1st Price – Cécile Gaudard – The caretakers

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The first prize is awarded to Cécile Gaudard for her project “The caretakers – An exploration on a traumatized landscape”.

Recently graduated from ENSA Paris- the project of Cécile Gaudard is composed of 6 black-and-white felt-tip and ink drawings, the project was praised by the jury for its aesthetic and narrative qualities. Rooted in the Forez mountains in France, Cécile Gaudard proposes a reappropriation of a mountain landscape altered by the Anthropocene era, by transforming a ski resort into a cheese production site. By highlighting the harmful effects of the forestry industry on landscapes, the project suggests finding a balance between preserving the environment and maintaining current economies and lifestyles.

The caretakers – an exploration on a traumatized landscape

In the rural expanse of the Forezian Moutains in France, where the population density stands at 8.5 residents per square kilometer, lies the Lignon watercourse. This waterway meanders through the region, eventually merging its flow with the Loire River. Within this picturesque setting, several distinctive features shape the landscape: an ongoing granite quarry operation, which recently secured a 30-year extension; a ski resort grappling with insufficient winter snowfall, contemplating a transformation into a year-round destination through enhanced infrastructure; the presence of 66 mountain-installed chairlift poles; a freshly constructed water reservoir, boasting a 45,000 m3 capacity, dedicated to artificial snow generation; the existence of four dams and five sawmills; the traversal of high-voltage power lines and a Hertzian station; seven dairy farms and three other farming establishments. Cumulatively, these activities and developments a threat over the Lignon watercourse and its ecosystem.

The main challenge we face today is how to inhabit and coexist on a land that has experienced significant trauma. Specifically, our area has been affected by the consequences of excessive winter sports activities, leading to a lack of snow that now slow down these activities. The question underneath is how leading an approach that does not advocate for a complete cessation of all activities in the region but to have an alternative approach to harmoniously inhabit the area and reevaluate the situation.

To embark on this exploration through a fictional lens, we narrate a tale driven by those who have played a role in shaping the actual landscape and how they will now become its guardians. For instance, shepherds will guide their flocks to summer pastures, and fishermen will take care of the waterways. Our story is organised around the primary watercourse, which uses its power periodically to generate energy. This process allows for the reintroduction of sustainable ways of life and economic practices on a broader scale across the territory. In essence, we aim to create a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship between humans and the environment, enabling a new era of coexistence and prosperity.

2nd price – kim tzarowsky, maria josé landeta valencia – Transhumance : a model for growing villages

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The second prize is awarded to Kim Tzarowsky and Maria José Landeta Valencia, for their project Transhumance: a model for growing villages.

Kim Tzarowsky (Berlin) is a graduate of the École d’architecture de la ville & des territoires Paris-Est, and Maria José Landeta Valencia is a graduate from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador Quito. The “manifesto” concept focuses on the temporal and social aspects of a universal village. It gives a singular identity to the notion of village, drawing inspiration from the transhumance movement as a form of human mobility and solidarity integrated into its environment. Based on these elements, this village of the future advocates interconnection and sharing between different communities, as a solution to ecological, energy and social challenges.

Transhumance: a model for growing villages

Transhumance derives from the Latin words trans “across” and humus “ground”. Transhumance itineraries construct spacialities and maintain an ancestral link with the environment, nourished by accumulated knowledge, shared and bequeathed through generations. It’s an inspiring way of inhabiting territories, and the idea that can structure the answer to what the villages of the future should aspire to. An identity based on movement, a way of life that relates effectively and affectively with nature, that teaches us about seasonality, exchange and mobility in order to achieve autonomy and permanence in the face of change, and it contains strategies for adaptation and resistance. Learning from the past is acknowledging the fact that villages were interconnected, an agro-ecological, knowledge-sharing, and economic network. People moved from one village to another, or seasonally through them, like shepherds and their animals during transhumance, to learn new skills, exchange goods, create new bonds or connect in gathering places like markets or the church. This human path, and its ancestral knowledge, is a network much more complex than the simplification of the urban-rural binary that has led to the spread of monocultures and the zonification of the land.

