top of page
Untitled design.png

Emerging Towns

Narrowing the gap between home & work

Designaddvance is inviting all undergraduate and post-graduate students of Architecture, Planning, Engineering, & Design across the country to design mixed-use development which are beacons for their sustainable design & planning. 



“Bright, young aspirants from small towns, move to metro cities for better career options” - a tale too common?

Today, this trend seems to be reversing…

The global pandemic and lockdowns have boosted technological advancements in our live-work patterns. Today, global companies have adapted to a hybrid model of work from office and home. Tier 2 and 3 cities in India can potentially emerge as business hubs & open fantastic opportunities, which will require urban development reforms, development of infrastructure.

This opportunity will enable the qualified young force to work from home, stay closer to family, have a better work-life balance, thereby increasing their productivity and decreasing the pressure on mega-cities. But to achieve this, we need to reimagine the environment to fulfill the aspirations of the globally aspiring Indian youths from towns. Research and successful models of urbanism have shown that mixed-use developments yield economic and social benefits while increasing the quality of life for its residents. By ensuring that everyday needs for retail, recreation, education, and healthcare are close enough to residential neighborhoods, mixed-use development promotes shared community spaces, safety, inclusivity, and wellbeing for different spectrums of users like age, gender, economic classes, etc.

Most Indian towns, because of their organic growth, have a legacy of mixed land-use character and have maximized their commercial and residential uses, like the traditional bazaars and city cores. They are examples of sustainable urban development with their multiplicity, multifunctionality, and human scale. Mixed-use developments, which are often larger in scale than exclusive residential buildings, present more opportunities to incorporate sustainable elements through design- use of renewable energy sources, incorporate green/public spaces, recycling wastewater, integrating pedestrian zones, etc. So how can we reimagine this model in contemporary scenarios and add to the revival of our towns? With evolving needs and aspirations of the youth, these towns require new paradigms to achieve future work-life balance and arrest migration to mega-cities. We need to drive innovation & growth to shift the culture from fixed to fluid spaces.


Design Problem

To design mixed-use development which are beacons for their sustainable design and planning. Projects that represent the aspirations of the youth; are examples of good architectural interventions; and invoke qualities of wellbeing, inclusivity, and an integrated approach.

An opportunity to design innovative futuristic mixed-use hubs specifically for towns (Tier 2,3,4 cities), evoking a wholesome life experience while being net-zero energy efficient.

Site Selection

  • Pick a town with a population of less than 1 million

  • Teams can choose a plot area of 1 to 2 hectares[1]  in a setting of their choice with an aim to develop a mixed-use hub with more than one function from the below

  • The locally applicable bylaws and site regulations are to be followed or NBC codes in its absence.

  • Sites for adaptive reuse may be picked if adhering to other criteria mentioned in the brief

In 2005, the Government of India announced an integrated township policy with three categories of mixed-use development projects. They are small-scale development (5-10 acres), medium-scale development (20-50 acres).

Team Composition

  • A maximum of three members per team is permissible.

  • The team may be multi-disciplinary with at least one member being an architecture student.

  • The members of the team can belong to the same or different academic years, colleges, and courses of undergraduate or postgraduate disciplines with at least one member being an architecture student.

Submission Requirements

  • A statement defining the problem, context, and the choice of site in one A4 sheet as a pdf.

  • Graphical Slides in 16:9 Size, Landscape orientation, 200 to 300 DPI, in maximum 7 Sheets, with the design process and the drawings (plans, elevations, sections, views, area, and energy calculations) in a suitable graphical scale.

  • The building design must comply with zero energy building requirements such as Energy Rating System Index, Energy conservation code, Energy use intensity, etc. Calculations and statements for the same are to be included in the submission.

  • Entrants are encouraged to elaborate on decarbonization and calculation of other zero energy design strategies within their design and the processes that surround it.

  • A recorded presentation of under 5 minutes duration explaining the project shall be included in the submissions, to be uploaded in the submission folder/link provided.

  • Letter of declaration signed by the participant shall be included. (Format attached in the annexure of the brief).

