forward to an even more active 2017!

Urban Housing Competition Winners Announced

On Wednesday, June 22, Jury Chair Frank Harmon, FAIA announced the winners of the 2016 Urban Housing Design Competition. 

Congratulations to the winners!

Honor Award


By; Clark Nexsen
Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina

View submission









Merit Award


By: Radar Architecture & Arts
Amsterdam, Netherlands

View submission








R.A.W. (Residents at Work)

By: UNC Charlotte School of Architecture
Charlotte, North Carolina

View submission

View all submissions from the Competition here.

The jury was very impressed with the range and quality of the design submissions. The competitors showed an unbounded interest and energy to find an appropriate solution to the challenge of housing in general and to responding appropriately to the site in particular. Many designs were original and thought-provoking,others were richly developed in detail and atmosphere.

The jury noted several common themes,including :

Porosity- the notion that fairly high density dwelling groups did not need to be monolithic, but that individual dwellings could be more porous to the outdoors, the site, to other dwellings andto the street and city,

Threshold: the importance of a clear boundary or threshold to a dwelling within a group of dwellings.this may take the form of a courtyard, a porch , an overhang or a tree to clearly delineate between public and private space.

Mixing and overlap: the informal and often fortuitous overlap of activities and relationships in a group of dwellings

Residential typology- there was great interest in defining the typology of the family dwelling in the early 21st century.

The jury observed that there is a pressing need for architects and planners to invent new forms of urban living. As our cities grow more dense, public transportation improves, and building costs escalate,what are the appropriate forms of dwelling for ordinary families? As millennials, families with children and baby boomers all seek to live close to the center of cities, how can architects provide more appropriate forms of dwelling in the urban realm. As one juror said "there is an open market to reinvent housing now"

The jury applauded this group of architects and designers of attempting to address the challenge of urban housing in the 21st century and for sketching out some promising lines of thought about new homes in the contemporary city.