The attractiveness of villages today comes from the need to reconnect with nature and traditions. The countryside offers more space, it is quieter, healthier and provide more affordable living conditions. Remote work allows the future diversification of the countryside. The challenge is to fight the isolation that can come with moving to rurality and the lack of public space and equipment. Adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings, taking advantage of the forgotten farms or factories that exist in the German and French. Renovation would be an opportunity for people to come together around a common project and build it cooperatively according to their needs. Places where new residents, old ones and passers-by can meet. A new typology of rural mixed-use buildings that host events and gatherings, such as markets, cinemas, theaters, workshops, coworking spaces or libraries. Most villages are non-far from one another, a couple kilometers that seem to be challenging when the transportion system is not thought rural yet just linking them to the next urban hub. These new-old landmarks need to be supported by a good network of connections between villages. An inter-village mobility based on buses, car-sharing and cycle paths. On the other hand, each village has something special to offer, and high-speed internet is fundamental to support this, by sharing events, offering services, collaborating or simply posting local news on an independent platform.

This comes together with a process where villages should seek for energy independence and local economy. Practice rotational and shifting cultivation, allowing the soil to rest periodically. Everything shifts in this extremely dynamic, fluid and diverse mosaic of ecologies: agro-ecological gardens, alternative energy sources, learning and managing sources for the use of local materials for construction. Environmental practices and a process of change that cannot be achieved without a sense of belonging and reciprocity, a spirit of place for immediate consequences and lasting implications.


3rd Price – Sarah Pens – Cooperative Hinterland

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The third prize is awarded to Sarah Pens, Cooperative Hinterland

Sarah Pens (1997, Hannover), studies at Leipniz University in Hannover. Her realistic and concrete proposal is integrated into the environment of Usedom, an island in the Baltic Sea that is socio-economically deficient and deprived in the face of ecological and demographic challenges. Sarah Pens imagines reusing the “Plattenbauen” (large-scale housing estates) as a communal place for living and intergenerational support. In addition, she advocates a place for winter storage and provision, to be anticipated as early as the summer harvest season. In this way, the project shows how the advantages of the city lifestyle can be easily integrated into the rural and island world.

Cooperative Hinterland

A growing longing for deceleration and access to nature is intensifying the migration of city dwellers to suburban areas. In the process, cities and their immediate surroundings are growing ever closer while in structurally weak rural areas, exodus and overaging of the population are permanent issues. To preserve diverse living spaces these are precisely the places that need to be focused.

Exemplary for a very rural and social-economically deficient region the project Cooperative Hinterland is focusing on the hinterland of the island of Usedom in north-eastern Germany. The region is characterised by a splattered settlement structure, long distances, and lacking infrastructure. The small communities are hardly able to tackle the upcoming ecological and demographical challenges and stay attractive to their current and future inhabitants.

Therefore, the project proposes a cooperative network that connects and strengthens the communities. While doing so, the architectural visualization and collective implementation in form of new to be established commons is of particular importance. Embedded into a supervisory region- wide network there are several constellations of communities that are working together as village cooperatives, which are carrying out projects that are oriented towards the common good. They react to the needs, challenges, and already existing potentials of the communities.

Exemplary, the proposal examines four communities that are going to be stronger connected through their intercommunal work and a new bike path network. To preserve the specific character and rural cultural landscape it is important to consider the already existing. Therefore, the actions of the village cooperative focus on two formative attributes of the area:

The Plattenbauten are prefabricated apartment buildings that stand isolated and sometimes unwanted in many rural villages. Their unexploited potential could be used to address a wide range of inhabitants. One existing Plattenbau in the region is converted into a multigenerational house offering collective housing for younger and elderly people, whose needs are not served by the predominant single-family homes. The newly added common rooms can be used as workspaces, for movie or game nights to bring together the house community as well as the whole village.

Another formative attribute is the strong influence of seasons due to the touristic island of Usedom. While the communities benefit from this in the summer months, they dive into a winter sleep during the cold season. That counts for activities as well as for social interaction due to a lack of small informal meeting spaces. To activate existing spaces for the whole year, the so-called Winter Reservoir is introduced. During summer the space is vivid and the storage can be filled with the yields of the orchard. In the winter months, small groups can meet up in the kitchen and draw on the summerly reserves.