  • Acknowledgment of references used for case studies and design ideas that have been adapted from sources. All entries shall be scrutinized for evidence of plagiarism.

  • The submissions need to clearly document the design process. It is recommended, though not mandatory, that drawings/ graphics be developed using Autodesk Revit and auxiliary Autodesk BIM tools. The sheets may include plans, sections, elevations, 3D views, joinery details, Dynamo scripts, and anything else that would help communicate the idea better.

  • Participants' names must not be mentioned anywhere, only the submission code as provided has to be mentioned on the top-right corner of the documents.

  • Autodesk Docs link for uploading the entry will be communicated to the participants after registration for the competition closes.



A successful mixed-use development means more than cramming as much as possible into one building. When a good mixed-use development seamlessly integrates into its context, the combined effect is greater than the sum of its parts.

Desirable outcomes of the project are mentioned below:

  • Greater housing and functional variety and density, allowing for a mix of not only functions but different kinds of users and their needs. Think of different spatial requirements of an urban dweller- retail, socializing spaces, entertainment opportunities, playing and fitness-related spaces, etc.

  • Better energy efficiency and sustainability through design and promotion of conscious choices such as walk to work, pedestrian streets, net-zero water, and energy cycles

  • Stronger neighborhood character: Assembled as a one-stop destination, the social network can flourish uprightly while meeting the demands of quick accessibility.

  • Better integration with city services, like public transportation; access to education and healthcare facilities; residents should be able to relish a range of products suiting one’s needs at convenience

  • More flexibility to adapt to changing needs, thus increasing the building’s long-term life cycle

  • Safety and vibrancy of the neighborhood


  • Open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students of Architecture, Planning, Engineering, and Design across the country.

  • Anyone who is a student at the time of registration is eligible to participate, including graduates of 2022.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The innovation factor for the design intervention.

  • The necessity of the project/intervention at the site, and integration of the project with the site.

  • The Carbon neutrality of design. Consider energy, water, waste, and any other factors.

  • The use of zero-carbon design and technologies.

  • The functionality, clarity, and organization/planning of all the various elements worked on for the micro and macro-level intervention.

  • Criteria of resourcefulness, replicability, adaptability, and community response will also be considered.

  • Contribution to urban up-gradation through the planned intervention

  • Flexibility in design to allow multi-functionality

  • The proposed materiality and construction aspects.

  • Environmental and social sustainability and humane approach to design.

  • The overall concept, coherence, and graphical expression.

Important Dates

Registrations open: 15th March 2022
Registrations deadline: 20th September 2022
Submission Deadline: 3rd October 2022
Declaration of results on live webinar - 10th November 2022

Award and Certifications

Cash Prizes for the top three winners:

1st: Rs 75,000/-

 2nd: Rs. 50,000/-

3rd: Rs. 25,000/-

All participants who have submitted the entries will get a discount voucher of 40% on the BIM for Design Program. 

E - Certificates for all attendees of the workshop

Top 5 winners will get Free entry to Capricot BIM for Design Program (140 Hours)

Top 10 entries to be published on our website

E - Certificates for all participants who have submitted competition entries

Knowledge Resources


Online Self-Learning Modules and webinars by experts in sustainability, BIM, energy simulation, building innovations will be conducted at regular intervals- accessible free of cost for the competition registrants. This will help the teams understand concepts and best practices for high-performance buildings. For more info[1] :

Suggested Reading

  • Eyes on the Street by Jane Jacobs

  • Integrated township policy by Govt of India

  • Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl

link for online workshops/lectures​

Meet the Jury Members


Vinod Gupta


Space Design Consultants


Atul Kukreja

Founder & Principal

Adrianse Global

WhatsApp Image 2022-07-21 at 8.32.16 AM.jpeg

Kiran Venkatesh


InFORM Architects

3. Dean DCruz .jpg

Dean D'Cruz

Partner & Principal Architect

Mozaic Design Combine

WhatsApp Image 2022-07-21 at 9.18.19 AM.jpeg

Yatin Pandya


Footprints E.A.R.T.H.


bottom of page