The proposal focuses on small and simple interventions that are possible to realize within the village cooperative. It represents how even little changes can provoke new impulses and activates new dynamics in peripheral regions.

Selected project – johanna bendlin, Laura villeret, falma fshazi – make ines stay ?

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Make Ines Stay?
A stroller passed by, moving fast in the narrow street. A horse passed, moving fast yet not galloping, in the narrow street. A husky passed by running, following the stroller to which he was attached by a belt in the narrow street. A hedgehog had stopped moving and was lying down in the narrow street. Its intestines were splashed out along a sidewalk of the narrow street. The deer behind the metal fence could not see this narrow street. They heard all the sounds of the bumpy narrow streets. Ines hugged the horse and took her through the narrow street. The street kept getting narrower and warmer as the shiny big metals rolled on the streets. Ines kept walking, taking Légende toward the corn field. Rapeseed fields appeared and disappeared within the trees where the wild boar hid anxiously. “There must be another place,” she kept saying while breathing heavily. Towards the end of the longest narrow street, the sun was burning. A voice rose within whispers through the waves of heat. “This way…” it said. This moist sound echoed, adorned with many children’s voices. It was spreading from everywhere and nowhere. It looked like the eyes of the deer were speaking. For the first time in her life she was hearing the voice of a staring silence The big eyes of the deer. The nude sound of the eyes. Mesmerized and resigned, she followed the voice. To the castle. Ines passed a fence with no opening or door in view. The horses and the dog followed her. Then she saw children following them. Over their heads, a hedgehog was flying. They went into the trees, walking through warm grass. The horses were suddenly drinking in the pond. The husky too, the wild boar adjacent to him. Other horses as well- her Ribaldi, Jason, and Cowboy- appeared around the pond. The deer were not close, yet their eyes kept staring. The hedgehog was finally sitting on the back of her pony, Ribaldi (or Didi, as his closest knew him). The sounds of children and birds were competing with each other. She looked at the castle. Its windows were butterflies moving their wings to the sun. Ines forgot where she was headed. The heavy breathing of the narrow street did not follow her in here. Suddenly, her cheeks became reddish. She took a step and then another towards the pond. Then she felt the water against her belly. She laid down. The pond held her. She heard the sounds of horses enjoying the water, the butterfly windows, the eyes of the deer, the children, the birds. Some voices also came from the narrow streets, blending with all the others. She kept paying attention. The pond kept holding her safe and close amid the narrow streets.
Project explanation: Everydayness can be utopia, and utopia can be everydayness. Our project, “Make Ines Stay?”, is inspired by the true story of a young girl named Ines Izemrane, living in Liverdy-en-Brie (77220) in Seine-et-Marne, France. It takes into account the current condition and potential of this village, located 25 minutes train from Paris Gare de l’Est. We are sending you this perspective detachable into few other ones, much like this place[1]an actual one embedded in numerous invisible possibilities.

Selected project- benedikt hartl – Das unbequeme dorf

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The (un)comfortable village
This is a project for adventurers and modern gatherers and hunters and shows a sustainable alternative to a single-family settlement, because this dream is still present with a lot of people.
I myself grew up in a forest where I built my own camps. I explored the forest and picked mushrooms and, together with my grandma, blueberries. I grew my own tomatoes. The forest was my adventure playground, full of discoveries and nature experiences. We didn’t have much luxury, but lived happily and healthily in harmony with nature. Later, when I was an adult, I moved to the city, where I was confronted with hectic, stress and exhaust fumes. I was drawn back to the country but found only a small, barren family house in a suburban settlement. Perfectly trimmed hedges and double garages everywhere. Commute to work and the joys of traffic included. Greek columns adorn the entrance in front of some houses. A composite thermal insulation system (tomorrow’s hazardous waste) envelops me and creates an indoor climate where I can sit on the couch in a T-shirt, even in winter. The fluffy couch is so incredibly comfortable that I don’t want to get up and spend the evening with chips in front of the TV.
Here, nothing reminds me of my adventurous childhood in the forest and I decided to build my own little village. The uncomfortable village counters the debate about climate protection and comfort. Instead of more and more standards, technology and a social renunciation debate, the inconvenient village shows that lowering our requirements and returning to a simple and reduced living environment is by no means a loss of quality, but rather puts long-forgotten qualities of life back into the focus of our living and thus creates social, ecological and health-related added value. Instead of dreary, barren single family homes, an adventurous living typology in harmony with nature and wildlife is created.
The sun was just rising over the picturesque village that lay in the heart of the forest. The air was fresh and clear and the only sounds were the chirping of the birds and the rustling of the leaves when the wind came up. In this village, people lived in harmony with nature, in a modern world that respected the environment. The village consisted of houses built on stilts among the trees, blending seamlessly into the natural environment. The houses had only one room that was heated. The houses were designed with ecological considerations to ensure that the village had a minimal carbon footprint. But beware: this utopia is far from perfect. It demands a lot from us!
As a rule, forests are cut down when new settlement areas are designated, which leads to urban sprawl and environmental destruction. The habitat of animals shrinks, biotopes are destroyed and valuable forests are lost. Building often represents a conflict between humans and animals. But we want to change that and propose to rethink the relationship between humans and animals. Our project looks at solidarity with animals in human spaces and proposes a new way of living together: Animals and plants conserve the ground, while humans live one level higher. Single-family homes consume a lot of land, building materials and energy, leading to even more traffic, expensive infrastructure and further loss of biodiversity.
The concept of the “uncomfortable village” combines the dream of a family home in the countryside with sustainability and a breeze of adventure:
  • ecological timber construction that binds carbon dioxide
  • a mobility concept based on bicycles, skis and walking
  • ecological food production without monocultures
  • reuse of rainwater
  • reduction of energy consumption to a heated space
  • limited own property in favor of community property (forest library, forest playroom, etc.)
  • reforestation of trees between the houses
  • Teaching a new ecological way of thinking in the forest school
  • Health through physical exercise, varied food through own production, fresh forest air
Come all and let’s go to the forest together and pick mushrooms! There we will find not only delicious treasures, but also inspiration for a sustainable future.

Selected project – Sunghoon Go – Always there, very personal

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“Always there, very personal”

What does it mean to return to the place where I was born?
The place, where I was born and raised. Where my parents live. The place ‘Gunsan’ still remains strong on my mind. At the end of my studies, I had a feeling do my personal work. The project area is my father’s old cattle house in Gunsan.
My hometown is a very small town which located in Gunsan, a city on the southwest of Korea. The village is divided into a front village and a back village by the mountain. My old house is on the south side of a back village. The project area is my father’s old cattle house 20 meters away from my old house.
The old cattle house consists of two houses. It is located at the edge of my town so it faces to directly the rice fields and surrounded by abandoned natural situation. I decided to return to my home. I will work here as an architect, and at the same time make the rice farming to keep the agriculture.
My strategy is the transformation of the existing house. Using the Korean standard greenhouse module i want to get more relationship with the outside, and create the different habitats under different climatic conditions in an ensemble of buildings.
My proposal is the combination of private and public spaces which has in the middle the in between space. In the private space the tower provides my family a option for living together likea big family. In the big public working space, people could stay here temporary. For example, some small group who wants to farm here on weekends. During the non-agricultural season there will be a chance for the culture events together with the guest and local people.
I hope that this project could be an alternative thinking of the countryside in this time of depopulation and agricultural decline.

Selected project – Pavel Kosenkov – Achkarren, Growing and sustainable village

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Achkarren – Growing and Sustainable Village
The “Achkarren: Growing and Sustainable Village” project presents an innovative
and unique perspective on the future development of rural settlements. In an era
where cities are losing their allure and villages are becoming new centers of life,
my project focuses on a completely fresh concept of rural living.
Against the backdrop of natural beauty and centuries-old history, Achkarren
aspires to be not just a village, but a hub of dynamic and sustainable growth. The
amalgamation of ideas like “collaborative farming,” “transport hub,”
“multifunctional center,” and other innovative practices results in a blueprint of the
future – a community actively contributing to its prosperity while preserving its
cultural and architectural essence.
The synergy of modern technology and unique traditions makes my project
appealing to both residents and tourists alike. New approaches to energy using
solar and wind power, multifunctional centers, village integration through transport
nodes – all contribute to our goal of not just being sustainable but also innovative.
Special emphasis is given to the social aspect, ensuring inclusivity for all strata of
society. Creating an environment where residents can exchange experiences and
ideas is an integral part of my concept, fostering a spirit of collaboration and trust
within the community.
My project also places a strong emphasis on aesthetics and integration with the
environment. Architectural and cultural heritage are integral to my village,
underlining the significance of preserving and respecting history.The innovative
ideas are infused with positivity, intertwining with my commitment to sustainable
development and flourishing.
As this vision extends, neighboring villages adopt a similar principle of
development, forming a robust ecological network. Each village contributes to a
stable and interconnected system, resulting in a thriving regional ecosystem that
benefits everyone. This approach amplifies the impact and potential for
sustainable growth, creating a harmonious coexistence between humans and
The “Achkarren: Growing and Sustainable Village” project is a path to a new village
identity, bridging contemporary needs and a rich legacy. I take pride in my
creative approach, regional integration, social inclusivity, aesthetic appeal, and
humor. My village is where the future finds its home.

Selected project – Franziska Michl – Rethinking villages, Reinventing rurbanism

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Reinventing Rurbanism
The architect shapes spaces so as to give them social utility as well as human and aesthetic/symbolic meanings. The architect shapes and preserves long-term social memories and strives to give material form to the longings and desires of individuals and collectives. The architect struggles to open spaces for new possibilities, for future forms of social life.
David Harvey
“Growing Villages” and “Shrinking cities” represent a potential development concept that addresses the current urbanization and the associated social challenges. At the heart of this work is the rethinking of existing social, economic, and architectural structures in urban and rural areas, utilizing and redefining what already exists. This implies not only the physical design of spaces but, above all, a profound transformation of social practices and the traditional conception of rural areas.
Fundamental at this point, and a primary task in the further development of villages, is the understanding that villages are not isolated, self-contained entities. They are primarily places of community, collaboration, and exchange within a region. The questions to be addressed in this context are: How can community be strengthened in the future? What kind of society will live in our villages of the future? Where is the balance between community and individuality?
One approach is to consider the idea of society as a social heterotopia that enables alternative social norms and practices and allows new forms of coexistence and social interaction. This requires not only participatory approaches but also a careful transformation of existing structures. The implementation of participatory processes that involve the community in decision-making must be assumed.
Preserving the existing building fabric and transforming existing buildings are necessary steps to strengthen the identity of a region and create places for community development. For example, in the village of Röcken, near Lützen in Saxony[1]Anhalt, there is the creation of a Public Factory, Public Gardens, and the conversion of an abandoned gravel pit into a public theater and cinema. These are newly created spaces for social development, communal events, and new forms of collaborative work. The goal is a new integrative environment through social meeting places and creative spaces throughout the entire region and the creation of opportunities for active appropriation of spaces by society. Alongside this is the development of rural mobility by shifting priorities from individual mobility to collective sustainability, through measures such as new bike lanes, local shopping buses, and new pedestrian networks.
A radical transformation of our thinking about rural structures and the relationship between urban and rural is ultimately a prerequisite for shaping life outside of cities and creating a new idea of life in villages.

Selected project – Alexandra Schartner – Cross-Border Placemaking

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Rural border obsolescence and perspective
Rural borderlands are a space of obsolescence and perspective. But truly rural border villages are a space of borderless opportunities, that provides new development perspectives. This French-German space, that we are looking at, consists of former mining sites and slagheaps and pit basins, of old production sites and customs architectures, of hidden architectural monuments and historical landmarks, of disused railway stations, of closed cafés and of family ties lost across borders. The perspective is to re-create all of it, with a placemaking network reimagining new common rural place: coworking spaces, cultural venues, regional production, new housing within existing structures, places of education and knowledge transfer, mobility hubs, pop-up gastronomies and regional events – all across borders.
Border turn
The idea of villages learning from cities and the other way around is a dynamic approach gaining importance because of the change of times we live in. Architects and planners are currently discussing the so called „construction turn“, the ideological turn in building sustainably for a resilient society. Meanwhile urbanists and geographers have been working on the “spatial turn” for over 30 years, that aims a research and development centered around our society and the actions of its individuals. Today we are living in the middle of various crises and diverse turns: energy, mobility, construction, demography … And now a border turn? A development that is led by and emanates from the borders we create every day through our commonplace actions: political, social, architectural? A development that starts at a border location, grows across borders, shapes border places, thus making a border space.
Multiple identities and stages
Border areas are peripheries and centers in equal measure. The German-French borderlands are characterized by rural villages interrupted but not overshadowed by urban clusters. Here, almost secretly, as insider tips, cross-border places are emerging where the region is growing closer together and a common identity is being formed. Do people who live in European border areas feel more European? Probably not, but the peripheral cross-border places embody a European idea and create new intersections like no other.
 Cross-border placemaking transforms space through the visible impulses of projects that strive in the field where cultural exchange meets the transformation of what already exists. The whole transformation can be describing in multiple stages. The adapting stage is aiming at the cross border cultural adoption: individuals and communities in one country embracing elements of the culture from a neighboring country. The bordering stage is a cultural cross-bordering, developing the commonplace practice of crossing borders and consciously overcoming them. The placing stage is the conscious action in a certain place that is temporarily placing both the place and the action in an explicit and exceptional cross-border context, aiming for a permanent transformation. The making stage combines the previous ones into a cross-border placemaking network, for exchange and creates a new coherent cross-border space, a new image and future of the rural areas and villages

Selected project – Leonie Wrede – Rutopie : rural, village, future

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– Rutopie – rural, village, future.

Because of the changing world of work – especially the home office-, the new work-life balance and the pandemic, many people are moving back to the countryside. But there is not enough affordable space for all the people, because we don‘t chance the way of growing villages.

The biggest problem ist the single-family house. The well-known problems of this building typology are the low density, the lack of flexibility and isolation within the neighborhood. So how do we create housing in the future that adapts to the changing needs of residents and their life stages, that is efficient, denser and more sustainable, that prevents the sprawl of the landscape, but at the same time maintains the character of the village? A place where people can live, work, shop and relax. This paper is primarily concerned with developing a formal design for the settlement of tomorrow. Step I: we worked out parameters, which should served as a guideline for the future growing of villages and small towns. Step II: these parameters will be used to plan a settlement design on a real plot of land, which will attempt to find a possible solution for the settlement of tomorrow:

Step I:
Densification: In order to slow down urban sprawl and create affordable housing for all.
Flexibility: Our life situation is changing, so is our requirement for housing.
Balance between community and privacy: We need both.
Participation: Feel home.
Mix up the generations: There can be greate symbiosis between them.
Shares Ownership: Cooperatives make living affordable for everyone and people can create community.
Mix of functions: In order to revitalize settlements and villages in the future, they need a mix of different functions instead of a mono-structure of housing.
Sharing approaches: In order to deal more ecologically with resources such as space and materials, sharing approaches should also be pursued more in rural areas.
Step II:
 The actual design is based on the principle of the matryoshka- a russian doll. Just as the matryoshka can be opened up more and more to reveal new layers, the design can be divided into different sizes and elements. The smaller the element, the more private its character.
The different levels create a balance between community and privacy. A neighborhood that allows both states to coexist in varying degrees of intensity and enables fluid transitions. The projects creates a settlement with 48 housing units. (Just to compare: with one family houses and the necessary accesses, the area would fit round about 27 housing units.) Still every unit has their own little garden, their own entrance from the outside and enough space. Their are different type and sizes of units, people change their flat, when their living situation require this, while living in the same neighborhood. Because of this, we can safe space and make living affordable for everyone.